Be it resolved: little things are the only things that change anything
Like driving a new car – fun to drive but tentatively because it’s new and I tread carefully while I learn how my bells, nobs and whistles work – don’t want to wreck it before I’ve had a chance to take it out on the highway, see how it can perform when I put my pedal to the metal.
What is my new found joy?
Speaking my mind.
Saying what I think.
Feeling content about it.
… friends will laugh – because I’ve always been outspoken, often outrageous or offensive, but really I’ve held lots back. Seems I don’t want to anymore.
Shouldn’t have. But I did. Could have done something differently, but I didn’t.
We don’t spend much time on second thoughts.
We just do stuff. Say stuff. Once we’ve hit send, left voice message or spoken ill-considered words – that’s done. No time for second thought, no point apologizing for revealing our thoughts, how we really felt. Lately I’m hesitating less before hitting send, reacting more firmly (albeit less loudly) when someone says something with which I take umbrage.
And I’m taking umbrage more often, not less – more strongly, not less. More effectively, not less. I’ve rarely been tongue-tied but this is different. I used to self-muzzle, self-edit in a strategic (I thought) way. There is a new freedom at work, I’m getting a grip on these reigns.
Careful though, you might find consequences you don’t intend.
What I mean – to reduce to a few words – is releasing myself from that notion it is wise to speak strategically, interject thoughtfully and avoid rocking someone else’s boat if I can avoid doing so. My critics and those I’ve wounded along the way will say I’ve hurt them without thinking about the consequences of my words beforehand. Yes, there are some cases like that – but I think I’ve been far more often one to bite my tongue, not saying what ought to be said or what I’ve been inclined to say because I was worried about those very consequences.
Well, not so much of that anymore …
We make more blunders and faux pas moves as we get older – and I don’t think it is because we are losing it; conversely, I think it is because we get it. Sure, we irritate people sometimes and we saw some things which could just as easily have gone unsaid, but too late, we said it. Did it. Felt it. Meant it. Immediately after we mutter to ourselves that this might have been one of those ‘should have kept my mouth shut’ moments, but we didn’t. And we need to be OK with that.
The older we get, the less time we have to do what we’ve always avoided or postponed.
Don’t postpone speaking with a stranger.
Don’t avoid smiling at someone you are attracted to.
Don’t miss any good chance to speak your mind, to make a difference.
Sometimes, barely a discernible difference in one person’s life about one little thing.
Sometimes, a really large difference for someone they’ll never forget and might just thank you.
Some little gesture won’t change the world (or someone’s world).