Have you ever had one of those moments in life where you take a good look at who you've become, and you're not quite sure you like what you see? I had one of those moments today.
It's not that I don't like myself. Because most of the time I do. But today I realized something about myself that I'm not proud of. Instead of speaking my mind when I think it's right or owning my opinions and beliefs, I consider first what people may think of me before I open my mouth.
When did I become this person? And how can I make it stop?
I don't think it's right to always say what's on your mind. If what I say may hurt someone, it's probably best that I keep it to myself. But I don't necessarily think I should keep my mouth shut just because my opinion may offend someone. People these days take offense to everything.
I shouldn't be afraid to be myself just because other people may not like it. I shouldn't be afraid to say "no, I don't share your opinion" even when my opinion isn't a popular one. I shouldn't be afraid that if I share my true self, that people who are ignorant and uninformed about the issue at hand will harass me or think less of me simply because they follow the crowd instead of forming their own educated opinions.
I shouldn't be afraid to be me.
Even on this blog, this piece of space that should be my sanctuary, I don't always feel I can be myself. Or more accurately, I censor that self that I show the world because I don't necessarily want my blog to be about hot button issues or politics or things that I think are wrong with the world. Even though being opinionated about those things is a big part of who I am. I didn't spend four years of my life immersed in social issues while earning my degree to simply stop when I received my diploma.
This beautiful piece of the world wide web is just another place where I give only part of myself because I'm afraid to be me. And after my epiphany today, I just can't allow that. Not that things around here will change all that much. I'll continue to ramble about my awesome child, the military, and every other topic that I think is interesting. But I have to--at least once--tell you who I really am.
I don't believe in God because there are thousands of religions in this world, and I don't feel in my heart that I could choose just one to believe in. I'm a feminist, and I hate the stereotypes that surround that label but I will never shy away from it because I believe in humanity. And I believe in choice. Every woman should be allowed to choose what she does with her body, if and where she works, and how she feeds her children because if you try to take choice away, we'll find some way to defy you and do it anyway.
I believe that we should help the poor, the abused, the sick, the elderly, the unrepresented and everyone who is unable to help themselves because we are all human, and we all deserve a chance. I thank my lucky stars every day that there are men and women in our country who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms because I know I'm not a strong enough person to make such a sacrifice.
I am patient and kind and compassionate but also head-strong and independent and opinionated. I'm only adventurous in storybooks; taking risks scare me. I'm liberal and a Democrat to the core though sometimes I get confused where my loyalties lie now that I'm a military wife since the military is usually supported by the Republicans in office.
This is who I am. Love me or leave me. Because I'm going to be me regardless.