Sunday, July 1, 2012

Yeah, Okay, Uh-Huhs...

I've written before about my tendency to be a people pleaser, my need to create harmony, to bring order to chaos.  Sometimes it's a strength, sometimes it has a large shadow-side.

As I wrote a week ago I took my first road trip.  I am 25, and hours after my summer vacation started I loaded up my car, picked up my best friend and hit the road.

Side Note (in case you aren't a regular reader, or don't know me very well):  I also love, no crave and need, organization.  I love to plan.  When I run errands I make a list of where I'm going and typically follow that order pretty closely.

A big part of this trip, for me, was letting go of my need to control, to organize, to plot and plan.  So, hitting the road I tried not to plan out everything we would do, every site we would see.  My hope was that if something looked interesting, we would go there, if it didn't we would skip it.  Now that's not to say there weren't certain things we had planned, one night we had a hotel reserved ahead of time.

A majority of the time we were trying to go day by day.  At one particular moment in our trip my friend     turned to me and said "You know, you're saying a lot of yeah, okay, uh-huhs... what do YOU want to do."

I was a little taken aback.  I was trying to be flexible, but I was getting frustrated at the lack of planning, and she was getting frustrated with my passivity.  I needed to learn to share my opinion without fear of what people would think of me when I shared it.

How often in life do I do this?  Not share an idea, or an opinion for fear of what will come next?  Of what peoples reactions will be?  All the time... that's what I realized.  In meetings, I stay quiet, or try to not to voice my opinion to forcefully.

But the lesson I now know I need to learn?  I need to learn to express myself.  My opinions.  My ideas. And feel safe, supported, and not-judged in the process.  I need to learn that expressing my opinion doesn't come with negative consequences.  Sometimes, I might not be heard.  But it will be okay.  And sometimes, I will be heard and that's okay too.  But more importantly I will be okay.  No matter what I say.

I didn't say I'd learned the lesson.  But I have acknowledged that it needs to be learned.  It will be a long process.  But one that I've taken the first step to achieving.  I hope.

Remember, there are always things in life that can wait. 
But the word keeps spinning. 
 The sun will rise, the days goes on. 
Many things can wait, but The Sunset Won't.

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