Never talk about politics, especially if you know the other person disagrees with you.

Sound advice, right? I thought so too. Last summer, it was late at night, and I decided to talk about politics. I never do that. Ever. I have very strong opinions, but they’re fairly controversial to most so I mostly keep them to myself. On this particular night I decided to go for it.

When I framed my opinions, I had to explain how my childhood affected my point of view, so I told a story. My friend looked at me, and told me he had never heard me talk about my childhood before. I was totally blown away by that. Surely he’s heard me talk about my childhood, he was probably just not listening. But no, he told me that he wishes I would speak more because he thinks I have something interesting to say, but most often I just keep my thoughts to myself.

This rocked me. I am Zanetta. I had a blog when I was 9 years old. My parents divorced when I was young, so I’ve been grappling with being the screwed up kid for most of my life. So I’m an open book, right? I’m used to telling people what’s on my mind. People just have to ask. You know, they have to ask very specific questions about very specific things that happened to me in a safe way so that I don’t feel judged when I respond. Oh. That’s not what “open book” means, huh?

I was so sure that I am, in fact an open book. I went home and I started to write. I wrote about some of the pain I went through and some of the fears I have. I wrote it all down on Facebook. All I had to do was hit, “post”.

But, this will make people uncomfortable. I don’t want people to feel uncomfortable.

No, it makes me feel uncomfortable.

It took me a while to figure out why. The truth is, some of the stories from when I was a kid make me really sad. And I don’t want to be seen that way. I view myself as someone who pulled herself out of some tough times with the help of some really amazing and selfless people. And I don’t want to play victim and pretend that my life was horrific to win pity points.

But here’s the thing that took me several months to learn. It’s not about pity. I need to share my stories because it’s what made me who I am. I need to be more open because people want to hear what I have to say. And I need to honor the people who helped me along the way, by sharing their stories too.

So, that’s why I’m starting this blog. It’s a new year, and today I turned 25. This year I want to focus on honesty, so I’m going to start by putting myself out there more.

What are you focused on for 2019?

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