Pregnancy does funny things to women. For me, its sort of scraped off this glossy coating of politeness that kept me from sharing my opinions about things in real life. Suddenly I have been voicing what I actually think at work with my colleagues, and even- gasp- on the internet. A dangerous activity, I know. Especially because not everyone agrees with me on life basics, and not everyone can handle honesty when it doesn't tow the line. I actually participated in an argument on Facebook. I also got someone mad at me on a blog post. So far at work they are putting up with me (amazingly) even though I've started saying what I think. I'm breaking lots and lots of social rules.
The funny thing about this is, a part of me is relieved and thinks its about time I started telling people what I really think about stuff, even if it means conflict. I feel like a middle-aged man in that sense, who is tired of being PC and ready to just say what he wants and thinks without always saying it nicely.
I know this new found boldness scares my mom, who always taught us to be polite and tactful, and I'm not actually trying to make waves on purpose. But it struck me that politeness and tact, while helpful with newcomers to my life, serves an additional purpose of protecting me from ever really making real connections. People I see every day don't know who I am or what I think- and if they can't handle those things, then maybe we weren't really friends to begin with. Just acquaintances who share space. I want real connections with real people- and that's going to mean opening myself up for the possibility of criticism and judgement. Which hurts. But how is walking through life a stranger to my neighbors any better?
So here is a little poem I wrote about all that.
Do you really like me?
Or do you like my skills?
The way I smile and appear polite?
The way I gloss over my opinions and tell you what you want to hear?
Because now that I am opening my mouth,
I have suddenly become controversial, dangerous,
- even rude-
- even petty-
- even alien-
Which causes me to wonder whether you really liked me in the first place,
Or if you just liked how easy I was to be around.