Cowardly, Lazy or Just Getting Old?

3 Mar

Mouth Wide Shut

Here’s the deal. I have a lot of stuff floating in my head, mostly as responses to some blog posts I read recently that have made me examine my shortcomings a little more than I usually do. I promised myself that I wouldn’t self-censor on this blog but guess what? I totally do. Sometimes it’s just not worth the damage it would do to shoot off my mouth about all the annoying things people do. But these topics are on a whole new level of touchy and it’s really hard to publicly examine your shortcomings when they could be so grossly misunderstood. I’m trying to work up the courage to tackle a post on ageism (excuse the title of this post) and one on racism…maybe both in the same post, although my introspections are very different for each.

I can’t even tweet or post comments to blogs without second-guessing who I might be offending. It’s absolutely crazy that I can write posts like To Snip or Not To Snip and post half-naked pictures of my postnatal belly, but my fingers literally tremble before I hit send on certain tweets and comments. More often than not, I just delete them instead of hitting send.

I didn’t always feel like this. In fact, 10 years ago I was incredibly righteous and outspoken. Now, I’m timid and very choosy about most of what I write in a public forum. Part of it is that I am scared I might inadvertently alienate people that I care about. Because you never know what “skeletons” a person may have in their closet. In fact, I’m sure it would shock many of you to learn about some of my skeletons. Another part of me doesn’t want to have to keep track of all the political correctness that seems necessary these days. Many times I think of Dagny and how people might think less of her because of things I say and do. And yet another part of me wonders if I’ve finally just lived long enough to inflate my mother’s warnings about never putting things in writing because they will come back to haunt you. I mean to a degree she is right and it has saved my butt many times. But it’s so easy to let it hold me back and keep me from expressing my flawed, but valuable (I think) self. It’s that fine line that I tiptoe along with everything I do in social media.

I want to get over it. I want to have the confidence to take those leaps of faith that might connect me with other people and educate me where I am ignorant. Unfortunately even with the best of intentions, some topics are just too charged to deal with in any manner but the most scripted exchanges. I learned that the hard way in a couple of online classes I took in college. There’s always going to be someone who just doesn’t get it. And as much as I would like to connect and learn…I am afraid of the awful things people say when they get fired up. But not enough to give up on blogging altogether.

So this is your cue to pump me up and give me a little pep talk. Maybe then I can find enough courage to write about what’s really on my mind.


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8 Responses to “Cowardly, Lazy or Just Getting Old?”

  1. Ashley March 3, 2011 at 11:42 PM #

    Carly, I say write whatever the hell you want, otherwise what is the point in writing this at all? If you are going to show your true self, then show all of it. On one hand I do not find it to be cowardice to consider way other people feel, and on the other I say, let them feel that way. We are allowed to bitch, fight, argue, be opinionated and self righteous about things we know everything or nothing about! We can disagree to the most extreme level and that does not leave us any worse for wear. There comes a point especially with loved ones/family that you just have to find some common ground and realize you dont have to feel the same way about anything all. You can still get along without having the same interests, lifestyles, etc. There is a certain political correctness that we all deal with in life if we have the social and common sense to do so. It shows integrity when you consider the pros and cons in what you may reveal. At the very least if you are aware of a possible backfire, you have accepted that as a consequence for standing up for what you believe in. There may be some topics that seem taboo, but everyone really DOES want to know about them. I’m a very realistic person. Just because someone does not want to hear about what you have to say, does not make it any less integral to be aware of it. Half of the time I think I rain on my own parade just because I have this sense that I should be realistic about various topics and situations. Do I want to know how many days until my husband can be put on a plane off to war again? No. And yet I know exactly how many days I may have left so that I may prepare. To have some semblance of control in our extremely controlled lifestyle, is all I can hope for when I make my decisions.

    In other words, do whatever you want and if people do not like it, they dont have to hear or read about it.

  2. Cathy March 4, 2011 at 6:57 AM #

    You are not getting old, you are not a coward, you are not lazy. You are becoming wise. The problem with email, as you know, is that you can’t see someone’s face, hear their tone of voice, look at their body language all of which allows us to understand the persons intent. That allows for misunderstanding and hurt feelings to occur. Your Mother is correct and the older you get, the more you will realize that.
    Aunt Cathy

  3. Angel March 4, 2011 at 9:47 AM #

    Go for it!
    I am guilty of it too….after I got up the next morningI nearly kicked myself for writing “hope I didnt offend” in my last blog, not that I want to offend but it wasn’t a particularly offensive blog. (although I am hoping the two actual people I reference in the blog don’t see it!)

    PC is scary right now and it makes some of us hide. Like you, I don’t want to offend or alienate so I think its wise to be careful but still be truthful!

    I say go for it! I have seen you handle other sensitive subjects well and I think you might be surprised as well….

  4. burghbaby March 4, 2011 at 12:31 PM #

    I read this post right after deleting about five tweets, biting my lip until it (literally) bled, and deciding to shut up about an issue *I* raised on twitter this morning. The irony is not lost, and yet I still don’t know whether I should say something or shut up, even as I vehemently think you should say whatever you want in this space.

  5. FireMom March 6, 2011 at 8:58 AM #

    Well, I have some rules for myself. I don’t attack others with name-calling. I try not to get involved in twitter discussions that look like they’re going down in flames before I even notice them. But basically, I remind myself not to act like a DB, and I let the chips fall where they may.

    If you DO offend someone who MATTERS, they will TALK to you about it. And if they don’t? If they just flip out all crazy like? Or stop talking to you without explaining why? Honey, they don’t matter.

  6. Robin March 6, 2011 at 1:43 PM #

    Be who you are and and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind…

    Some of my biggest antagonists have made me see things in a complete different light!

    I myself am evolving, so sometimes I change my mind about things, I find it hard to keep up with myself at times.
    I sure hope those who really love me won’t judge me for that hair color I had in high school or the things I said (and believed) in the old days..

    I however love great conversation, so I love people who share what they have on their mind.

  7. Robin March 6, 2011 at 1:46 PM #

    I visit this site to hear what you have to say…not necessarily what I want to hear! Keep saying it, I miss you when you take even a few days off.


  1. Weekly Favorites: March 6, 2011 » Stop, Drop and Blog - March 6, 2011

    [...] this or don’t do this or blah blah blah.” Which totally plays into Carly’s post, Cowardly, Lazy or Just Getting Old? She is questioning how she censors herself and the reasons behind it and seeking courage to say [...]

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