Mean what you say, but don’t make it mean

“Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt me.”

It was something we learned when we were kids to stay to as a buffer against teasing and bullying, but really words can be the most hurtful devices we have. It’s weird to think that the words we speak are so powerful, both good and bad.

Hearing my grandpa, who has been drastically sick the past week mumble a “Happy Birthday!” to me yesterday in the hospital was the most special thing I experienced on my 22nd birthday. The simple “I love you’s” can mean the world to anyone who ever has doubts.

Needless to say our words pack a punch. That being said when I was younger I used to let the whispers of others paralyze me, feeling that people had control over me and conforming to what they thought was cool was what I had to do to fit in, or I would say nothing at all as to not look uncool in their eyes. Luckily for me, I never let my grades slip or let doing what I love take a back burner, I just wasn’t as proud of what I had achieved as to not look bad in the eyes of the crowd.

Recently, as I graduated college, I have still heard whispers about me, who I am, what I do, nothing of course that has been said to my face, only by good friends concerned about my well-being. The words whispered about me were so petty that it is not even worth sharing them on my blog, but what I can say is I have come leaps and bounds from the little kid who was an introvert as to not lose “coolness.” As a friend reached out to me, all I had to do was laugh and smile. In that moment I realized I know who I am, I know what makes me happy, I know what I have a passion for, and maybe some people can’t stand that and need to tear that down.  Just maybe my life that I have given a purpose is seen with envy by people who may not know where their life is headed. Who knows why people say the mean things they do, but they still do and maybe always will.

But I sat with my friend and laughed seeing concern in her eyes, and I simply said, I know who I am. I am happy with who I am and there should never be ashamed of anything.  I am an open book ready to share my life with those who are interested. I am no longer a little boy scared into shyness feeling he has to hide what he loves in order to impress the crowd.

I am my own leader of my own crowd. I don’t need followers because I appreciate everyone’s individual path, and all I ask is that people respect mine.  I am an open book and what you see is what you get, there is no need to doubt me, my character, my passion or my love.

So mean what you say, say what you mean, but do not make it mean.

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