I'm a grown ass women who has lived and learnt to speak because I can. I share what I have learnt because too often in my childhood, adolescence and when I was being deflowered rather than blossom into becoming a women, I changed who I was to suit my environment and the people in it. I tried to speak less, be prettier, less volatile, less awake, give always, expect nothing, be more of what I thought everyone else wanted me to be. I would often apologise for being me, or not being enough. I would compare myself to others constantly. Early or any rejection turned into what felt like a lifetime of self doubt and a lack of worthiness and belonging.
You know what it feels like to love somebody so much you would do anything for them? Me too, too everyone, besides myself. I spent most of my life giving everything I could to everyone around me. And in the process I lost myself. I was waiting for and wanting someone to tell me or make me feel as though I mattered. I was beautiful. I was strong. I was kind. That my words could dance, and I could do anything. But I was different, and something that not everybody knew how to love.
The ironic part of me learning to accept this and how to love me, happened when what I feared the most, did. I could no longer pretend to live a life that on the outside seemed perfect but behind closed doors and on the inside was a lie. Aching for love, screaming to be heard, dying to matter, desperate for something more than what I was living, I crumbled for affection and just attention, and it was then that I and everyone else realised my life and me had fallen to pieces. So called friends abandoned me, people judged me and strangers called me names. I lost, but I learnt a lot. And it was my absolute saving grace.
Everything I feared the most, was the very thing that set me free. Rather than base my worth on what people thought of me or my desire to make them like or love me, I began to live my life unapologetically as me. I realised that spending my entire life only making everyone else happy, made me miserable. I only have one life, so I decided to live it in a way that I loved. And oh boy do I love. I love my life now because I love me, and everything in it. And why shouldn't I when it is, and I am, gloriously flawed and fabulous.
Rather than apologise now, I literally give zero fucks about what the majority of people think about me. I reserve this only for the people whose opinions matter to me because they are everything, and count. They don't judge me, but know me, feel me and love me unconditionally. They occasionally give me advice, and when they do, I listen. But as far as they rest are concerned ... zero fucks given. I have better things to do and fill my life with.
I hope you know that you matter too. This really is what Matters Speaking is all about. I hope that you remember to speak even when your voice shakes. I hope that you walk to the beat of your own drum even in times when people aren't dancing to it. You are meant to be you, for everything that you are. Not everyone will agree with what you have to say or the path you walk, but that is ok. Just like you are different, so are they. Live how you feel and fly your flag as high as you fucking like.
You are going to walk a thousand miles, and touch hundreds of people regardless of what you say or do, so make sure you use your voice that you were given and your feet that can take you anywhere, to live a life you love, your way. Especially if what you have to say and do, is far more beautiful than silence or nothing.