Self expression is hard; even for me, who tries to practice it daily in this blog. Sometimes, I feel a bit oppressed—by an invisible force that quiets the things I really want to say. Sometimes, this invisible force is (blessedly) common sense. Other times, this invisible force is just a big fat liar, telling me to keep it down in case someone doesn’t like me.
I mean, there are plenty of people who probably don’t like me and nothing I say will change their minds.
My kids sometimes struggle with this as well—school is tough, no matter how secure and well liked you are. Small towns, even though wonderful, can be hard, too. You could find yourself in the midst of an audience of people that might not fully understand you or embrace you.
I know that I sometimes stifle my truest self as a fitting in mechanism. I see my kids doing it too, so I try to celebrate them when I see them being bold. Nicholas—the classic politician and people pleaser who lives and breathes sports—also adores dancing and singing and acting. When he boldly shares his love of musical theater with his sports pals, I am so proud of him. He does this even when other boys have told him only girls dance. His audience is not always entirely receptive; but he is, in his way, teaching them to be.
I know that’s a little thing. But our stories are collective. I hope someday when Nicholas finds himself on the opposite side—the non-receptive audience—he remembers his own story and applies it in a universal way, receiving someone who differs from him with love and acceptance.
For me, I am not sure what parts of my story I will rewrite text. But, I do know that writing in Yoke every single day gives me a chance to figure that piece out.