Updated: Jan 10, 2021
Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat. I am not talking about sacrificing your comfort for others. I fold my hands and pray with a heart full of hope that you are the kind of human who would give the shirt off of their back for someone and who would gladly stand in the rain to keep someone else dry.
I am talking about the years and years and years that I have personally sacrificed my own comfort, in my very own skin to be sure someone else isn’t uncomfortable because I have lived forty two years in fear of offending someone who is making me uncomfortable because what if I am
Misunderstanding their intention
Being too “sensitive“
Being totally screwed with and unaware because I am gullible.
All three of these reasons have been rooted deep in my cells for decades and are just now starting to come to the surface.
Here is what I discovered recently- growing up I was told (by mainly guys mind you) that I was too sensitive & I was messed with ALL of the time because I am “so easy to screw with & too gullible” which led me to live in this weird state of being afraid that I am misunderstanding intentions.
So instead of having a backbone when I am in an uncomfortable situation and all of my alarms are going off inside, I stay uncomfortable so the other person can remain comfortable.
Whaaaatt?? It sounds insane typed out. But it’s true. Let me give you an example
A few years ago I was getting ready to play a Halloween show at Clayton’s Tap, in Morris, Il. My salon, Roots Hair Studio is just down the block in our quaint little downtown. I had to run down there and put my costume on & do my hair and makeup for our show. I left the door unlocked because the band boys were going to be heading down after they set up. I heard the door open and looked up to see a man standing in the salon. He was well dressed and didn’t seem creepy at first. He glanced around and leaned to look behind me while saying
“Whoah cool- is this a hair place? ARE YOU ALONE HERE???”
To which I should have said “I apologize, we are closed. I’m going to have to ask you to leave sir” but I was so afraid that I was misunderstanding the screaming coming from my gut and I didn’t want him to think I was rude, dramatic or sensitive. Plus what if one of the guys sent him in to screw with me (side note, they would NEVER do something like that...but I’m so afraid of being too gullible that I did think this for a split second!!!)
He told me that he was from Michigan and was with the party downstairs (my landlord has a bar in the basement). I felt a little better knowing that he knew them but also a little more fearful of offending this guy. If he was a friend of my landlord then I certainly didn’t want to misjudge him and make him uncomfortable.....so I stood there and had a conversation with this stranger. Alone.
A stranger who had the balls to walk into a closed business, late at night when it was dark, where there was a woman who was all alone and ASK HER if she was alone. But yeah- let me make sure I don’t make YOU uncomfortable sir.
I finally told him I had to get to my show and out of pure awkwardness I INVITED HIM to come. What the hell is wrong with me. “Stop by with the guys downstairs if you want!“ I said.
Ugh. Just repeating this makes me ill.
I think my only saving grace that night was that I told him that 4 big band dudes were on their way down and I was just waiting for them to show up any second.
Here’s the most terrifying part-
The following Monday I ran into my landlord and told him I had met his friend from Michigan. He told me that he didn’t have a friend from Michigan. Hmmm, well maybe I misunderstood him. He was a friend at the party downstairs, I went on to explain to my landlord, but....you guessed it...there was no party downstairs. Just a few local guys (all of whom I personally know) playing cards.
So what I am going to do about it? How am I going to make this shift to become a graceful bad ass?
You know- a graceful bad ass- someone who can stand up for themselves and be very strong without losing an ounce of class. Kick your ass in heels with a crystal wine glass full of riesling kind of a gal...
Well first, I am going to stop muting my inner security system. If my gut is throwing off alarms, I will be listening and acting accordingly. If someone is offended, then that’s just going to have to be too bad. I have a feeling it’s like my fear of flying....unfounded.
Second, I am going to dig deep into the soil and pull up some of these weeds that are all mixed up with my roots. Get rid of old ways, old thinking...understand that this is a learned behavior and start to unlearn it. Replace all of that stuff- fear of misunderstanding, thinking that I’m too sensitive and gullible with confidence, self love and strength.
Sometimes these things we need to unlearn are generational and if you look closely, you might find that your Mom is this same way...maybe your Grandmothers and so on and so on.... but this is 2021. This is the year of uprooting and replanting and I can tell you one thing- I want my daughter to know that she never has to be uncomfortable in order to make someone else comfortable.
I hope you can use today’s blog to remember that you’re not alone in this fight. That as the world starts to peel back layers and show us some of what’s underneath, that we can too. If we can start to change the way we react by understanding WHY we react that way and heal that shit then we are doing an incredible service to all of those women who came before us and all who will come after us.
Let’s change the world- starting with ourselves 💫