Beyond the Blank Page

My Journey to Telling the Untold

Changing in the Face of Fear

This has been, and continues to be, a year of discovery for me. Discovery of who I am. Discovery of who my real friends are – the ones that don’t forget me and the ones that respect and accept my potentially different beliefs or views. Discovery of the fact that sometimes we must distance ourselves from those we love when all they do is hurt us, but that we also have to weigh the potential pain the future may hold if we regret the time we lost with them. These discoveries have also made this a year of change. Good changes. Bad changes. Changes that may not be noticeable to others.

It’s amazing to me how many things, how much effort, has to go into becoming who you really are. It seems like it should just come naturally, and maybe that’s why I have just waited expectantly. I thought finding myself would just happen. It turns out that “finding oneself” is really more discovering who you want to be and what you want, and making it happen. It is a daily effort. It includes saying affirmations multiple times a day. It includes analyzing your relationships and yourself. It includes doing the things you know you love for you, not just the things you do for others. It includes tears, but it also includes joy and laughter. It includes working hard to be that person. It has been, and continues to be, one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But you know what? It is also one of the easiest, and certainly one of the most rewarding.

I had grown so tired of being judged, forgotten, and ignored. Just because I’m quiet, doesn’t mean I don’t exist. Just because I’m a Christian, doesn’t mean that I agree with judging others or comparing sins, and it doesn’t automatically make me a conservative. I have sat by quietly, hiding these hurts and my “liberal” beliefs, that I know some won’t accept, for a very long time now. But why? If you don’t accept and respect me for who I am – whether you agree or disagree – are you really worth being in my life? This is the question I have had to ask myself over and over again, and the honest answer is “no,” but I try so hard to justify staying quiet. I have decided to work on changing that. “Roar” by Katy Perry is one of my theme songs this year, and these lyrics fit perfectly with where I have come from and where I am working on going:

I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything.

I have gone back to school with a new determination to get, at the very least, my Associates Degree. I have returned to the church that I grew up in and immediately went to a meeting on how the church is wanting to evolve over the next few years. I have started speaking up about my beliefs on subjects that I was afraid to talk about before. I started a YouTube channel a while back where I talk about books and other random geekiness. I have stepped out of my tiny shell. They may be small steps, but they are swiftly adding up.

Very soon I will be coming upon a moment that will be somewhat representative of my new ability and desire to speak up. If you know me, then you know that I’m not one to speak up very often. Soon I will be stepping out of my comfort zone and taking twice as many credits in one term as I ever have before. I plan to spend my summer making edits on my most recent NaNovel and then submitting it. This is a year of stepping up and doing the things in life that I want and need to do. The things that I have never before had the courage to do. I am excited and terrified. I feel that 2014 can be a year of moving on, moving forward, and moving up for all of us.

I’m going to leave you with the Demi Lovato cover of “Let It Go.” I think it is pretty illustrative of the process I have gone through (I tend to often relate my experiences to songs in case you hadn’t noticed yet). It’s also just a fantastic song. So, here I leave you.

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