Today I am loud when I want to be and quiet when I need to be. I say what I mean. I cross lines that I am not even aware of crossing. I am passionate about people and learning. I only act from good intent so am taken aback when people are offended by what I say--or what I write.
I say, "lighten up"! Life is too short to worry if I jokingly describe myself as a born again virgin, do one too many shots of Tuaca or tell a good looking man that he is, without a doubt, good looking. Are these things really so bad? Nah. I can think of many worse things I could say or do or be. Want to test me?
I have lived through four decades of my life. Four decades. Of course I have grown, adapted, altered my viewpoints and changed my personality over the years. What scares me is the amount of people who haven't. They sit on the same bar stools that their parents sat on in the same town and criticize those who have dared to live a life of risk, of change, of heart break and of new horizons.
I refuse to be held back by conventions that I think are ridiculous. I don't care if they are the conventions of my youth, my parents, my church or my community. I enjoy being out of bounds, skiing the trees and venturing into untouched snow. I alone know when I have veered off the groomed trail of my personal ski mountain into the trees. I know because I choose to go there.
I do not expect people to understand my choices; more than that, I am not asking for their understanding. Me being authentic to myself and acting from a place of truth is genuine. My intent is harmony--and harmless. If someone chooses to be offended by authenticity, then there isn't much I can do except shrug. To me, saying what I mean lets people know where I stand and how I feel without any guess work.
The real questions are: why does that bother someone else? Why does it make them uncomfortable when I tell them what is truly in my heart? Why would anyone in their right mind try to make me less than what I am so that they can feel better?
Again I say, "lighten up"! Enjoy my honesty. Enjoy my recklessness. Enjoy my mistakes and successes. Hell, even enjoy my stumbles and misadventures. I do. And if you can't, then ask yourself the above questions and wonder why you're so afraid of going out of bounds. After that if you still think I'm over-the-top or crossing lines, I say to you---"if you can't handle me, baby, then good riddance."