I thought I wanted to be a peace-keeper. Say the right thing at the right time and always, always, tell the other person they were right.
I went through the last 21 years believing this. Believing in giving up pieces of myself because it was easier to nod and agree than to fight.
Maybe, in another life, I was a hippie with all that love. But then I read this tweet by Blair and I got thrown off kilter. Big time.
“What sucks is when you’ve written a post with the best of intentions & you know that no matter what, someone’s going to get butt-hurt.”
God yes, I thought.
That is right. So right.
Where has that little piece of insight been all my life? All this time while I’ve been sitting inside the lines of the coloring book, afraid to step outside the page. All this time while I’ve held my breath and waited for the storm in the next room to pass over. Where I’ve stopped myself from putting a fist in the wall because it’s easier to hurt inside than to tell someone else how I feel and risk hurting them.
Before I continue, let me say one thing: I am not advocating complete and utter selfishness.
I am advocating learning the difference between keeping your mouth shut and entertaining the possibilities.
Because change, ladies and gentlemen, cannot come about without the conflict of opinions I’m so afraid of. And the first step in the march toward forward progress is telling someone else what you’re thinking and waiting for a reaction.
Maybe it’s because I’m non-confrontational and maybe it’s because my dad lends me his Easy Pass to commute to New Jersey every week. But I’m more inclined to keep my lips sealed.
And a lot of times, that’s great. Smart. Reasonable.
Other times, it’s not.
Other times, I’m willing to break my hand. Make it swell into a black, blue, purple mess. See if the cast wrapped around my arm is any inclination that I’m not happy with the way things are going.
That’s unnecessary. We write about the tough stuff because it happens and it cannot be ignored. We discuss heartbreak and depression and bullying and family problems and try to debate the best way to handle a difficult parenting situation because there is no best way.
Because there is no right answer.
But the fact that I can offer my suggestions and you can offer yours is a beautiful freedom. A freedom that sparks conversation and facilitates progress and makes us stop and think about how we live our lives in the world where dropping a single bomb solves a multitude of problems.
So I’ll write. I’ll write my heart out on this screen for you and let you critique it and tell me what I’ve said that’s wrong. I’ll let you dissect the meaning between my paragraphs and the reason I’ve ended the sentence here. Instead of here.
I’ll let you interpret the unspoken thoughts running through my head because you cannot know exactly what I’m thinking but not knowing, not being sure, will lead you to ten thousand different conclusions. And all of them will bring about a more educated future.
All of them are worth entertaining on some level.
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