I’ve been feeling frustrated lately for not being able to speak my mind. Or rather, not choosing to do so.
You see, thank God I live in a free country and have the ability to say how I feel, when I want to and how I want to.
But I often don’t, because I’m too afraid of other people’s reactions.
I don’t want to hurt others, make them feel uncomfortable, lose business, be yelled at, or simply be misunderstood.
So I refrain from expressing my full identity.
And it comes with a price.
We are conditioned to be good citizens, to say please and thank you, to treat others as we’d like to be treated.
Throughout our whole lives, we learn to behave according to societal norms. I have always considered that normal and even desirable.
Growing up in a world where the internet plays a huge role has accelerated my good girl behavior. Reputation is everything, even more now that I have my own business which I run online 95% of the time.
I find myself constantly holding back, being polite, smiling with every message and wrapping any dissatisfaction in a cushion of hospitality. I’m starting to feel like a Qantas Air stewardess!
And I say bullshit.
I want to wear my heart on my sleeve again like I did years ago.
So I’m gonna shake things up a bit. Whether you like it or not: here’s what I have to say right now.
Venting to Express My Identity
To Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil: you’re the sexiest man alive.
To the pesky accountant trying to win my business over and over again: fuck off.
To my Skype friend: you have no idea how much I adore you.
To my Chilean friends: you have no idea how much I miss you.
To my parents: hey, I have guys as friends. THAT’S OK.
To my grandfather: I’m sorry for not visiting you enough and so grateful you’re still alive.
To my aunt: you’re stupid for not letting me see my cousin.
To my cousin: I want to pay you a surprise visit.
To my mother-in-law: you should tell the truth before it’s too late.
To my laptop: please live forever.
To the hospital: I’m terrified of the future.
To the future kid: will you ever come into our lives?
To Chris Brogan: I respect you, but you don’t own Google+.
To a lot of people: you’re so fake.
To Google Analytics: I check you more often than my inbox.
To the phone: after all these years, using you still scares the shit out of me sometimes.
To the emo kids: I’m jealous of you all.
To the Lord: I’m a bad Christian.
Quit Your Whining, Aerie
You’ve held back enough. Stop being afraid of hurting others, of making them angry or losing your professional image. Start saying every word you think, every frustration you feel.
Truly express who you are.
You’ll lose contacts and followers. Your neighbors may raise an eyebrow. And yes, people will hate you for stepping on their toes.
But that’s their problem.
You’ll be free.
What are you holding back? Why?