I have a part of me that is very good at following the rules. I show up places at least 10 minutes early, I say please and call everyone sir and ma’am. Breaking the rules may not give me hives, but my anxiety flares up so badly that I find myself wanting to throw up when I am not following the rules. Rules are supposed to keep us safe, to be a standard in which we live by, but I’m learning that maybe rules are meant to be broken.
This week was supposed to be a week of silence for the story101 course I am taking, but by Wednesday I started to notice that not only was I quiet from social media, I was retreating into myself and ignoring other people in favor of being alone. The chaos in my head got louder and soon I was unable to tell the difference between the thoughts, as lies swarmed around threatening to sting me at their next opportunity. And in the middle of spin class, I kept having the thought just reach out, but I didn’t want to fail so I stayed quiet for a while longer until some old and scary lies came back to the forefront of my mind. So with my head bowed in shame, I posted on our course page that I needed to end the silence. The grace that surrounded my admission was amazing but more than grace were these words from Jamie:
Is it a stretch to wonder if instead of the silence teaching you quietness, it’s urging you to recognize that sometimes we have to get loud to survive? Don’t be ashamed of drawing an unconventional answer.
Sometimes we have to get loud to survive. Get. Loud. from the time I was a child, I was taught that silence and rule following is how you survive. But now I’m seeing that for what it is: LIES. it’s time I find my voice. It’s time I start singing again. It’s time I break the rules. It’s time I found out who I am. And so I’m taking a deep breath and letting out a quiet squeak, practicing using this voice of mine until it becomes a roar.