As a therapeutic exercise, I wrote a letter to my younger self, offering career advice and kindness on the long, professional road ahead that would await them. It was a reminder to myself to be compassionate about my choices and to keep my mind open to the possibilities we have yet to encounter.
Hello, gentlepeople! My name is Tiara (She/They/Pronoun fluid). I am a social worker, introvert, writer, and fellow awkward human being. I started my blog, Muted Mouthful, in 2018 as a hobby to help me untangle some of life's messiness. I have always felt out of place and misunderstood. My mind is loud, but my voice is quiet, and I needed a safe space to unload. Muted Mouthful is an extension of myself. It allows me to communicate my feelings, thoughts, and questions without judgment. As a Black, Puerto Rican, queer and non-binary person, my perspective and lived experiences are "supposed" to stay suppressed. My blog tells my story through personal essays, creative writing, and random shenanigans.
Here we are, December 2020, a full year since news broke of the Novel Coronavirus a.ka. COVID-19. It has been a year of uncertainty. A year of transformation. A year of adapting. A year of learning and reflection. A year of illness and death. A year of loss and grief. And a year of lies and misinformation. No, a lot of this was not new or unique to this year. Some may even describe every year of their lives this way. However, we cannot deny the unprecedented surface area this year has touched.
An apology is usually reserved for some form of wrong-doing or disrespect, intentionally or unintentionally. If you’re not doing anything wrong, then there’s no need to apologize. If you’re like me, you know that’s much easier said than done. There are a lot of reasons you may be an over apologizer, but it doesn’t have to be a life-long identity.
If you’re a long-time follower of my blog, you may recall posts that discuss my discomfort with sharing my blog with my family and friends. I listed it as a goal, trying to convince myself that one day I would overcome my fears and insecurities and share with the people around me. Well the time has come.
If you have ever experienced a crisis, which looks different for everyone, you may have experienced an overwhelming loss of control. The heaviness of everything weighing on you prevents you from being able to think, speak, feel, and act as you would if you were well. Your family and friends, who may or may not know your behaviors, also do not know how to act. It’s very isolating and scary. Developing a crisis plan is a tool to assist yourself and your loved ones with managing your care in the event of a crisis
One year ago today, hand-in-hand with my favorite person, we walked down a lantern-lined aisle; on a hot New Orleans Thursday afternoon. Under the Tree of Life, a symbol of growth, strength, and connectedness, we proudly said, “we do!” Oh, what a beautiful day that was! To celebrate, I wanted to share a few details with you all, including our ceremony script.
Do you have a friend in your life you consider the “strong friend”? You may not use that label, but may have used descriptors such as reliable, understanding, problem-solver, gives solid advice, always knows what to say, and has it all together. This friend has your back, is your cheerleader, very comforting and supportive, and a good listener. All done without asking for reciprocation. Does that sound like someone you know or, does that sound like you? That friend is probably exhausted.
This year, as chaotic as it’s been, has allowed me time for introspection. Today, 7/27, is my birthday; I have a lot to say to my younger self. They should be very proud.
I’ve been weird all my life, not fitting in and feeling pressured to do so. I have a new appreciation for weirdness and being a weird Black kid; this is my love note to all the others.
Permitting yourself to be authentic is beautiful, but it takes practice, trust, and safety. We hear over and over that we should be ourselves, without the warning that it needs to fit someone else’s design.