One of the blogs I follow is Far Beyond the Stars by Everett Bogue. A few days ago his post talked about writing un-apologetically about your beliefs. Um, yeah. Can I just say: not. easy.

Seriously, how often do we allow ourselves to say things we’re “not supposed” to say? We — and by “we,” I mean particularly women — keep our true opinions to ourselves, because we don’t want to offend anyone and, besides, we want people to like us.


We keep our mouths shut all in the name of being civilized and keeping the peace.

Now, I happen to have some pretty strong opinions, and you could say that I’m less than diplomatic about expressing those opinions most of the time. You might also say that I’m prone to sarcasm and bluntness. I’ve even been called condescending.

For the most part I’m OK with this. I figure, this is me, this is who I am, take it or leave it. Those who can handle me and stick around are the ones who I’ll have the most meaningful relationships with anyway. That is not to say that I don’t practice self-improvement, but let’s be honest: there are certain aspects of one’s personality that just are the way they are. No need to tip-toe around on eggshells my entire life.

That being said, there’s just one little problem: I want people to read my blog! So when my boyfriend tells me that one of my posts comes off as condescending, my impulse reaction is to second-guess publishing it. (Read: I spiral into a tizzy fit two parts self-doubt, one part self-loathing.)

Deep breath.

Remember the lessons from Anne Lamott.

OK, so, the point of all this is that, as Mr. Bogue so astutely points out, not EVERYONE is going to like what I have to say. That goes for you, too. We have to give ourselves permission to be really bad; permission to be messy; permission to be ourselves. And, if we want to be bold, we have to give ourselves permission to piss people off.

7 thoughts on “risk-taking: get permission, part 2

  1. I pretty much expect all Jannas I meet to be blunt and sassy. So far I’m only friends with 1 but you’ve certainly set the bar high for subsequent Jannas I happen to encounter.

    Janna: verb – to BOLDY go where most women choose to self-edit.

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