I’ve always been a clever girl, never had problems with any subject in school and had good friends. I felt comfortable in class and never had any trouble with exams or presentations.
But I would never ask questions.
I would prefer to run the risk of doing things wrong than to ask for clarifications. I would prefer to do an extensive amount of extra research than to ask for help. The fear of sounding stupid and asking the wrong questions always got the best of me.
As I grew up it got a little bit better. I grew confident enough to ask questions to the teachers when I needed to, but I’d do it in private — never in front of the class. I’d tell myself it was only because stopping the lecture to ask questions was a waste of people’s time, I usually thought most of the questions being asked were irrelevant or too easy, and people should google more instead of interrupting classes.
When I started understanding myself a little better I finally got to the root of why it bugged me so much. Sure, nobody really enjoys when people ask questions about things they already understood, it can be annoying. But it was more than that for me.
I was bothered because I couldn’t do the same. I couldn’t interrupt classes to talk about something that was on my mind, it has never been that simple for me. I usually need to think and rethink something a 1000 times before putting it out there, and not just because I am afraid of being wrong. I am even more afraid of being irrelevant.
Writing has become a therapy. A way of showing a part of me that people usually don’t get to see. A way of expressing myself with freedom while letting go of self doubt. A way of accepting that nobody is completely right or wrong, therefore I shouldn’t overthink my perspective on things until the point I am afraid to share it.
As long as I remain humble and open, as long I am aware my opinion is not the right opinion. It is also not the wrong one, it is simply what I believe based on what I’ve experienced.
Maybe nobody will read this. Still the act of making these thoughts public is what matters. Write. Publish. Don’t delete it. Repeat.
I am telling myself,
It doesn’t matter if it’s irrelevant for them.
It doesn’t matter if they disagree with whatever you are saying.
It is by putting your deepest thoughts out there that you are going to start incredible debates. And you love meaningful debates.
It is by starting meaningful debates that you will learn other people’s perspectives, spark creativity and grow.
It is by growing as a person and sharing your perspective that you may impact people around you. And this is what matters.
So please, don’t just keep your thoughts to yourself.
“It’s time to start speaking about the unspeakable, it’s time to articulate these options. It’s possible we’re going to sink into the quicksand of extinction with the answer clutched in our hands. That would be a tragedy too much to bear.”
— Terrence McKenna