It has been brought to my mother's attention quite a few times that I'm offensive. Or that I'm offending people. Or that I have strong opinions that people find unattractive. Something along those lines. To which I reply, you'll have to be more specific, I say lots of offensive stuff. Or, you think I'm offensive on my blog/Facebook? You should see my Twitter feed!
And I tell her that I appreciate the feedback but that is really between her and her friends. Because if there is one two things I have learned after a decade of therapy it is, (1) if you have a problem with me, say it to my face; and (2) I was not put on this earth to to keep everyone happy and un-offended.
Actually, I learned that first thing it in middle school (that phrase has got to be on the sound track of middle school womanhood; that and Boyz II Men, End of the Road). And I learned the second thing after wasting 26 years of my life putting other people's needs and happiness before my own. I confused being kind with being nice. And I acted like my whole identify, life, and world depended on being a good/nice girl and being liked. And here's the rub: it sucked. Hard. That is no way to go through life.
I grew up thinking it was my job to anticipate other people's emotions (which I still do, so YES, I know some people find what I say here offensive) and keep everyone happy. Never upset anyone! The brilliant part about this terrible way of going through life? It doesn't even matter who you are. Whether you are my dearly loved family member or some random asshole/rapist. Everybody. Every. single. person. All of them. Their feelings and needs? No matter how big, small, stupid, or cruel? Way more important than my own.
But still. Could I be a little more gentle with my opinions? More considerate with my words? Hell yes. I could start by not saying words like, "hell." So shoot, I've got a lot of work to do in this area, don't I?
I think what I'm saying is, I'm still fresh into this whole "you can offend me, I can offend you, and we can both still be okay" thing. You don't have to agree with everything I say, or even (gasp) like me! So excuse me if I take stuff too far sometimes. But I think it is more important for me, right now at this moment, to feel comfortable standing up for myself, my opinions, and my thoughts. And maybe learning that it is okay if you don't like them. It's even okay if you don't like me for having them. Because the amazing thing is, the world doesn't implode when I let people down or make people mad. Although, rest assured, letting you down or pissing you off is not my intention.
this, for example, is totally inappropriate/offensive
To be clear, I'm not really looking to convert/persuade anyone with my (offensive) beliefs. I'm just interested in expressing myself. And for now, I'm going to keep doing that just the way I have been. Maybe when I mature a little bit into this role I'll be able to do it a little more gently. But until then, if you are looking for someone who does a better job of questioning and criticizing her former beliefs in a mature, respectful, and common-ground-finding kind of way, read Rachel Held Evans. If you are looking for random book reviews, rants, toddler pictures, and the occasional (frequent?) offensive statement or idea then, welcome! I'm happy to have you.
In conclusion, big giant hugs to friends and family and random readers who love me (or at least stick around here) in spite of my offensive opinions. And a big giant hug to everyone else; sorry if I upset you. That's about the lamest apology ever. But it's the best I can do.