Included picture is irrelevant. Just a photo I found and thought was interesting while I was working on personal projects. Which is to say that I'm actually, for the first time in quite a while it feels like, readjusting to being productive and doing things that aren't just about divesting my energy into meeting new people for the sake of that other new thing in my life that I try to be vague about, as much as it's slowly entangling me more and more.
I had this thought while going for a walk today that seemed to come out of my constant reevaluating of how I come across to other people. Someone I recently met, a person who only knows me through my Internet persona and my voice, said in a chatroom that they really liked my voice, which was aided apparently by my “diction” and particular “cadence”. It got me to thinking that praising someone for their voice specifically has to do with the other people that that person spends their time with. It's interesting because, perhaps by virtue of me being face-to-face with people otherwise, I never really get praised for the way I speak or the things I say in the real world, whether at work or meeting people through friends at some party. I've only ever heard of it from people who are close friends or romantic partners, and I suppose I simply internalized it as just them complimenting me for the sake of. I never really gave it much thought. Yet it's become one of my defining qualities, just going by the people I've recently met.
I'm having more opportunities lately to listen to myself speak. In the most literal way it's helping me to come to terms with a lot of things about my identity, just the very act of listening to my own voice. It's very strange, like I'll say something and listen back as if the voice isn't mine, only for it to register that it is actually me. I suppose this implies as well that I was on very unsteady ground before this with how I perceived my own affect in voice, that I was selling myself short on a lot of interactions I had with people if only because of just how much praise I've been getting for the way I speak.
Had another thought as well. I thought of my dad. It came to me kind of spontaneously but wasn't altogether unrelated. He has this way of laughing where he's making his almost-buzzing sound with his throat. I attribute this to him having lived in NYC for so long, as the only famous example I can bring up of someone laughing like this is A$AP Rocky in certain interviews. I thought of it only recently because it comes and goes for my dad, the way he would laugh like that. Sometimes it's that noise, sometimes it's just a bellow. And it made me think of how I take for granted that the way someone laughs is also something they grow into, or situational, or just something done to express joy. I take for granted that it's not just some spontaneous impulse to loudly say “ha ha” and be done with it. Some people move a certain way when they're laughing, some use their hands and shoulders.
Lately I'm becoming more aware of the way people laugh. For some reason, inevitably, I always find myself trying to glean something about their personal lives and their backgrounds, just from what I observe.