I promised I’d be honest with myself.
I promised that I was going to live my life acknowledging every single emotion I was feeling and make it a priority because I lived in the dark for too long regarding them. I always believed that showing your emotions and putting them on the back burner was the “adult” thing to do. I realized it was not. I realized that in order to handle the good and bad in your life, you have to prioritize emotions from both sides of the spectrum. That’s right, no more showcasing only the good emotions and ignoring the bad ones. That’s not who I am and I refuse to conform to those “social norms” where communication is slowly dying. I refuse to play make-believe and pretend that the easiest way to a better life is simply just smiling in everyone’s face.
This isn’t a negative perspective, it’s a realistic one.
As much as I want to classify myself as being an expressive and open person, I realize that over the years, I began closing myself in. I was an open book to an extent, but I ever revealed myself in a negative light. I remember having a conversation with two friends of mine and one of them said: “Liz seems like she may be an open book, but there are things about her that she will not reveal.” At first, I thought it was a good quality to have: never reveal too much about yourself because it makes people wondering more. It makes you mysterious. But the downside of it is when you don’t know what to share or not because you were taught “if they don’t ask, you don’t have to tell.” You’re so used to showing just the surface of yourself that when it came a time where you needed to be honest and truthful in a friendship or a relationship, you were incapable of doing such thing.
The lack of using your voice to express your feelings towards issues or problems you may have does nothing but live inside of you. I was taught that if something wasn’t a big deal (even if it emotionally took you out from one feeling to another), then you should simply forget about it and move on. Don’t even bother bringing it up. A lot of people around me live like this; they keep their feelings and opinions to themselves because they don’t feel like they are important enough to share or they’re just masters at masking their honesty towards everything that conflicts with the image they portray. I believed that everyone who lived this way around me was genuinely happy, and when I realized that I could handle my problems and life by simply compartmentalizing them, I soon then learned that it was only lived for a short period of time. I learned that as I got older, the people who bottle their feelings inside eventually explode. Exploding is never the answer.
The reason why I became a writer was that I always felt voiceless in a room full of people. There are people who are outgoing and outspoken; the room quiets down whenever those type of people speak. I always believed that I had something important to say to the world. I was a healer, I was the person you go to whenever you needed someone to listen to you and because I was able to give authentic, honest advice about any situation. I believe that I was born to have my voice be heard to help people in their type of need, whether they are friends or mine or they are readers of TNTH. Writing was that thing. That thing that would have everyone listen to what I had to say. I was never a great speaker, but I was sophisticated and clear in my writing. I remember people in high school who wrote in my yearbook to “never give up writing because I have something important to say and something worth listening to.”
But I classify as a voiceless person. I don’t always speak up for myself, I tend to get scared whenever there’s confrontation, and I’m constantly telling myself “I should/shouldn’t have said that.” It’s a weird thing to be, a voiceless writer.
Being voiceless is not a good thing to be. Going with the flow just for the sake of not being bitchy or angry or whatever is never the solution to a problem. If I have a problem with someone because they did something that I know was wrong, I should be able to voice my concerns in a mature manner. If there’s something that is on my mind about a hot topic or during a discussion, I should be able to participate and defend my answer. Most importantly, I should be able to use my voice without feeling like I’m saying something stupid, wrong, or opinionated.
Voiceless people should work on defending themselves, speaking up, and being more in tune with their emotions. Feeling feelings shouldn’t be a crime. It’s the absolute number one thing that makes us different from every other species on this planet. It’s what makes us human. And if someone tries to knock you down for using your voice, then it just means that person is intimidated for what you have to say and bring to the table.
TNTH (and with some guidance from Obie) help me find that hidden voice in me. The Metanoia, the three-stage journey that I am on to self-discovery, has taught me to not be afraid of speaking up and voicing your thoughts out into the world. Since starting, I’ve come to defend myself in multiple situations that I would’ve avoided back then. Speaking up fro yourself or just simply voicing your thoughts and feelings promotes honesty; it shows the people who you love that you aren’t afraid to speak your mind and that you’re an authentic human being. If what you’re saying and expressing is consistent and true to what you follow, what you believe in, and what you stand for because will start respecting you. Most importantly, people will start listening to you.
Finding your voice is the hardest part. Once you find it, you finally feel like you have a say in things. You finally take acknowledgment of your feelings, which means those around you respect them. Speaking up for yourself shows that you respect yourself.
Like I always used to say:
Your voice; let it be your loudest instrument.