This morning, I got up extra early to squeeze in a run before work. I was lucky enough to have fifteen extra minutes after my run, so I sat on the front porch and did something I haven’t in a long time. I admired the beauty of the freshly planted lilies around me and enjoyed the melody of my neighborhood. At 5:15 am, the only melody was that of chirping birds.
Meanwhile, I started thinking of how ridiculously self-conscious I am. I have literally never met (or heard of) anyone who lives so carefully as I do. Someone who tries not to fit in, but to be completely invisible. I didn’t inherit this trait (if that’s what it is), and I certainly didn’t catch it from my friends or even my husband. However, I have a strong conviction that it stems largely from being bullied in junior high, as I remember being a much more fearless Adelie before that.
Isn’t that stupid, though? That the words and actions of my classmates, from over ten years ago, still dictate how I live and how I express myself?
Aside from my writing here and my relationship with my husband, I live my life as an enormous apology. I tread softly as to not hurt others or make them upset. Also, by keeping to myself, I’m safe from ridicule for how absurd my dreams are. Living a safe life may not be fun or gratifying, but at least I’m the one inflicting pain on myself.
Yes, even I realize how faulty that logic is.
So, I told myself that today was going to be different. In case you’re a new follower or you haven’t noticed, I switched my blog’s tagline about a week ago. I did so in the hopes to inspire myself and to hopefully inspire you as well. Recently, I’ve made a habit of asking myself every morning, “How am I going to make today a masterpiece?”Today, I’m not going to hide anymore. I’m not going to walk around with my eyes down and silently mutter “sorry” to every car that tailgates me in my Prius. I’m not going to apologize, either with words or actions, if I haven’t truly done anything wrong.
So how did I do with this challenge?
Well, this morning, my close friend, and coworker, asked what I’ve been up to. I told her about my writing.
I never tell people about my writing.
Surprisingly, she told me how much she admired that I could write, as she couldn’t imagine having the drive to write more than a short email, let alone a book. So, by opening up this (very significant) part of myself, I deepened a friendship and received some helpful feedback.
Thus, my challenge to you, my dear friend, is to do something today, no matter how big or small, to express an essential part of yourself that you often keep hidden. I would especially love hearing about your experiences, if you feel comfortable doing so. No worries if you don’t come across this post five days or five years after I’ve written it. It’s never too late to challenge yourself!
If you happen to be one of the people who leave no aspect of yourself unseen, then I truly admire your courage, and I hope you might share your wisdom!
*It might go without saying, but I’m going to add this anyway, as a reminder to myself. It takes more than just one day to banish a habit of hiding. The point is to challenge yourself, every day, until living authentically no longer becomes a challenge.
To living fearlessly and passionately,