Sometimes, I feel afraid to be me; afraid to be open about and share what I believe in, what I care about, what I like and dislike. I’m afraid that being myself might turn people off so much that it will hurt my endeavors. Giving your opinion can sometimes alienate you when your beliefs differ so much from another’s.
I believe myself to be a very versatile person and I have many opinions about many things. I often feel compelled to share these opinions on whatever platform is available at the time; not always the most popular move, I know. I worry that I share too much, too often. Not necessarily personal stuff about myself or my family (although I do share personal stuff) but, my opinions about politics, government, cruelty to animals, cruelty to other human beings, ignorance about certain subjects, inappropriate things I find funny, the list can go on and on…
I realize that I’m not going to make everybody happy, but, I can also try to not make anyone unhappy, as well. The truth is, though, that we can’t please everyone, and if we constantly worry about whether or not we are offending someone, we may stifle our own creativity. I am not suggesting we run rampant with our hurtful opinions; self-monitoring is a great trailhead to self-preservation, after all. And, we shouldn’t set out to offend just for the sake of offending (though some people are making a very good career out of it).
But, though it is always a good practice to be mindful of your actions, thoughts, and feelings, (and I really do mean it’s a good thing to think before you speak and post) holding yourself back from who you really are because you’re afraid that people will stop liking you, it might ruin your chances for something, or you might gain unpopularity, just stinks, doesn’t it?
For instance, I love to laugh. I think a whole lot of things are funny. Even inappropriate things. I think laughter is great medicine…as long as it’s not at the harmful expense of others. I don’t think pain and humiliation are funny. At all. But, sometimes you just gotta laugh and the country farmer dancing in his underwear is a hoot. And, I cuss, sometimes. I try not to, but, I do. I try not to share things on Facebook or my other social media with “bad” words, with the exception of the occasional post that just has to be shared, and even then, I use a disclaimer out of courtesy.
But, why do I do that, really? Is it because I’m afraid to be me? Am I trying to be someone else? Do I put on one face in my private life and another when I’m public? Sometimes, I do – I just want everyone to be comfortable, I’ve always been that way. On the other hand, I do tend to share things that I know might be controversial. Not to make controversy, but, because it is absolutely near and dear to my heart; a belief or idea that I must get across, whether political, environmental, or civil/animal rights related.
When I started my blog, “Confessions“, in 2011, I was always straight to the point. I let it all hang out. I “told it like it is.” As I emerge more in the public eye and make more friends and affiliates, I’ve changed a lot of what I say and how I say it. Why? Have my thoughts and ideas become more offensive? Is it because I want to maintain a persona that is more neutral so that I don’t become unpopular? Or, am I just a “sellout” because I’ve reined in my opinions, of late (yes, I am reined in
I don’t think I’m any more offensive. Some of my views may have changed, but, I don’t find them to be deeply offensive (on the contrary, I have tried to fill my life with love and understanding for a lot of things over the past several years but, that in itself, may be offensive to some with different political views than me, different lifestyle views than me, and different dietary views than me). Have I let neutrality start to control me, so as not to offend anybody? That is a possibility…though, that’s not who I want to be, as you can see from many of my posts about the difference between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, big game hunters and animal rights activists, and the whole transgender bathroom fiasco. So, what about becoming a “sellout”–you know, going to the side that gets me the most votes, the most friends, the best rung on the ladder like a flip-flopping politician? Again, that’s not who I strive to be–I’m NOT that person. But…what’s wrong with changing a little so that you can be a better person by adding more positivity into your life and, ultimately, the lives of those around you? You don’t have to sell out, buy votes or stop being yourself to do it.
You can have a bit of both worlds, I think. Incorporating a bit of each – maturity and personality – is how we grow to be our best selves. The act of deciding who we want to be and how we want to be perceived isn’t selling out…it’s growing up. You can still monitor yourself before you speak, act or post just enough to be sure you won’t regret it while still campaigning for your favorite political powerhouse, voicing your concerns for bathroom behavior, post your murderous kills (threw that one in there, didn’t I?) and, even tell your offensive, yet, undeniably hilarious dirty joke. It doesn’t make you a bad person.
And it doesn’t make me one for finding that joke funny.
I’m gong to still be me. You keep doing you. If we live from love, it will all turn out in the end.
I truly wish you all the wonderfulness you deserve…