I have to put a pause on my scheduled 30 day blogging challenge because…well because I just have to. But before we talk about why I want to talk about something else.
I was taught that you should always respect people. And I’m a firm believer that everyone has my respect unless you prove many times over that you don’t deserve it. That’s just the way I am, it was how I was raised. But with this thought it has made me afraid to be who I really am or share my thoughts, opinions, and views with others.
I actually have a lot to say since I’m extremely opinionated, my close friends and family can attest to that lol! But I tend to be afraid. Afraid to ruffle feathers, afraid of backlash, afraid of hate and criticism. This fear has shaped me as adult, and has led to me only talking about what I think people are “comfortable” with hearing instead of what I’m actually passionate about.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not out there to impose my beliefs, opinions, and views on anyone. I just want a chance to voice them in a respectful way, create dialogue, share a different perspective, you know, normal stuff. A couple years ago, I finally had to courage to speak about something that meant a lot to me. A “hot button topic” about healthcare here in the United States. I was terrified to hit publish on that post but I did anyway. It’s one of the pieces I’m most proud of. Not because of the subject matter or writing quality, I’m an amateur writer at best, but because I actually had the courage to share it.
I have this ebb and flow of courage to be myself and speak my mind in an authentic way. Sometimes I forget that my opinion is exactly that – my opinion. And I have a right to have one. The opinions and experiences of people is what makes us so diverse. Not just in this country but in this world. Right now, I have the courage so I’m riding this wave.
As an American citizen these last few years have been let’s say…eye opening. One thing I’m grateful for is my right and ability to write this blog – a place where I can share my thoughts, experiences, and ideas. In my time blogging I’ve written about some great moments and times in my life. I’ve also written about some really hard things. Today, I’m going to write about something difficult.
I’ve been in my little bubble, admittedly, this past year. I felt like I’ve been just concentrating on me and my work. I’ve been telling myself that I want to branch out again as I’ve been able to do in past years – it’s when I feel the most in tune with myself. But I just never really actually did it. Well, yesterday my bubble got disrupted.
Yesterday there was yet another shooting, this time really close to home – in Thousand Oaks. You know when you’ve hit a tipping point and just feel like enough is enough? That’s me today.
I was completely heart broken when I heard the news. I’ve just heard it over and over. Before this was the shooting at the Jewish Synagogue in Pittsburgh that was making headlines and it never gets easier to hear.
So, it happened. What now? With everything that is going on in our world, current culture, economic climate, politics, religion…it’s more important than ever to know that we’re responsible. Responsible for action or lack of action. And that’s something that weighs heavily on me. I’m tired to hearing it on the news, I don’t want to just post about it. I want to help, do something about it instead of just having opinions.
Today, I’m sad. I’m hearing about friends, friends of friends, family of friends, and people I don’t know being effected by this shooting. On top of that brush fires are breaking out in that same area. People are losing loved ones, they are losing homes, they are losing hope. People need community more than ever. We need encouraging words, we need prayer, we need action, we need change. And I’m tired of being silent. Today, I’m going to start being proactive.
I posted on my Instagram story yesterday that there needs to be change. People want to get political about it and while I do know that policy will help there needs to be more. There needs to be a cultural shift happening within our generation that can spread to others. If we could be the generation of kindness a lot will change.
Making mental health issues less taboo is a great start. Showing people kindness instead of spreading anger and hate on social media is a good start. Being less critical and more understanding. Looking within to improve instead of finding excuses as to why our lives are the way they are. Not being afraid to say that you need help. These are all things that can start to move our generation forward.
So I’m making a statement today. I’m going to be more bold. I’m going to be less afraid to be kind to others. I’m going to be less afraid to share love and understanding. I’m going to be more me, authentically me. I’m excited for that.