I don’t converse well. My opinions are thought out and supported, but when it comes to conversation, I can’t spit anything out properly. If I get a little worked up, I can end up spouting off a bunch of stuff that I don’t mean. If only you could go back and edit speech like a Word document. I got to the point where I could hardly converse at all, due to stress and pressure.

After a particularly negative point in time, where I received far too much pressure, I ended up retreating socially. I had to sort out who I was again, and it became too hard to communicate properly. When people want you to be a certain way and you foolishly desire their approval, it’s easy to slowly morph into a different person. Then one day, you look in the mirror and realize you weren’t the person that you thought you were. Or, like in my case, can’t even remember who I thought I was. Nathaniel Hawthorne said,

No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.

I’ve been spending this time thinking, writing, and taking back my life. Last night, I was looking back on older posts, and I realized how far I’ve come. Thanks to you, readers, I’m feeling more and more confident every day. Blogging is a form of processing that requires me to be precise, and I’ve needed that.

I’ve also started to tell people how I’m doing, when I see them and when they ask. There’s nothing like having a slightly personal thought taken and stamped on the floor, and people fail to see that when they make a comment regarding someone’s thoughts. We are all too ready to push for our own ideas, rather than to listen to someone else’s.

My friend over at To Make Common said that we often use ourselves as a basis for understanding others. I think that’s true. I think we use our background, our experience, and our opinions, and they all trickle in when certain words grab our attention. No one appreciates that.

In spite of my inhibitions in this area, I’ve moved forward and decided to speak out anyway, thanks to a little inspiration from Hawthorne. Now that I am less desiring of approval (but ever so cautious of manners), it hasn’t been too difficult. I suppose these are all miniature tests preparing me from a greater one. Bracing…

I love what Ayn Rand said.

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.