I am more than one thing. I am multifaceted. I am multi-passionate. I can be a happy person, but feel sadness. I can be kind, but not be a pushover. I can be loving, but still maintain healthy boundaries. I can be the girl-next door, but still have an edge.
Why am I telling you this?
Because I think we are all this way. We are all multiple things. Can you describe yourself in one word? Probably not. Me either. But I think our society wants to keep us in a box – keep us labeled so they know how to categorize us.
I have felt like this in so many ways, in so many circumstances. Like society wants to know if I’m black or white, when really, I’m many shades of grey, or bright colors, or whatever.
I think in a lot of ways I have perpetuated this too. I’ve put forth what I feel like others expect of me for most of my life. But I vowed this year to rebel from unnecessary constraints – to walk, no RUN, from living in what I call “the safe zone.” – The place where I do, say, and act the way I think others expect me to.
Man, its easier said than done. I’ve been ruffling feathers. Sometimes I’m ok with it and then sometimes I run back and try and smooth things over even though I don’t feel like I did anything wrong. Growth is like this – its messy and imperfect, but necessary. I’m not perfect, so my desire to bust through these parameters won’t be either.
I recently released a song on Youtube that I wrote called “Right Kind of Wrong.” When I wrote it, I envisioned someone else singing it because I didn’t have the guts to. Its about being a tease and leading someone on and in my mind I was terrified of what others would think of me if I sang it. Would they thing I was “naughty?” Would what I worked so hard to project of myself as being a kind, loving, compassionate person be shot to you-know-where? In retrospect, its kind of silly. Its all fear based, but it is how I felt/still sometimes feel.
But the truth is, I am more than one thing. Again, we all are. I wrote that song because it wanted to be written. It was fun to write and it was fun to sing… it still is. So why the fear?
I grew up in a VERY conservative and religious household. There was a lot of fear surrounding failing to do the “right” thing or being perceived as a “deviant.” In my adult life, some of these fears, or expectations, are still very much alive in me. Most of my life, I worked so hard to be the quintessential “good girl next door” that I thought everyone expected me to be that, now, if I feel like I am deviating from that in any way, fear washes over my entire body. Like chills, sweats, shaking….
Like the Rachel Platten song, Lone Ranger, “I’m much less brave than I admit, much more scared than they all think.”
Or maybe being brave is admitting that I am scared and moving forward anyway…
I guess this is my coming out and saying that I want to make the music/the art/the life that I want to make. And while I am open to other’s opinions, I’m not going to let them dictate what I do, how I live, or what I create and how I create it. I have to be myself… and that means expressing myself. Whatever that looks like.
I always want to be kind, compassionate, loving… but I can do that while still being me.
Cheers to being scared and moving forward anyway!