Which one is right, the person who speaks up or the one who stays silent? In most cases, I choose to be the former one. A swirl of emotions sometimes pushes me to come forward and other times, I do not want to deceive myself even if I fall victim to my own actions. U.S. poet and feminist Audre Lorde once said that merely speaking out gives her a great deal of help regardless of what brings to her even if she may cause misunderstandings or get hurt by the consequences of her own words. Once I read this line, I underlined it right away because no one had ever told me this lesson before. I have been sick and tired of people convincing me that patience is a virtue and silence is a great value and warning that rash actions and remarks only hurt others’ feelings and leave me with regrets. Nevertheless, I have not seen any critical damage by clarifying my opinions except that I have just drifted apart at an earlier time than I’d expect from those who would have left me in any case.
I have always thought that I am good at showing how I truly feel and elaborating on my thoughts and opinions. A while ago, I felt emotionally painful and irritated by words hidden deep in my heart that give me a heavy sense of responsibility and guilt. Sifting through a bunch of thoughts that I had tried to avoid facing, I realized that I had not been able to say what I truly wanted to express to project myself as a nice person to others, turning me into a bad one to myself.
Writing a book two years ago, I cited a phrase, “What matters is an attitude not sincerity.” I advised readers to stay free of thinking how sincere others are but it turned out to be me who turned a blind eye to my own feelings and thoughts worrying if I may fail to figure out others. Those who stay silent never get free. We should most value a relationship with ourselves. This summer, I will choose not to stay silent to take a better care of myself than I would otherwise.