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  • Writer's pictureLana Maher

This is a Public Shame Announcement

This article was inspired by the quote: “Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s okay. You’re here to live your life, not to make everyone understand” ~ Banksy

Graffiti Art by Banksy

When I was younger I sought adventure in my life. As I grew older, I found myself playing it safe. Playing by the rules of the so-called-imaginary book “How You SHOULD Live Your Life”, authored by The People Around You.

Let’s face it, once I became understanding of the “Social Dynamics”, I worked hard trying to please everyone; starting from my parents, my teachers, my friends, my bosses, my colleagues, my partners, and the list goes on. If you are anything like me, I don’t remember anyone advising me to do my own thing; to do me.

Before I go on, I want to point out that I’m writing this article, focussing on the pronoun “I”. I do not want to generalize my own experiences, and at the same time, I know I will have some readers resonating and relating in someway, simply because we are all human living in similar structured societies.

After many years of people telling me what I should do, how I should be, how I should feel, how I should speak, how I should act, and even what I should like; I found my own identity lost. And the question that haunted me in my late 20s was, “Who am I?”.

“I” was lost. It felt like an identity crisis.

To cut a super-long-beautiful-self-discovery-journey story short, I found “Me”. And, it is not much of “how” I found myself, but “where” I found myself. I was trapped behind the biggest-fattest-ugliest fear of them all, “What would people think?!”

“What would people think”, was so deeply instilled in me; that when I rebelled against it in some parts of my life, it haunted me in the other parts.

That sneaky little bastard!

People, do I tell yah?!

Now in my mid 30s, this fear morphed and became freakishly sneaky. It was like it knew I was onto it. It started to take on different voices, different words, crawling up in new and different situations, camouflaging itself as "The Road to Success", whispering:

“You have to be different”

“You have to read more! You have to know more!”

“You have to use relatable words” “You have to sound and look professional” “Do more videos, nobody reads”

“Write a shareable article”

“Don’t use bad language” “Put on make-up!”

“Don’t stutter or pause in your videos” “Lighting must be perfect”

So many whispers...

Hey, some of these whispers, sound like thoughts that would push me to do better. BUT, on the contraire my fellow readers; I haven’t written an article in a long time, nor have I put out a video.

So here I am, writing this article, not allowing this fear to humiliate me no longer. But rather I am publicly shaming it, for mental hostage, mental harassment, and mental trespassing!

I am grateful to have written this article, with so much ease. And what I am telling my fear right now is...


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