Thursday, March 27, 2014

Speak Up with that shaky voice of yours. Speak Up i tell you.

A few weeks ago, Brooks from The Handey Way wrote about keeping silent in the face of some serious ignorance. And I loved her heart's ability to hurt for other's, her honesty in saying I didn't want to be silent, but was, her respect for other opinions but her disrespect for other's ignorance. Then I thought about how the last thing I'm good at is keeping silent.

Jason used to cringe when I'd get that distanced, yet focused look on my face. He knew the process had started: that process where I'd put together my opinion in cohesive, careful sentences and wait. I'd wait for the perfect moment to say: this isn't okay. He cringed real hard, but he let me be. He knew I'd sleep better knowing I'd said the hard words, done the right thing, stood up for a silenced someone.

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One time I was out to dinner with my family. And a teenage couple was sitting at the table next to us: a boy and a girl. She had the hots for him -it was obvious. She wanted him to see her as something beautiful and interesting. His only interest was in himself and what he had to say.

Those moments she got brave enough to speak, he'd speak over her, stopping her from any sort of conversation.  He reminded me of that freshman year of college, older-man boyfriend I had who cared not about me, but about how we looked together. About how he was dating the boss' daughter. About being the boss in our relationship. And I let him.

He was bossy, rude. I was nosy, annoyed, biased in her favor. 

The bill came and he asked her to pay. So she did. I was nosy, incensed, completely on her side. 

No woman deserves this; especially one just barely eighteen trying to learn what it means to spread her wings. 

As they rose to leave, I tapped him gently on the shoulder grabbing both of their attention. I told him, politely, he was rude and abrupt. He should be embarrassed of the way he treated such a sweet girl.

I told her, genuinely, she didn't deserve that treatment -she was too beautiful to be ignored and overrun. She should be cherished in the way only gentlemen can do.

He told me they were just friends. She said nothing but stared straight at me.

I told him, friends or not, you don't treat anyone, especially a woman, that way and good night. 

They left. I had the jitters as I always do when I can't keep quiet. We ate dinner, drank wine, enjoyed one another's company like nothing had happened. 
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At eighteen, I needed that interruption. I needed another woman to stand up on my behalf. And she did. And it saved me from allowing the hole that the bossy boyfriend was digging for us. I needed to know I was valuable even if from a stranger. I wanted to deserve more, better, the best, but didn't do it for myself.

At twenty-one, I got to pay it forward.

At twenty-five, I cherish those moments. Those jittery, focused moments when it's obvious things are just not right.
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Sometime, you will be there in that moment where it's silence or not. And you will have a choice to make -between comfort zone or out of it. I, the B.R.A.V.E. seeker, challenge you make the bold choice in a polite, non-aggressive way. One that sticks up for what's right in your heart, gut, mind. Be courageous, yet vulnerable. Honest, yet firm.

And, when the comfort zone calls to you, tell it no. Remind it that if you were that girl, that woman, that person being disrespected, hurt, broken, you'd want someone to stand. And when you're done standing up: enjoy those jitters. You just earned them.
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Here's a little inspiration (from one of my favorite shows) on our way out. 

19 comments:

  1. That is so brave! I am not good with strangers. Even with people I do know, I have trouble with the polite and non-aggressive part. What a great story! And I rarely watch What Would You Do but I have seen this one and it was so good!

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  2. That video is so good! I love this post. You're inspiring!

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  3. Brooks @ Cotton & BootsMarch 27, 2014 at 6:15 AM

    I wish I had that quote with me when I kept silent. This is so powerful, as is the video.

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  4. I've been struggling a lot with this — when is it okay to say something? I tend to find myself angry for hours over comments, and I don't want to say the wrong things to friends, acquaintances, whom I see regularly, because I can't get my mind under control! You were so brave for talking to those teenagers. I hope both of them were as affected by you words as you were by the words spoken to you.

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  5. joe always shakes his head when i get worked up, bc he can tell too. my jaw clenches, my eyes narrow, and you can tell that i'm planning my words carefully. thank goodness i haven't been in many situations where i need to actually speak up, but i am definitely one to say what it is.

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  6. WOWWWW!! You're so strong and brave!! I wish we had more women in this world to speak up for the silent because we've all been that 18 year old girl being pushed around treated like garbage. Goodness you're amazing!

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  7. Such a wonderful post! I tend to do this too! My boyfriend just sits and accepts the fact that I will probably say something, even if it's to one of his friends.

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  8. You are nothing short of amazing my darling!! And that quote is amazing!! xo

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  9. Erin HigginbothamMarch 27, 2014 at 7:52 AM

    You go! It's the hardest thing to stand up for someone, even harder to stand up for yourself sometimes. But when you make the move and do it, afterwards you know it was the right thing. Love the video too, that show is amazing

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  10. Katie @ A Beautiful Little AdvMarch 27, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    You're an inspiration! I would not be able to be that brave to step up like that in the restaurant. I'm sure the image of your face and your words are going to stay with that young girl for years to come. Being brave and being true to your beliefs is an intent we should all wake up with. Soldier on!

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  11. I need to focus on the part where I stay calm and get my thoughts together because I'm a fly-off-the-handle type and sometimes the point I'm trying to make doesn't come across quite like I intended.

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  12. I've seen that episode and it really really makes you think. Good for you for standing up for her. I wish someone had done that for me when I was 17 and naive. Thankfully I learned the lesson somewhere along the way, but it was much more painful than it needed to be.

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  13. The getting the thoughts together part is so tricky. So tricky. I have to have some time to think because if it's a random, heat of the moment thing I get all confused and stumble over my words.

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  14. Isn't it funny how you need someone else to help you out sometimes? As independent as I hope to be, it's so vital for others to encourage me and show me my value! And for me to do the same to others!

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  15. Isn't the video amazing? I wish I could be as eloquent as the woman at the end... I get a little more scattered in my conversation than that especially in tense moments. :)

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  16. RIGHT?!? It's such a difficult balance between being honest and strong and being attacking... So tricky to figure out how to handle it all. Thankfully it seems like there are many opportunities to do so in our lives! :)

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  17. It'll show up again. And you'll rock it. I. JUST. KNOW.

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  18. Isn't it funny how we all managed to be her but can forget how much she needed some TLC from an older woman? I sure have until just lately... It's like us older ladies need to love on some of those younger ladies for the sake of all of us! :)

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  19. this is why i luh you so. we're kindred spirits of soulful opinions-ville.

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