Hush. Don’t be so loud.
Blend in to the background, fade away. Make yourself small. Not just physically small – after all, you really are too large – but emotionally small.
Be seen and not heard. (Make sure you are pretty enough for us to look at.)
Keep your voice down.
Don’t stand out.
No More Silence. No More.
Looking back, 2016 was a strange, strange year for me. I was outspoken and silent, all at the same time. I don’t think I’ve ever bottled up so many things I wanted to say in my adult life.
I’ve been asking myself why over the past few weeks. So many questions, they all come back to that one.
Why am I doing the things I am doing, when they are exactly the opposite of what I say that I value the most?
Why am I not sharing my story? The parts that I know need to be heard, even if they are uncomfortable for people? Heart disease? Depression? Death?
Why am I being so quiet?What are you being quiet about? Are you making yourself small? Are you hiding your vulnerability? Click To Tweet
We just returned home from weeks on the road – visiting my parents for the holidays, and then heading to see Mike’s family for his mother’s memorial service.
Hours in the car gave me time to think, without the distraction of social media, the usual noise in my day.
I’ve been loud on social media. Outspoken about the issues of the day. Yet when I stop and think about the life that I want to live, does that behavior fit in to it? No. It doesn’t.
I tell myself I need to be online for work. I do, but not for hours at a time. It eats in to the things I want to get done for ME.
When I’m on Facebook or Instagram, it means I’m not reading the stack of books that are here waiting for me.
I’m not writing.
I’m not creating. I’m not taking photographs, or knitting, or learning to paint. (I really want to learn how to paint.)
It isn’t just social media though. Really, for the past year, it has been a bit of everything. I’ve been tired. Fatigued. Depressed. I want to play it down and point out that it hasn’t been all bad, I’ve done a number of amazing things, but I look around and see so many things that have been left undone.
I’m not doing the things that I say matter to me. The things I truly love, like teaching, creating, writing.
I’ve been quiet.
This is my line in the sand, to say no more. The only problem with that? Sand moves with the wind, and I want it to be far more permanent than that. I crave getting back to the real me.
I am loud.
You know it when I walk in the room.
I do not back down.
I am not willing to play small.
I seek adventure & knowledge.
I am curious, and I want to know as much as I can.
I want to share who I am with you. More than anything.
I’m ready to step out of the darkness of the past year.
For the past several years, I’ve come up with a Word of the Year. (Curious about finding yours? Read more on Vivid & Brave.)
In the muck and mire that was December 2016, I felt like I simply could not see it. I kept seeking, and I couldn’t find the word.
On a rare visit to Facebook during the trip, I saw my friend Amy Boring had posted that she would assign us a word if we left a comment.
Amy & I had had a marathon call a few weeks earlier, lasting hours and talking about so many things. While I don’t normally feel that someone else can find your word, I felt so lost I had to give it a chance. I asked for a word.
It is perfect. The word that I could not find was in plain sight, and she could see it.
I am releasing myself from expectations that are completely unrealistic.
I am releasing you from the unrealistic expectations I have for you as well.
Mike & I are being released from his current job, as he took a voluntary severance package after 17 years.
We are released in to the unknown of his future employment.
We are released from the job that has us tethered to Houston. (We can choose to go somewhere new.)
I am released from being quiet.
I am released from being small.
I am released to be bold, vivacious, curious.
I am released.
I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for us.