|Quote by Carrie Bradshaw (but let’s forgive that).|
My day started off with some serious messaging with a close friend of mine. She is quite passionate, outspoken and opinionated especially when it comes to women’s issues (no wonder we get along). The problem for her and I is that sometimes our loved ones can try to quiet us down ‘for our own good.’
Social media is a place where we can blurt thoughts as quickly as we can speak them but unlike in a one-on-one conversation you don’t have to worry about that ‘fly on the wall’ who overheard everything. Unfortunately (or fortunately) for people like us, the internet is a stadium full of flies with photographic memories, excellent record keeping and their own internal biases. Soapboxes swarmed, we find ourselves defending our opinions to the death.
It’s completely understandable that people who care about us may not want to see us dealing with a backlash of comments, replies, frustration and de-friending. Some people are intensely private- I get it because I used to be one of those people- and it freaks them out to imagine swatting at all those opinionated little flies. We look like people on fire but if we didn’t use our voices we would burn up on the inside….And that feels much worse.
When I shared my experience with Post Natal Depression it’s no secret that even my own Mother was uncomfortable. She didn’t understand why I couldn’t just write in a journal. No doubt it was her first instinct to shield and protect me but because of my own vulnerabilities and insecurities it made me feel like she thought I was doing something wrong. I know she was just being a Mom.
When I pushed publish on that first post I felt sick. It was completely out of my comfort zone, sharing my weaknesses with perfect strangers. But you know what? In exposing the worst of me, I was able to air it all out, heal old wounds and become stronger than I had ever imagined. Real strength, not just a projection of strength that would short circuit whenever I was alone.
Removing my filter of ‘perfection’ I was able to make more genuine connections with friends both old and new and I’ve been able to be more honest in my day-to-day life, something I’ve long admired in bold and outspoken people.
I used to care too much about what everyone thought of me. Don’t get me wrong, I still care tremendously but if you’re not on board I’m okay with that too.