“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” -Aristotle
This hit me between the eyes. In trying to get along with everyone, I’ve chosen silence, somehow thinking that neutrality would win over the loud voices in the world. It hasn’t worked. And now I don’t even know what I’m most passionate about. I have never wanted to stir things up. There’s an inner voice in my head saying, “Don’t mess with the status quo, Rachel. You’re not meant for that. You’re not strong enough for that.”
Recently, I’ve learned that being in control is different than being in charge. Control can easily be flipped against you. Instead of being empowering, it can become choking and suffocating. Control opportunities. Control interactions. Control dusty, dirty messes that come with big topics and hard conversations. Being in charge is different. It makes space for hard things but does not let the results determine worth or pass judgment for letting it happen.
I don’t want to live my life analyzing what I should have said, should have done, should have had an opinion about. I want to speak up. I want to do the things I love. I want to cultivate opinions and thoughts that matter and shape the way I live my life. I want to live, not cower away because I hate conflict and am so worried about what everyone else might think if I say or do the wrong thing. I’m tired of living in fear of rejection or retribution.
So here’s to being in charge and less in control. Here’s to less fear of being honest and truthful. Here’s to conversations that may be hard but prove to be worth it. Here’s to relationships that can withstand mistakes and clumsiness. Here’s to you.