Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year Freedom

"When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it."
~A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

How often does this happen to you? You say something and it sounded good in your head....but out there it comes across as something completely different.

I worry about this possibly much more than I should. I was told once that no one cares as much about the things you say as you do. But how do you know for sure when you feel like you just verbally threw up in front of someone? How do you ever know what impacts someone or simply flies by with little concern?

I have a friend who remembers (hurtfully) something I said to her in junior high. I guess I made a passing weight remark and she can still recall it vividly. I don't remember it at all and she was my best friend. I'm ashamed that I hurt her and didn't even know it. She forgave me,we were never not friends, but that's not the point: I hurt her.

She and I are very similar now in weighing our words, often obsessing after a social event over what could have been taken the wrong way or been offensive. And usually when I follow up with someone, ask if I stepped out of line or insulted, I'm given an "absolutely not" reply and a warm smile.

Yet there are those people who say what they mean and mean what they say no matter what. Some have the filter ability to keep it in check and some spew it like an exorcism.  I look at them with both envy and horror. I'd love to speak my mind more, tell people EXACTLY how I feel when I feel it. And then I cringe at the awkwardness and discomfort that can follow.

What I'd love is that perfect middle ground. That place where you can be straightforward and honest without being rude, hurtful or even ridiculous. With age I'm finding it a bit easier to navigate but I still stumble. I still miss that opportunity to stand up for myself or find I'm pulling my foot out of my mouth (even if the friendly smile is telling me otherwise).

I have a really hard time controlling my words with my ex-husband. I try so hard but he just has a way of making me see red and the sharp tongue comes out. Then there's my sarcastic sense of humor not everyone "gets."

So as I posted last year I don't make a New Year resolutions. What I do is think about what my goals are between now and January 1st 2014.  I didn't quite get them accomplished this past year so some are the same. But in many of them it will require me to be strong, outspoken and my own advocate. Say what I mean and mean what I say, as long as I think about it first. There are people that pull me forward and those that pull me back. Can I say which are which? Can I pull that plug?

I'll let you know in a year.

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