As the great poet Moana once said,
“The call isn’t out there at all, it’s inside me.”
I have a voice.
It is loud.
It gets louder, when I get excited.
My yoga teacher trainer said I was the only person she has ever had to tell at teacher training to dial the volume down.
My entire life I have run into people who try and dull me down for their own comfort. Or I try and get quiet and small as to follow social norms.
There are only two versions of how you feel about me. It started with grade school teachers and other adults in my childhood. Adults either loved me and found me to be hilarious or they disliked me very much. There was no inbetween.
The following things have all been said to me before:
“You need to sit down.”
“You need to stop talking.”
“Boys don’t like loud girls.”
“You need to watch your mouth.”
“Britt thinks she’s so cool because she has a blog.”
“Maybe people don’t want to hear the truth.”
“Britt needs to be humbled.”
“Maybe you share too much and it makes people uncomfortable.”
I’m not always saying teachers were mean to me, but you must remember, I have the dark gift. Children raised by addicts can become very perceptive as a survival skill. Aka no one is telling you anything because you are a kid. Yet, you know shit is going down.
So what do you do? You start watching for clues. Anastasia and I were always alert for indicators of situational disaster foreshadowing. I read body language and situations without needing to listen to the verbal cues of people like it was my job.
Oh wait, it is my job. I worked in special needs for the past 8 years. Low verbal communication skills didn’t stop me and any students from become pals. Oh and Anastasia became a nurse practitioner. What a couple of cliches we are. Did you know there are statistics that show how many nurses come from some type of childhood trauma?
You are unsure how you feel about me. I can tell. It’s okay.
Just because you don’t find it necessary to break into song in the aisles in Target, doesn’t mean I have to feel the same.
My life could quite possibly be a musical. I see that yours is not. I don’t judge you for yours being a silent black and white film where everyone dies.
This is why I have no idea why everyone is envious of youth. In my youth, what others thought of me mattered. It hurt. It often steered my behavior.
In my 20s, I was obsessed with the fact that I hadn’t become anything. I needed to become a wife. I needed to gain some type of important career that proved my worth. I needed to become a Mother. I needed to buy a home.
In my 30s, I fell in love with the realization that I didn’t need to become anything. I already was Britt.
Do I need to grow? Oh for sure.
Do I need to be of benefit to my community in some way?You bet.
Is it important to graduate from college? Education is great in all forms, but most people don’t understand that the most successful and significant people in the world know that you have to keep learning every day. You must never stop learning.
There is nothing wrong with buying a home and getting married. I support these things.
I just realized the messaging was wrong.These goals feel good to accomplish, but they still don’t create who you are. It’s not where you are going to find your sense of completion.
Who you are is beyond all the labels we collect along the way.
Personally, I look at my 30s as a gift.
Finally some sense of who I am and being comfortable not apologizing for it and then figuring out how to use my talents for good.
It makes me want to go back and put some more clothes on my 17 year old self. Then wrap her up and hug her and be like “dude don’t worry, we get there.”
Once upon a time in high school, my basketball coach was let go two weeks into my senior year. My junior year we had lost heartbreakingly in the State tournament.
My Dad had just left. My Mom never left her room.
The principal showed up to practice in his full windbreaker suit and I thought I understood murder. My entire life was falling apart and now you just got rid one of the only adults I can count on.
Game on dude.
I verbally assaulted that man in the cafeteria to the point that he took an entire tray full of lunch and hurled it at the wall in front of 100 students and the proceeded to slam things down the hallway.
I stood there and smiled with my arms crossed.
He told me I didn’t have the right to be angry. That I didn’t understand why the decision was made.
Well, that’s where you are wrong. You can disagree with me. That’s fine, but I have the right to be angry. I have the right to feel however I want. Especially because you won’t give me any information to try and understand.
People have the right to their opinion and they have the right to be heard. You don’t even have to change your course of action.
No one sat me down and said, “This is what’s going on. I know this is going to be hard for you, but you are the captain and we need your help making this transition smooth.”
I didn’t have the skills to demand to be heard or to be allowed to ask simple questions in order to understand. Therefore, I got angry.
Anger is a symptom of a lack of skill.
The sooner you understand that statement, the better a parent you will become. Your child’s anger is a lack in problem solving skills. So stop telling them to stop being angry and start helping them learn how to problem solve.
This is my problem: I have a voice. It is big. It is loud. It lurks inside me. It wants to call people on injustice. I wants to stick up for people who can’t stick up for themselves.
What I needed to do was learn how to start a conversation. How to be kind and direct. Get comfortable having hard conversations. I want to listen for information instead of projecting blame.
Use your voice.
Everything you suppress down ends up bubbling over eventually.
So I’ve decided to take off my Irish Catholic upbringing and throw it into the wind like the Easter bonnet I threw out of the station wagon because you know.. I didn’t want to wear that shit.
Everyone is struggling. Life is not linear. Healing is not linear. You are not for everyone.
None of this is that big of deal. It’s just what you do about it.
Do you ask for help?
Do you have solid friendships?
Do you move your body?
Are you comfortable spending time by yourself?
Do you have a goal?
Do you walk in the woods?
Can you talk about it to someone you trust?
You are experiencing a life problem. Congrats. You are human. You are feeling painful human feelings. This is what being alive feels like. Don’t numb yourself from it.