As 2013 comes to an end, I succumb to the old cliché of looking back on the year. And what a year it was. So many changes. And I am not just referring to getting married, which incidentally was the easiest transition to slide into.
One of my favorite songs of the year is "Brave" by Sara Bareilles. The song about having the courage to stop holding your tongue in fear of what others may think sort of became my anthem for 2013.
As I grow into my 30s, I have become unapologetic for who I am and for how I feel. I finally trust my feelings. Who knew that would be such a challenge? If something bothers me, I have the courage to speak up. If something or someone doesn't feel right, it's usually for a reason that ends up revealing itself. As obvious as this all seems, I struggled with this for most of my life. As a former people-pleaser, I was always that person who kept my mouth shut especially with friends, reducing my feelings as petty drama. The 30-year-old me calls bullshit.
My wedding was a big turning point for me; new friends impressed me with their genuine concern for me on what is considered a big day; and a few old friends, well proved to be just that, old friends. Insulting my in-laws by assuming they were stupid for not speaking perfect English, stopping my French friends from doing special things for me because that is "not how it is done in America", complaining that their beds that my sister-in-law and I made for them were uncomfortable, and telling me that my wedding day was not about me was enough evidence, forcing me to look closer.
I had a choice to make: Speak up with the hopes of reaching a resolution (maybe there was an explanation?), or hold it in which inevitably would result in me talking about it behind their backs, because let's be honest, it's one or the other. We're not robots, we need to purge our emotions. Because I deemed them as true friends who deserved honesty as well as not wanting to be a portrait of my past, I spoke up.
I got deleted on Facebook.
As uncomfortable as speaking up was, I still don't regret it. It taught me that a true friend will allow you to speak the truth, not try to manipulate you by pulling at random, irrelevant facts, getting other people involved, and deleting you on Facebook just to desperately prove that your feelings are wrong. In a world where everyday we are building our acceptance and tolerance of others, how is it that some of us cannot accept the views of others without shaming them?
2013 introduced me how to be brave and to speak my mind. 2014 will solidify it.
Have you ever been forced to be brave?