Being Uncomfortable Inspires Me
I once asked a friend why he didn’t like to talk about how his sister’s death made him feel. His honest answer reveals why we are friends, but it also leaves a lingering feeling inside of me. Simply put, it makes him uncomfortable, and he doesn’t like to be uncomfortable. I can’t argue with him. I don’t like to be uncomfortable either.
In fact, it is because I have been so uncomfortable living silently in the face of my experiences that I write and speak up. What happened for me is eventually I realized that I had lived most of my life uncomfortable. For I have found that as uncomfortable as talking about something is, living with its reality silently inside of me, ultimately is worse.
Luckily for me I live in a country where I have the freedom and opportunity to speak up. The last time I found so much joy and power in speaking up was in college, where I learned how to do it fairly and with conviction. At that time of course, I didn’t face the same audiences as I do now. My audience were also people who were there to learn something. I wonder if it was our joint venture in “learning” that allowed us to have a safe space to speak and hear one another’s perspectives.
Sadly, it has been my recent experience that sharing my voice and my experiences not only makes others uncomfortable, but it also has brought to my attention that people freely ask me to stop posting because it makes them uncomfortable. And it is at this moment that I realize that those very words inspire my next post.
I would like to share that it makes me uncomfortable to know that I live among so many neighbors and friends who choose to remain silent and private. Now, you have the right to do so. I see. And that is the beauty of our country. We are both right.
Getting older has its benefits and drawbacks, no doubt. The benefit of time has given me reflection. It’s very clear to me that when I was young I woke up every morning inspired, if at all, by play, friends, entertainment and wonder. As I became a young adult I transitioned to being inspired every morning by the prospect of learning something new or meeting someone wonderful.
And I still remember my favorite years, and those were the ones where I woke up each morning inspired by my own young children and the excitement and wonder I saw in their eyes each morning as they too were inspired by play and mystery. More and more each day I watch my children wake up inspired, if at all, by the prospect of living their own lives.
So what inspires me today? Using my voice does. And I have so much to say, for I have been silent for so long. Looking back, I can trace my intentions and output clearly to not only living for myself, but also living for others. And that is what I intend to keep doing. I will keep waking up each day and doing what inspires me.