The raindrops are pattering against the window as we move about the house under the gray winter sky. Rain. If I didn’t see it for myself, I wouldn’t really believe it. The roads are wet and slushy and our snowman’s head looks more like a skull under the leopard print hat.
Rain. It is out of place. The winter’s sounds do not include the pattering that drowns out the quiet. The world is still covered in snow, but it is not the brilliant white snow of winter. It is the dingy snow that spring wears before the green grows out of it. Except there’s still two feet of snow.
When it freezes tonight, the world will glisten, like a newly frozen lake. Shiny ice, that will make you tumble to the ground when you least expect it. It makes everything feel tentative. Unpredictable.
There are so many aspects of life where I feel like I am stepping out onto the newly frozen, shiny ice. My steps are hesitant, slow. Careful. So different than my regular steps that quicken when I am in a hurry, that evoke confidence. Or that slow, purposefully, in order to examine and drink in the beauty that surrounds me.
When I was young, I never slowed down, and I was rarely careful. I missed out on the beauty and I slipped, fell and picked myself up a lot. The falling didn’t intimidate me then. I had that idealistic confidence in myself and my beliefs. I argued my points, and probably didn’t stop to listen to the counter-points. I probably offended some people without meaning to, and without noticing.
It seems like the older I get the more tentative I become. It began in college–when another person had the gall to disagree with me. The nerve of some people! Suddenly, my confidence was shaken, though. (Even though the professor took my side in the argument.) It might have been the way I was attacked in front of complete strangers, in a new class, by a complete stranger, but it changed the course of my life forever. And I let it. After that encounter, I didn’t participate in class. I didn’t share my views. I was scared that I was wrong, and I was also scared that I couldn’t defend my position. I still carry around that fear. If I don’t know all aspects of an issue, I don’t share what is in my heart.
Even when I have strong opinions I stay closed lipped around most people. I don’t like to argue a point, and I don’t want to offend. I truly believe that everyone has a right to their own beliefs and opinions. If I don’t agree, I am probably not going to talk them into believing what I believe. Furthermore, if I let them know what my belief is, then this somehow opens the door for them to try and sway me to their way of thinking. This is one of the reasons it was difficult for me to begin to comment on other people’s blogs, and even more difficult to begin my own blog.
I have been thinking a lot about being tentative lately. And about taking more risks. One of which is to be myself in all areas of my life. To be comfortable in my own skin. As well as to be okay with people disagreeing with me and vice versa.
Since I have started blogging, I have been introduced to many more blogs. I am so impressed with the amount of confidence that comes through. I still don’t want to offend anyone, but I am thinking that having a different view of the world shouldn’t really be offensive to anyone. But, I also believe that the power of the opinions that I have been reading is that they do not attack other points of view. They just state what they, themselves, believe. Maybe that is the key.
I am not sure how to make this change in my life. It has become part of who I am to remain on the sidelines and avoid being questioned. How do I bring that quickened pace back into all aspects of my life. I should be walking that way most of the time, not just when I walk with my husband or my good friends. And, let me be clear, I do argue my points with them. I question their beliefs and defend my own. But I also don’t question their most intimate beliefs. I may have not have the same beliefs, but I don’t try and tell them not to have theirs. Is it possible that it is because I know that they love me and won’t judge me if I turn out to be wrong that I can take that risk?
What do you think about this topic? Many of you ooze confidence and have no problem stating your opinions, respectfully. Have you ever been attacked because of your bravery in sharing this part of yourselves? Do you obsess about those attacks? Or, are you able to take them with a grain of salt? Do you move through your lives at a quickened pace despite the thin film of ice on the sidewalk? Or do you hesitate and take careful, slow steps so you don’t fall down?
PS. I am NOT really talking about politics here, even though after I re-read this it seems like I am. And, I suppose politics could be one area where you share and defend your beliefs so it is a valid part of this discussion. I just had my mind on other things.