Throughout my life, people have judged me for being loud and opinionated. I know it can be annoying, but I’ve come to accept that part of myself. It took me a long time to not feel ashamed about these qualities, but now that I finally have, I don’t see a reason to change.
- It feels good to finally be okay with who I am. I used to be shy and super quiet, thinking it was easier and safer to avoid making waves — and it was, but it was also a lot more boring. It took me a long time — and I’m talking years here — before I realized that it was okay for me to have an opinion and a voice. In fact, it’s not just okay, it’s vital. Now that I know that, I won’t take a step backward.
- I don’t want to bottle up my thoughts, feelings and opinions. When I started speaking up in my life, a funny thing happened simultaneously — I started listening to myself too. It suddenly dawned on me that all those little whispers in my head had a place in the world, so why shouldn’t I share them? I know it doesn’t always go over well, but I can’t help myself.
- I’m not embarrassed by who I am. For a while, I felt as though I was taking one step forward and ten steps back as I battled my insecurities and inhibitions. What changed? I did. I realized that if I felt and acted like I was embarrassed by myself, then that’s how others would feel about me. Sure, my outspokenness might annoy people these days, but at least I own it.
- I have a right to voice my thoughts and feelings. I have three great needs in life — nourishment for both the physical and emotional needs of the soul, companionship so that I never need to feel the pain of being left behind or leaving someone behind, and the ability to tell the world where to get off because holding onto stuff really does a number on my mental and emotional well-being. As long as I’m not intentionally hurting anyone else, I have a right to let it all out, and I’m going to assert that right.
- I want to be my authentic self, no matter how alienating that is to anyone else. Despite what I felt inside and the potential I knew I had, hiding in the corner did me no favors. I now know that the only way to honor myself is to be real with the world and the people around me — yes, even if they really don’t like it. People aren’t fools — well, most aren’t — and if I don’t believe in who I am and what I’m doing, no one else will either. It rubs some people the wrong way, but the people who are meant to be in my life accept me as I am.
- I spent way too long feeling like I had to stifle my voice. Today I find it hard to imagine ever being that shy young girl who wanted to hide from everyone. Even though it had been my choice to be so quiet, there had been a part of me that felt as though it had been expected of me. Ridiculous, I know. Now looking back, I can see just how far I’ve come and no way in hell do I have plans to go back there.
- If I want people to be open and upfront with me, I need to do the same. I’d be a hypocrite to expect everyone to be upfront with me while I censor what I say and how I act with everyone else. I believe like attracts like in this world and I need to project what I want to see in others. It’s only fair, after all.
- The world needs more people who aren’t afraid to say what needs saying. People are confusing. They say things they don’t mean and do things they don’t want to do, so by doing the opposite, I’m actually doing the world a favor. That probably sounds way more egotistical than I intend it to be, but what I’m saying is if everybody was able to say and do what they mean with purpose, surely the world would be a better place. That’s my thinking, anyway.