One of the things I’m trying to work on is speaking up.
Now, if you’ve ever met me you know I’m not afraid to talk. According to my mama, I’ve been talking since I figured out how to string two words together. My elementary school teachers tried to keep me quiet by moving my seat—that did NOT work. Long story short, I’ll talk to anybody.
But talking and speaking up are two different things.
Speaking up means voicing your opinions. Speaking up means sharing your feelings. Speaking up means calling out people or behaviors that are wrong.
I haven’t always done that.
As a kid, I was expected to stay in a child’s place and not question the adults in my life. In middle school, I told a boy that I liked him and he humiliated me in from of my entire class. In high school, after an emotionally abusive boyfriend hurt himself right in front of me, I was told not to say anything about it. Instances like these occurred in college and my adult life too. Honestly, there were many times I silenced myself because I was worried people wouldn’t like me.
But no more.
We only have one life to live, and I’m tired of not speaking my truth. This newfound desire to speak out has made me uncomfortable—especially at work. But these are just growing pains.
My opinions and feelings are valid. My voice is important. It’s time to speak.