Have you ever felt like the universe was trying to tell you something? This morning I sat down at my desk and tore away yesterday’s page on my calendar and got the distinct impression that someone must be trying to send me a message. Today’s Inner Bitch message was “The beauty of being in touch with your Inner Bitch means that you know what you know and you’re not afraid to say it out loud.” It was especially timely after Tuesday’s voice lesson. I recently started taking voice lessons again and one of the things my instructor talked about is the tension that intelligent women tend to carry from the many times they want to speak their mind and don’t. She explained it as part of a discussion about trying to release muscle tension in my neck that interferes with my voice.
Well, this makes perfect sense to me, mainly because I find myself editing my comments all the time. One of the reasons I started writing a blog was to give myself the freedom to express my thoughts outside of traditional social media where my friends and family inevitably judge my words. But it’s hard to speak up when you’ve forced yourself to stay silent for so long. Trust me, Tori Amos has nothing on my silent years.
I recently read that the average person has 318 friends on Facebook. I haven’t done a recent count, but I have a feeling my friend count is less than average. Don’t get me wrong- I’m completely okay with that. After all, it was by my own doing. Because every new friend equals the potential of further silencing my words. For example, I’ve done the online dating thing on and off for a while now. Every once in a while a guy I’m talking to will ask me to friend him on Facebook. I almost always decline. I joke with my friends that it’s because it would be awkward to post something about going on the worst first date ever when I know there’s a chance my date would see my comment. In truth, I’m only half joking.
I feel like I’m in a constant battle with myself. On the one hand, I want to just say what I’m thinking, right when I think it. On the other hand, I know the damage that words can do. Like everyone, I’ve said things that I later regret, and when I’m really upset, I can pretty much destroy someone with my words. I want to let my feelings out, but (usually) not at the expense of someone else’s.
To add to the confusion, there are time when I feel like I want to keep things to myself. Sometimes I need to wallow in my own sadness before I’m ready to put on my happy face for the rest of the world. I get the same way about the really good feelings, too. I feel kind of selfish and just want to savor those amazing moments–almost as if I’m afraid that sharing them might make them feel less vivid in my mind. The end result is feeling like I’m on a roller coaster and I want to get off, but I just can’t actually bring myself to pull the off switch.
So here’s to finding the balance between my feelings and my concern for the feelings of others… to letting my voice be heard, not for the sake of being heard, but because I have something to say, and it’s time to say it.