This year, as part of my final exam for my favorite class, I had to give a speech. This was not your typical speech, it was a personal speech about my personal beliefs. For my speech, I decided to talk a little about my blog. By a little, I mean I turned a 2-4 minute speech into an almost 7-minute long ordeal about my blog, why I write and who I am.
You all who read my blog regularly know that I have a lot to say. I don’t like to speak out loud, especially not in front of large groups, but knowing I got to write it all out beforehand made me feel at least a little better about it.
I am really proud of what I wrote and decided to say in front of my class, so I thought I would share it on here with you all. **Disclaimer, yes, it really is ridiculously long.
I have always been the quiet girl. I don’t like to speak up, and sometimes I feel like I don’t even know how. I have always had a hard time expressing how I feel to people. When I try to say it out loud I struggle to portray what I mean or my emotions take over and make it impossible to express what I mean. So I choose to just sit there and mull over my thoughts in my head until the moment for me to speak is long gone. The words in my head have always been louder than the ones I speak. Those words I can put on paper to create something powerful. I feel so much safer behind a laptop typing behind a screen or handwriting my thoughts on paper. Nobody can interrupt or immediately respond because there is some unknown force that compels people to finish what is written in its entirety. That’s really the beauty of writing. The merging of words, words you specifically choose, into a creation of your own, to express however you’re feeling, whatever your message is, in ways you can’t do with the words that roll off your tongue. It was this love for writing, along with my awkwardness and desire to create, that made me think creating my own blog was a good idea.
The scary thing about words is that you never know who will read them. When you’re looking at someone and having a conversation with them, you know whether or not they are hearing what you’re saying, but you really don’t know if it will be remembered or have an impact.
I have always loved writing because I am really bad with words in person. I find it extremely difficult to tell someone how I’m feeling or explain why I feel a certain way. It doesn’t translate to how I really feel, even if I’m using the right words, I’m tripping over them which makes it harder to understand. However, if you give me a piece of paper and a pen or you sit me behind a computer, I can spell it all out for you.
Sometimes I feel like writing is my superpower. The way I feel when I am able to express how I feel on paper when I haven’t been able to explain it to someone in person. When I come home from school and my mom asks,“What’s wrong?” sometimes I can’t answer her because I have yet to figure it out. I almost have to say, “Give me an hour, some time to write it out, and I’ll get back to you.” It’s funny to me the number of people who hate writing or really don’t enjoy it because for me it’s my only lifeline.
I have always loved words and writing. It has just been in the last few years I have been able to figure out that whatever I want to do, writing has to be a part of it. Part of me feels like my adoration for writing is caused in part by my personality and part by my environment.
I am shy: I don’t have a lot of confidence in myself, eye contact is a typically a challenge, and I am always questioning my own knowledge. This is why I like to think about what I’m going to say before I follow through with it and leave my mark. When I’m writing something out, I can take as long as I want and can have a million drafts before I decide:“Yes! That’s what I want to say. That’s my message.”
The environmental factor has to be my family. My sister, Emily, she is so special. She’s unique, she’s one of a kind, and I truly can’t put into words how amazing she really is. I was able to discover all these things about her without ever having a conversation with her. Emily can’t talk. I hate to phrase it that way because I firmly believe someday she will, but for now, and for the last seventeen years, my sister has not spoken a word.
I guess you could say I learned about the power of words through her silence. The simplest words like “Water,” “Sad,” and “Help” to describe her needs and emotions could make such an impact on her everyday life, but they just aren’t there for her to use, at least for right now.
I stick up for her all the time and have written many a passive-aggressive email to teachers who don’t understand that she is a human being who needs extra help sometimes. She can’t speak, but I make sure that she is spoken for.
When we go out in public, I show that I respect her, I show how much I care for her, to let people know there is nothing wrong with her even though she’s a little different. I use my body language, how I interact with my sister in social situations, to express that. I have learned that from my sister too: Body language is also a powerful thing.
I’m not afraid to talk about her, and I am definitely not ashamed of her. If you want to ask me about her, then ask me. Curiosity shows me that you care, and I respect that. After all, the only way we are ever going to make it in this world is if we at least try to understand each other. Don’t be afraid to start the conversation.
Because of my sister, I have made it one of my top goals in life to spread the message of positivity, love, and acceptance. It is something I emphasize a lot in my everyday life, on social media, and on my blog.
My blog is called the Look She Can Blog. It sounds a little cheesy, I am well aware, but I chose this because everyone and I mean everyone, has been met with criticism and has been told that there are things they can’t do. My sister deals with this kind of criticism every day; Sometimes it is only expressed through other people’s body language, but it’s there, she sees it, and it hurts.
So I named my blog for her. Why? Because I feel like her story is an epic and relatable story. It also might be a little because she’s the coolest sister ever, and I really wanted her to be a part of this, this hobby that makes me incredibly happy, but I have to emphasize again that her story is very powerful.
I relate to her story because for a long time I let a lot of people walk all over me. I take others people’s burdens and try to take all the weight on my own shoulders, sometimes it’s too much for me to handle. I don’t reach out enough sometimes, and I don’t like to talk about my feelings. There’s a lot of people in my life who don’t know how I feel. Somedays I want to completely cut myself off from the world, and a little part of me breaks when I realize I’m feeling what I know all too well as losing hope.
But I try not to let it get to me because there is so much to be hopeful about in this world. Instead, I take a break, get myself into a positive headspace, surround myself with people I love, and write something for my blog to hopefully make somebody else’s day a lot better.
Why do I do this? Well, I finally figured out that I can’t achieve my goal of spreading positivity when I’m at home, curled up in a ball, feeling sorry for myself, eating ice cream, and watching Hallmark movies with my mom.
Besides, I have never let anyone walk all over my sister and treat her like a doormat, so why should I let people do that to me? What about the other voiceless people out there, why should I let that happen to anybody? I have to speak up somehow for the people who have been labeled as less than by their peers because unfortunately, I am too familiar with what that feels like.
I have never understood why people like to tear others down. If you hurt someone’s feelings, it’s probably because you are trying to fill some kind of hole in your heart, and you think by breaking down someone else it will somehow fill you up, but it only leaves you feeling more empty than before. Why do that when you can make someone else feel good, which then has the power to make you feel good almost by default? What is even the point of being mean?
I’m sure people have their reasons, but I am convinced I won’t ever truly understand it. Especially online. When writing something online, you have nothing but time to come up with a good, respectful response. There’s no panicking about coming up with the perfect comeback, if it’s your turn to respond, you have all the time you need to write out what needs to be said.
There are so many beautiful, positive, and inspiring words people could use, but still, there are people who choose harsh and cruel words to have a negative impact on people instead.
I think that’s why I wanted so badly to create a positive space online, where people can read something that will make them feel good, hopefully, make them smile, or maybe learn a little more about someone who isn’t exactly like them, but is still just as important. I know not everybody here likes school, but learning something new about someone and learning about acceptance is such a beautiful thing, and I feel its power is underrated.
My blog started as a place where I wrote things just for me, things that made me happy, things that I wanted to share, but didn’t have enough confidence to. I knew it was public, but I never knew how many people would see it, who would read it, and who it would affect.
Now here I am. It’s been over a year since my blog was born, and I am here, telling you all about it, my message, my story, and my life. I never thought I would have the strength to share my little online world with my family and friends, let alone a room full of people who barely know me.
Nevertheless, I am here. Proud of the words I have written and decided to say aloud in front of you all today. I hope maybe we can all understand and try to accept each other a little better now.
Thank you for supporting me and reading my content. I appreciate every view, every like, every share, and every comment, more than you could imagine. Because of this blog, I get to share I what I believe in. I believe in having hope, I believe that happiness is something everyone can achieve if they open their heart, and I believe that by having a positive mindset and trying your best to understand and accept others as they are, is the only way this world will ever be united. I believe that someday things will change, whether I am here to see it or not, I know someday we’ll get there.
I hope you all have a wonderful day and as always . . .
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