I have been less afraid of sharing.
It’s weird to write those words because I don’t know when I began being afraid of sharing the things I like with people. I can point to some perspective changes throughout my late teenage years, such as when I understood that there were parts of who I was that I needed to change. Regardless, the reality is that I’ve struggled to share and be open about my likes and dislikes for too long. I felt like my tastes were so unrelated that the spaces I had wouldn’t fit – after all, I was so afraid people would see that and simply walk away.
I wanted a space to be the entirety of me, because there was nowhere I could be the entirety of me. Yet I also craved the attention, and the knowledge I reached a lot of people. Of course, such is impossible. Specially because the only place I can be me is within myself.
It took me having the freedom to define myself on my own terms. It took having the freedom to experience, explore and simply understand what worked for me and what didn’t. And, I’m sure I still have a long road in that regard, but I think I have a much more clear idea of who I am. Enough for others to notice, too.
I also learned that, while I can try to be likeable by everyone (or at least not hated), it’s unpleasant to regulate myself based on what people I don’t like would think or not. In a workplace it is a useful skill, for sure, but my social life can be so much more than that – and even if it wouldn’t, I’m at a place where I’d rather focus on the relationships that I do have and cherish, than to be stuck with ones I’m not particularly pleased about.
And I know – this is pretty much the advice many give. I’m certain I’ve given the advice myself in the past. But it’s one of those that I had to learn by myself, regardless of how much I knew what the right path might be.
So now, sharing isn’t so scary. I’ve mentioned it to a couple of people, and they seem to agree I’ve been much better in that regard. I must admit. I’m quite proud that I managed to get here.