I realize, my dear and loyal follower, that it has been an obscenely long time since I have posted anything. Over the past day, though, I have been revisiting advice once given to me. I’m glad that it popped up in my mind because it became forcibly needed this evening.
At the age of seventeen, I was odd, surprisingly quiet, and very unsure of myself. After having my opinions suppressed and thoughts disregarded for years by many in my life (from friends to family to boyfriends) I, without even noticing, second-guessed everything I said. All of my jokes, statements, questions, etc. ended in phrases like “I guess,” “I mean, I don’t know,” “nevermind,” or (the worst) “I’m sorry.” Again, I didn’t even realize I did this. At the same age, seventeen, I began my first official job at a chain pizza buffet greeting customers and managing the cash register. I had a manager there who I really bonded with, we had a similar sense of humor and taste in things like books and music. One day, after having given an innumerable amount of disclaimers as I did, he looked up at me and said “Why do you do that?”
I genuinely had no clue what he was referring to, so he explained it to me. Then he told me the following: “Emily, don’t second-guess your opinions or your thoughts. They are yours to have, own them! Never apologize for what you believe, and don’t ever ever apologize for how you feel.”
I didn’t know at the time, but this turned out to be some of the most valuable counsel I ever received.
So whatever you’re going through, remember that your voice and what you have to say matters. It doesn’t matter if you have a fourth grade education or a PhD, high-income or low-income, race, gender, gender identification, sexual orientation, political stance, religious affiliation, country of origin, social status — none of it matters. You are important in this world and what you say matters. Say what you feel and think, stand behind it, because your voice is yours for the owning.
Obviously there is power in this realization and with power comes the potential for corruption. So yes, absolutely stick to how you think and believe and feel, but don’t assume you’re always correct in that. Hitler stuck to his guns, that doesn’t mean they were the right guns. Sometimes how we think needs adjusting and what we say should’ve been said differently: embrace those opportunities to grow as much or more than your ability to form and hold an opinion.
All for now,