I Stand Behind My Perspective
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I stand here today to share with you why I’m here. Why I’ve chosen to write about myself and my perspective on life.
I never quite understood the purpose behind blogs or sharing personal life stories online. I didn’t think people cared enough to read about or follow along someone else’s journey.
Didn’t they have friends or family they could share their story with? Even if they didn’t, why would they want to share such personal information with complete strangers? But I’ve recently realized that these negative and judgmental thoughts weren’t about “them”, but about me.
I never thought what I had to think or say was worthwhile to anyone but myself. I didn’t have enough friends or family that I felt I could truly share my deepest thoughts with. And I was afraid to express myself to anyone that could judge me, but yet could also possibly understand and accept me. So now that I’ve come around and discovered the benefits of telling my story, I’m ready to share it because I’ve been silent for too long.
For most of my life I’ve been the quiet one. In a group of friends, family, or strangers I’m rarely the first to jump in with an anecdote, change the subject, or share anything truly personal. But I always thought this was because of my background -who I am.
I come from a loud and opinionated family, so finding opportunities to share my thoughts felt like an impossible task. Beyond answering the same questions like, “How’s school?” and “What do you want to do when you grow up?”, I rarely experienced much depth in my conversations.
This mentality then extended into the relationships with my friends. I only had a few close friends at a time, thus whenever I was in a large group setting I became passive -always the observer. It felt like everyone else had something important they needed to say, so I was patient and waited my turn. I found, and still find, that it helps to listen to other’s thoughts on a topic first. Then I can determine if what I want to contribute is useful or needed at all. But by the time I knew what I wanted to say and there was an opening to speak, the topic had usually already been changed.
Even throughout my time in school I remained silent, never raising my hand or asking questions. I didn’t want to be the one to stop the class or bother the teacher because of my inability to understand. Most of the time someone else was brave enough to ask or I eventually figured it out on my own.
It’s been this way since I was a child and has followed me into adulthood. I found myself sitting in morning meetings at work with little opportunity to share my input for improvement. Instead of speaking up and creating a space to be heard, I stayed silent. I thought that was my role -what society had come to expect of me. And for the longest time it’s what I expected of me. This passiveness was a part of my personality and provided a sense of comfortability.
Growing up I was always intrigued by the “self”, who I was, and my purpose here. I dove into astrology, numerology, and all of the other -ology’s that could help me describe and better understand myself. I felt a spark of energy ignite within me when I found information that fit with how I saw myself. It reaffirmed who I was: my strengths, my weaknesses, ways to improve upon the positives, and ways to prevent potential pitfalls. But mostly it gave me reassurance that I wasn’t different and alone.
So I took those descriptions and incorporated them into the self-image I had already created, thus I embodied the part of the “quiet observer”. I’m an introverted, deep thinker that only speaks once I’ve really thought about what I want to say -and I stand behind it. That’s my role, that’s who I am -how could I change that? My interest in psychology and philosophy led me further into this self-assigned role as I enhanced my listening skills and learned how to better observe others and the mind. I was so preoccupied with understanding the inner world that I neglected the outer one.
Looking back I can see how I placed myself in the role of the observer and never took the chance to break out of it. I stayed in my comfort zone and was content in my quiet solitude. I knew who I was and didn’t feel the need to explain it to everyone I encountered. It felt like I had a good grasp of the world and how people worked, so I was satisfied with silence.
But over the course of this past year (2020) I found myself slowly changing. I was living in a new country with a new language I couldn’t understand. While I was still able to communicate in my native language, I was struggling to become a part of group conversations. I felt how isolating it was, and not because I was silent, but because I was left out entirely. Silence was no longer a choice, it was the only option. Once the decision was made for me, I knew it wasn’t the right one.
Suddenly I was overcome with a self-sufficient spirit to finally speak up for myself and contribute to conversations. I was no longer waiting for the right people to show up and give me space so that I could share my perspective. Instead I decided to create a community for those willing to come together and provide their own perspective, myself included.
As I write this now I can clearly see how my journey has led me here. What I’ve feared my entire life is now what I need in order to grow and develop into a truer version of myself. Although I’m uncomfortable talking about myself, I hope that sharing my perspective can pass along insights to those who need it.
While I believe that we all have something to share with, thus learn from, one another, I also believe that we -as a human race- have weaponized our points of view. Instead of acknowledging the truth of others’ experiences, we’ve pitted them against each other.
I stand here not to preach and not to teach, but to show you how you can reach your truest potential. The best way to see change is to be the change. So I’ll try to lead by example, and it starts here. It starts now.
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