For weeks I’ve been planning this blog. I have a list of a dozen things to write about. I have set aside time to write. And here I sit, struggling to find the voice I’ve spent so long cultivating.
As the old adage says, “write what you know,” and right now what I know is the fear of speaking up.
This fear has been so prevalent in my life that it has a certain comfortable familiarity. I think everyone of morals who has faced a tough decision to stand up to someone or to “not make a fuss” for whatever external reason, is familiar with this feeling. And particularly women. We are enculturated to take care of others, to put other’s comfort before our own. So when we desire to contradict someone, it puts us in a tight spot: be true to ourselves and use our voice, or prioritize the comfort of the person we wish to contradict. Or worse, speak our truth, upset the other person, and be completely discredited in the way women so often are.
The reasons for speaking up are great: I have spent so much of my life learning from other’s mistakes, so it is ungenerous for me to not share my experiences and allow someone else to learn from them. I’m pretty freaking good at explaining things and speaking passionately about things I care about. To waste these talents would be an insult to society. I want to make a difference in the world. (I never thought it’d take the shape of a blog.) And most simply: my perspective is inherently unique, and therefore worthy.
I know these things. I’ve acted on these things. I’ve felt the sting of disagreement, of rejection, of discredit, of dismissal. The agony of repercussions, of anger, attacks and discord. These aren’t the things I want in the world. I want joy and rainbows and bunnies!
But the reality is that I’m not creating the problems. The bunnies don’t actually exist. I point out what is. The truth that jeopardizes other’s fiction. And this is what compels me. I don’t take joy in making trouble, in telling you that the Easter bunny is a lie. It’s merely that I know that the truth will set us free. Freedom is superior to bunnies and fictions.
So I will post this blog entry. And I will post many many more. I will stand and face these very real fears; I will use my voice. Because, in addition to the great many reasons for speaking up, there are those who would silence voices like mine in order to preserve their lie. This silencing alone is reason to speak up. This is why I am compelled write this blog. This is why I gather my courage.