Are YOU up for a challenge?

 

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,

Adelie

 

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29 thoughts on “Are YOU up for a challenge?

  1. I can be an introvert too and like to hide or just hang out I’m small groups. It doesn’t keep me from doing anything that I want to though. I have always been a champion to the underdog and can’t stand a bully! My daughter was bullied in junior high and I almost put her in therapy because of what she suffered. She is fine now as a teacher and doesn’t allow that behavior I’m her classes. She will call a kid out for it and they don’t do it in her presence. Her kids love her. Good Luck you deserve as much as anyone!

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    • Thank you so much for reading and for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful and encouraging response. Yes, bullying is truly an unnecessary suffering, and I think it still exists because in the younger years, we have trouble imagining what consequences our actions will have in the long-term. Your daughter is truly blessed to have such a strong and inspirational mother, and it’s awesome that she’s doing her part to prevent it as well. Your ethics and strength of character were a wonderful model to follow, and now her children are able to learn from it as well! Once again, I really appreciate this lovely comment!

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  2. Very nice article and picture. I love the ending which ties in perfectly to the beginning. And yes, I can sympathize, I have spent majority of my life living in someone else’s skin not mine. Or actually in anybody’s else but mine. It was only when I started to love my own skin (not literally) that I started to live and love life 🙂

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    • Your comment brought a wonderful smile to my face, Ubecute. It’s nice to know that we’ve shared a similar story, and even more inspirational to know that you’ve found a way past it all. They always say that self acceptance is the first step… 🙂 You’re truly inspirational and have such wonderful energy!

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  3. Adelie- my unsolicited two cents, maybe three. 🙂

    Never apologize for who you are. Walk with your head held high. It doesn’t matter if another person likes you as long as you can say you like the person you’ve become.

    I like the idea of what asking how I can make each day a masterpiece. Life is short so why not live it art-fully. Dana

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    • Dana! Thank you so much for reading and sharing your two cents, which are truly priceless to me. You share wonderful wisdom and insight. In fact, I’m going to print your words out and post them near my computer as a daily reminder to live differently. I’m always sincerely grateful when you leave such wonderful words, as they are always very encouraging and inspiring. I hope all is well, Dana!

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    • Welcome, Pattisj! I’m sincerely grateful you wondered on over here, and I’m really glad you enjoyed the post. I find that life is much more fulfilling when we decide to challenge ourselves. Again, thank you so much for reading!

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  4. That’s a strong change you’re going for, and a very admirable one at that! I think my natural obliviousness and tendency to live mostly in my head has saved me from being very self-conscious. I don’t know if people are looking at me or not, so I just kind of do what I want. (This does lead to some embarrassing moments, but—again—I can let it go). Like you, I never really told anyone about my writing, and although my blog is not a secret, I don’t really mention it very often. If there’s one thing I want to change, it’s to get an idea for a book (or several) down and start seriously working on at least one of them. I don’t really care how long it takes, but I want to write something substantial and have it published. And that’s my goal.

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    • Hello, Hala J! Thank you so much for reading this and for sharing your thoughts. I think we all have embarrassing moments, but I believe they stick more with the self-conscious type. That’s an awesome goal you have, and I think it’s very beneficial that you don’t care how long it takes. I think many people (myself included) get excited about our goals to the point where we try to make it happen at any cost, possibly too quickly. You’re taking your time, and I think that the quality of your work is going to reflect that!

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  5. Good for you, Adelie! And for what it’s worth, I don’t think it is ridiculous to be self-conscious after having been bullied. But I do think it is very brave to recognize what you are doing and choosing to make a conscious change. Again – good for you, Adelie!

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    • Thank you so much for reading and for the lovely support and encouragement! My intention is that after consistently challenging myself, it’ll become second nature at some point! I really appreciate your kindness!

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  6. What a beautiful challenge. It resonated so much. I have no idea why old class mates’ words stick with us but I feel this is a common conundrum. Wow that’s amazing you go jogging first thing, what a great habit. To reveal a part of myself a brilliant thing to mull over. Going to let you know how I get on!

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    • Thank you so much for reading and for the lovely response, Lita! Yes, it’s difficult to roll out of a warm bed in the morning and go running, but I’ve never regretted it. It gives me the time to set my intentions for the day. I can’t wait to hear about your challenge! 🙂

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      • You have encouraged me to go back to good habits! Will let you know how I get on. I think the more I have been on WP the more I open up. It is a wonderful community and every time I have opened up I have received double the joy in the response. Your comments are as beautiful as your posts Adelie. 😀

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  7. Pingback: Perhaps It’s My Perception That Needs Tiding Up | Properly Ridiculous

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