Have you ever discovered something about yourself and then wondered how long it took you to notice it? It's kind of obnoxious because you're not sure if it's a new development or a life-long trait that somehow you've just always missed.
In the last month or so I've noticed that I censor myself. A lot. But I'm not sure I like it.
Let me get something straight - I tend to have very strong opinions. That probably comes as quite a shock to a lot of people, since I'm not really one to voice them very often (more on that later) but when it comes to the things I believe, political, spiritual, logical . . . grammatical . . . ecumenical . . . Jack Sparrow-ical . . . I believe them quite fiercely. (especially things grammatical and Jack Sparrow-ical, lol) I don't pretend to know everything or be infallible, and given good enough reason to I'll change my mind. But that doesn't often happen - mostly because people don't try to change my mind. I'm pretty sure that's because they generally assume I agree with them since I don't say otherwise.
Anyway, lately . . . well, I'm sure it's been going on for ages, but like I said, I'm just noticing it . . . I've been noticing more and more expressing opinions as if they're absolute truth. No room for discussion. Anyone who disagrees is not only wrong, but a moron. Sometimes I agree (with the opinion, not so much the sentiment it's expressed with) and sometimes I don't. But I never say anything either way.
I also spend a lot of time reading articles from . . . well, pretty much anywhere. I see a headline that interests me somewhere, and a few dozen clicks later I've discovered things I had no idea about and I feel like I could hold my own in a conversation about topic X - or at least bluff my way through one. With a lot of them, I want to put links to them here, or post them on facebook. But I never do.
I can't pinpoint the whys, wherefores, or origins of it beyond the ridiculously vague "childhood" but there is something so ingrained into my psyche that I'm just now even able to acknowledge it - don't make waves. Don't cause trouble. Don't draw attention to yourself. Keep the peace at all costs. Disagreement = very, very bad.
There's a growing part of me that really doesn't like this . . . I'll call it brainwashing. I couldn't identify the brain-washer, but that's what it seems like. Why shouldn't I be able to state my thoughts along with everyone else? Why shouldn't I be "allowed" to debate things with other people and try to start discussions with them? What's wrong with that?
On the other hand, I kind of don't dare. While this is my blog, and that means I get to post whatever I want . . . well, I've said it before - blogging is pretty much the most blatant way to beg for attention known to man. And I'll admit, I like knowing people are reading my blog. And I attach waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more importance on how many comments any given post generates than I should. And - most importantly, in this case - I know I've lost at least a couple of readers. I don't know why, so I'm assuming they didn't like what I was writing . . . and assuming that's right, I could probably narrow it down to three or four posts as the one that potentially led to the clicking of the "unfollow" button. It's beyond pathetic, but I've wanted to be one of the "popular kids" since about 3rd grade. More pathetically, having a follower list in the high teens is the most popular I've ever been. So I'm probably going to regret this, but . . .
I quit. I'm not going to keep quiet anymore. I'm going to do my best to challenge people and make them think. I'm going to make it known what I think is right and if someone says something so misguided or ill-informed that I want to scream, I'm going to say something. Nicely, of course . . . I hope. Tone of voice is so easily misconstrued online. Don't get me wrong, neither my blog or my facebook page is going to turn into some socio-religio-political crusade, especially considering that, as I've said, I don't get most of what's going on in the world anyway. But things will be popping up here and there. I will be depressed if (when?) my follower list or friends list drops. But generally speaking, I think I'll feel better about myself.
P. ost S. cript
Guaranteed to lighten any mood? The Swedish Chef. He is awesome. That is all.