I have developed a bit of a reputation among friends and co-workers for my "rants": impassioned mini-speeches on whatever topic has "struck a chord" in me. These rants are at a louder volume than my regular speaking voice, and can sound angry, or perhaps even aggressive, to the untrained ear.
I used to be quieter; I used to just let things go. I am a very laid-back person, and I loathe conflict. But I have noticed myself speaking out a lot more as I grow older, whether it involves soap-boxing at family get-togethers or yelling at old men in bars and movie theatres (they deserved it, trust me).
Last night in one of my classes, we discussed the role of an advocate. It was said that an advocate learns about issues, speaks up, and educates others. As a feminist and employee at the Women’s Resource Center, I am an advocate for women. As a vegetarian, I am an advocate for animals. In my future career, I plan to be an advocate for children. These things encompass a wide range of topics fit for soap-boxing and/or "ranting." I have said more than once to myself that I’d rather live a thousand lifetimes alone than compromise my beliefs. But, if I am lucky enough to keep finding and retaining like-minded and tolerant people in my life, I won’t have to.