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Tale of the Turtle Girl

I have always loved and admired turtles. As a shy and introspective girl growing up, I could easily identify with them. They are slow, quiet, meandering but always seem to get where they need to be.

I was introverted growing up and the very thought of speaking in front a class let alone a crowd brought me to panic. It was as if when I realized I had a voice I became so self-conscious that I lost the ability to use it. The fear of making mistakes, saying the wrong thing brought on a kind of paralysis of speech so intense that I resolved to go through the world unnoticed and unheard. I called myself the turtle girl, retreating into my own shell and gliding by the edge of the sea, hoping to escape notice from any large predators.

The one area where I felt I could express my true self was with pen and paper. It started out quite unintentionally - I had history teacher that would start every class with 10 minutes of writing from our stream of consciousness that we kept to ourselves. I wrote what was on my mind and heart and felt a freedom and release from pubescent angst and awkwardness I had never known. I called it my coke bottle text, written on scratches of loose-leaf paper, which I took home and stuffed into in an old coke bottle. In writing out my uncensored thoughts and emotions I found a way to set myself free from my self-imposed silence.

As introverted as I was, I became aware of the great violence in this world and its impact on women and girls. Though I was hiding in the comfort, safety and security of my shell, I knew I could not remain there as long as injustice and violence against women remained in the world. The call to actively participate has become one I cannot ignore and one that has become increasingly louder and louder for me over the years. I have been searching and seeking a way to lend my voice and experience to women’s empowerment and I have found that here in this online community. Here words are my palette from which I shall paint the stories, the joys, woes of women’s lives and experiences, as well as my own life and experience.

In my journey, my hope and desire is to help create the world I want to live in and leave behind for future generations. It has taken me time, experience, wrongs turns, scenic routes, missed flights and layovers, but the turtle girl has finally arrived!


dear turtle girl
I like your writing since I also though of an animal to express my self. How great is to come across extraordinary people who help us to find our inner voice.
great writing!!!
cheers from violent, but beautiful Mexico
penguin girl

Klaudia González

libudsuroy's picture

HI, Turtle Girl. As Paul

HI, Turtle Girl. As Paul Coelho (via candyguibone) has said: may we women go slowly because real and deep change happen over a long time....

libudsuroy/Lina Sagaral Reyes
Mindanao, The Philippines

''Every Day is a Journey and the Journey itself is Home.'' (Matsuo Basho)

Gloriabit's picture

it takes to observe a change

changes will take a long way, but we have to keep on working hard and the changes will help us improve our doings

Cassady's picture

Slow and steady

Your writing style is very nice. I really like the double meaning of the turtle analogy; the personal side where you are introverted and shy with a protective shell, and the bigger picture interpretation where it takes planning, pace, and determination to achieve your goals.

Thank you for sharing!


Fatima Waziri's picture

Hey there - Thank for sharing

Hey there - Thank for sharing your story with us, the path of your progressively finding your voice is truly amazing. However, I will have loved to read about how you stumbled on WorldPulse and Pulse Wire respectively.

Good job!


Isabel Siegel Griffith's picture

Dear Dziffy, As an

Dear Dziffy,

As an introverted person myself, I can empathize with being reserved about speaking your mind in front of large groups. I totally was frightened by making a mistake or saying the wrong thing, and I too decided to be unnoticed from the world around me. I am slowly but surely coming out of my shell and speaking out for my beliefs, thoughts, goals, and dreams. I have been inspired by so many stories I have read on this online community and especially yours—to continue to fight to help forge a world where women and girls are treated with respect and have access to education and opportunities, to continue to develop themselves personally and professionally. I too have been breaking away from my “self-imposed silence,” you could not have put it better. I admire you and your writing is amazing. I look forward to reading more about your journey.

Warm regards,



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