On Courage

⏇ Zan. ⊱March, 2022⊰

⎇ 520 words. ⪽ 3 minutes

I have this perception that my past self—towards the end of high school and early university—was loud and argumentative, saying things that came to mind without much filtering between brain and mouth. Growing older and diving into practices of awareness and introspection I am coming to the realisation that I've overcorrected.

As I became more aware of my behaviour, the perception of self, I definitely receded within. I've moved from the position of ruffling lots of feathers to ruffling none. From not caring about my external appearance to caring too much. Becoming socially aware came hand in hand with becoming socially anxious.

These themes have been echoing in consciousness since seeing this post from @malcolm_ocean:

The change over the last 6 years isn't all bad. In fact, I think it's mostly good. I've become much more empathetic and personal. My sense of dress and personal style has been evolving. I'm much more comfortable sitting back and listening instead of trying to dominate any discussion. I know how to talk to and be friends with women instead of being an awkward and overly thirsty teenager—they're just people too.

My initial phase of becoming more aware lead to a lot of personal growth, however, it's time to take stock again and make another correction. I'm aware now that living a life being afraid of disturbing others will lead to a life unfulfilled. So many of the most important ideas in our world come from people who weren't afraid to be radical and shake things up. I'd like to clarify that I'm not saying that we need to be intentionally rude or obnoxious, just have awareness that some acts and opinions are bound to bother someone and living a life to please the crowd is very constrained.

I've been taking efforts to come out of my shell more. Furthermore, I find myself wanting to develop as story-teller. This takes many forms, I'm writing more regularly, getting excited about photography again, learning to dance and building a product. I'm starting to wear the clothes that just draw me in without caring how I'll be outwardly perceived.

All of these efforts scared me before starting. It's time to lean into that feeling and do more things that push me out of my comfort zone. You see the same pattern play out in other peoples stories, but it's never 'real' until it happens to you.

I'm still working to find my voice. It takes a certain confidence and self-assurance to be loud in a space, at least for the self-aware. It takes confidence to share my insecurities, the things I'm passionate about. It takes courage to walk up to someone on the street, make eye-contact with them and then snap a picture.

When it comes time to reflect and look back on my life, meek is not a word that I want to surface. I want to live a full, embodied life where I'm not afraid to share my full self with the world.


Until next time,

Zan

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