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be brave.

be-brave

As 2013 comes to an end, I succumb to the old cliché of looking back on the year. And what a year it was. So many changes. And I am not just referring to getting married, which incidentally was the easiest transition to slide into.

One of my favorite songs of the year is "Brave" by Sara Bareilles. The song about having the courage to stop holding your tongue in fear of what others may think sort of became my anthem for 2013.

As I grow into my 30s, I have become unapologetic for who I am and for how I feel. I finally trust my feelings. Who knew that would be such a challenge? If something bothers me, I have the courage to speak up. If something or someone doesn't feel right, it's usually for a reason that ends up revealing itself. As obvious as this all seems, I struggled with this for most of my life. As a former people-pleaser, I was that person who kept my mouth shut especially with friends, reducing my feelings as petty drama. The 30-year-old me calls bullshit.

My wedding was a big turning point for me; new friends impressed me with their genuine concern for me on what is considered a big day; and a few old friends, well proved to be just that, old friends. Insulting my in-laws by assuming they were stupid for not speaking perfect English, stopping my French friends from doing special things for me because that is "not how it is done in America", complaining that their beds that my sister-in-law and I made for them were uncomfortable, and lastly, telling me that my wedding day was not about me was more than enough evidence, forcing me to look closer.

I had a choice to make: Speak up with the hopes of reaching a resolution (maybe there was an explanation?), or hold it in which inevitably would result in me talking about it behind their backs, because let's be honest, it's one or the other. We're not robots, we need to purge our emotions. Because I deemed them as true friends who deserved honesty as well as not wanting to be a portrait of my past, I spoke up. 

I got deleted on Facebook.

As uncomfortable as speaking up was, I still don't regret it. It taught me that a true friend will allow you to speak the truth, not try to manipulate you by pulling at random, irrelevant facts, getting other people involved, and deleting you on Facebook just to desperately prove that your feelings are wrong. In a world where everyday we are building our acceptance and tolerance of others, how is it that some of us cannot accept the views of others without shaming them?

2013 introduced me how to be brave and to speak my mind. 2014 will solidify it.

Have you ever been forced to be brave?

29 comments:

  1. Hear, Hear!

    Good for you for speaking up. I have found that the older I get, the less I am able to tolerate being treated badl, but the bonus, the friends I have, are REAL friends and I know it and they know it. Life is too short for the bullsh*t. x.

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    1. I do think when we're younger we accept a lot more, but as we get older we realize that having a few fabulous friends is worth much more than having a million mediocre ones. Why isn't that obvious in our youth?

      Hear, hear, indeed. Onward and upward!

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  2. You go, girl! Really. I understand your friends were threatened by your unique and foreign experiences, but that does not give them the right to treat you or anyone in your "new life" poorly; especially not on your special day! I'm glad you spoke up! They should have acknowledged their behavior rather than react in immaturity. I'm sorry. Even though you reacted in bravery and don't need toxicity like that, it's a bummer you had to deal in the first place. It never ceases to amaze me how some people mentally spend their lives on caddy middle school playgrounds.

    Being honest about ourselves and our thoughts is important, but hopefully 2014 will be the year you're not as challenged to do so!

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    1. It was really disappointing but I realized that I was holding onto a mirage of friendships, ones that worked when I was younger. I saw a truly selfish side of some people that shocked and confused me more than it hurt me.

      I hope 2014 isn't as challenging either! Thank you for your insightful comment, Danielle.

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  3. A true friend cheers for you every step of the way… on and off Facebook:)

    Count me in! (But you already know that;))

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    1. Yeah! The thing is, I don't even need cheerleaders. I just wanted my friends to be nice to me on my wedding; not storm out of the ceremony two times, not hide from the other girls and my mother that there was a secret video being filmed (we received it a few weeks ago, it's only my French friends and my French class friends) and not ask my in-laws perverted questions! Was I being a bridezilla here? ; )

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  4. Good for you! It's better to be surrounded by people who care about you and make you feel good about yourself than a lot of people who could care less. I'm surrounded by quite a few people who are too busy kissing each others' asses than actually being true friends. It grates on my nerves and I'm sick of seeing it.

    I'm trying to stick up for myself more and more. I'm shy by nature, so it's quite hard to break away from that, but I'm trying.

    -Shannon

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    1. Ass kissing?! Whoa. There's a story there. Are these people in your master's program? Maybe another blog post vent is due. ; )

      You have to stick up for yourself otherwise you will live your life trying to be the cool friend, the easy-going one and then your wedding comes and you flip...like I ended up doing. Use me as a cautionary tale. : )

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  5. So true! anyway, us expats aren't we forced to be brave? :)

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    1. So true. It's not easy uprooting your life, despite the glamorous stigma it usually receives. : )

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  6. Uh, last I checked your wedding is all about you. Isn't that what makes it YOUR wedding? How awful to make fun of others and complain when you are a guest. Good for you for making the right call and moving on!

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    1. I take part of the blame. I made the mistake of making it more about my friends (what bride makes beds the day before her wedding?) and that was the central theme that when the actual day came, the role reversal was difficult for some of them. (I just have to add that two of my American friends were GEMS and made me feel special.)

      I'm glad I cleaned house! I guess it took a wedding to see some true colors. Thank you Kristen for your comment!

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  7. What a brave, moving and inspirational post. How I admire you for facing some of your demons and overcoming them. Sadly some people just bring negativity to our lives that we can do without. I feel you
    found out who your true friends are.
    Ive learned a lot from you. Best wishes for the new year. Love Denise

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    1. Thank you Denise. It took me a few months to post about it because I still wasn't sure what had happened. I wasn't so much hurt as I was confused. It took my mother, my friends and my husband to help me see the clarity of he situation; some of these people were openly not happy for me. Simple as that.

      I'm glad that you have learned from me. I feel that you have taught me things as well through your posts. Thank you.

      Sending you best wishes as well for the new year and the holidays. xo.

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  8. What a great post. As I approach my wedding I realise I definitely have to be a bit braver with certain people. I have also always been a people pleaser, but having to please 100 of them, is proving to be the turning point for me too. I hope I can be as brave!

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    1. Thank you so much, Anna! And congratulations on your up coming wedding!

      Oh I remember trying to make EVERYONE happy and comfortable (a byproduct of guilt I felt for having my wedding abroad) and my advice to you is to make sure that YOU are happy and comfortable, otherwise your people-pleasing instincts will bleed into your actual wedding day and you may crack. I did. They say "this is your time" for a reason. Believe it.

      Thank you for commenting!

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  9. Yep, be brave. It is really worth it. I loved my 30s so much because it felt like this huge wave of strength and confidence came rolling into my life! Admittedly, I am not feeling it so much in my 40s (yep, for me 40 is the new 40) but that is ok, it is still there inside me and I certainly don't put up with shenanigans anymore. Remi and I did a major cleaning house of toxic friends last year and while we aren't as social as we used to be because of it, we are happier.
    Bisous and I loved your comment chez moi! :)

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    1. I think every few years you have to clean house. Isn't that part of growth? I used to think it was a reflection on me and that I had issues. I finally realized that all of the strong women in my life have had to let go of friends who just weren't working out anymore. There is no shame in it. I'd rather be happy and feel loved than have tons of "likes" on Facebook.

      I'll post a photo of the "faux-mage" I made on Friday. It was killer! I'll link up the recipe as well.

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  10. Yes, I've had to be that person, and you know what? The person in question still didn't get it even 6 months down the line (after doing the Facebook deletion first) when trying to come crawling back to get me back in their obedient puppy role (you know the one, where you are only ever useful to the person when there's no-one else available or willing to either listen to their whines, or do things to entertain them)

    Hope next year, with the new friends, is much better for you!

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    1. Damn. You deleted someone on FB (I kind of hate how FB dictates the status of our relationships, but that's another post) and they still didn't get it? They must be truly oblivious! I hope you gave this person a piece of your mind! You deserve better, Katy!

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    2. Oh no, they deleted me after I told them we needed a timeout for a few months (before I strangled them!) THEN they came crawling back. I've given them a piece of my mind 3 times, trying to explain it to them, but they managed to turn the entire thing into being about them every time. I admire the ability to be that egotistic, but that's it!

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    3. Wow I know this person (not literally)! Just letting you know it's happened to me too! Ah! Good riddance!

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  11. I love that song too and listened to it on repeat for a while! It's so upbeat and encouraging.

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    1. Isn't it a great song? So empowering! I love Sara Bareilles, she's a talented, no-gimmick songstress. I wish she would stop being overshadowed by the Katy Perrys of the American music scene.

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  12. Be brave- yes!
    I sort of touched upon this on my blog post today.
    I went through so much bs growing up- I was trained to be quiet and just take it; and then care for the exact ppl who were treating my badly.
    I didn't expect to find these sorts of people in France upon moving here (literally my first friend!)...but of course they exist here too. I didn't speak up at first. I didn't even realize when I was being manipulated/used in the beginning.
    Now I can see clearly...that's was the 1st step for me.
    Then..make a choice. A healthy choice. That choice may be to speak up..or it may be to distance yourself from someone..depending on the situation.
    I'm happy to be at the age and place I am for that. I didn't use the word "brave" on my blog; that was indeed where I was getting at when I wrote about facing fears.
    It's still scary to speak up. I guess it'll take practice!
    I got de-friended too.. but it's such a good thing. It's a normal filtering process that is healthy.
    Miss you!

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  13. I love the message behind this, I have being struggling with finding the courage to speak out about a lot of things lately, nice to hear it's something other people deal with too

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  14. I absolutely love that Brave song by Sara Bareilles, and had a conversation with a friend who went to see her in London about how generally awesome she is : ) It's a brave thing to stand up to friends who you need to call out on their behaviour - go you! Getting a Facebook delete in return sucks, but just proves that you had some clearing out of friends to do - it happens as we all change so much between our adolescence and adulthood (wait, what age exactly do we become adults? The jury is definitely still out on me!) but it doesn't mean that it is the most fun thing ever, because it isn't. I think my bugbear is when people, who are often the ones to start the s**t in the first place, turn around and say "I don't like confrontation" when you either call them out on it, or try to have a conversation with them about how their s****y behaviour made you feel. Whereas a true friend, and I have been on both sides of this coin, will hear you out, be able to accept that they hurt you and offer a heartfelt apology, which you in turn will graciously accept and then move on having learnt a valuable lesson. X P.S. Yes, I'm behind in catching up on your blog posts. Je m'excuse!! Am i cozy?

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    1. LouLou, you are SO COZY! Cozy girls get candy!!! Always remember that. ; )

      I actually met Sara Bareilles about a week after my horrible break-up. She was opening for Maroon 5 at Casino de Paris and I went backstage (I get ballsy when I'm sad) and hung out in her dressing room with her and her band. I told her the story of the break-up and she was so sweet and listened and assured me that I would be over it. At the time I wasn't so sure, but now 3 years later, I see she was right. I guess she wanted to see me be brave. : )

      I say, if you are truly friends with someone, you have to be able to call them out (it's heightened when they act like assh*les at your wedding) and that's what I did and their response was to campaign against me on FB (having uninvolved parties delete me too), well so be it. Jealousy is an irrational beast...as one of my wedding guests (one of the many witnesses) pointed out.

      It was so nice to see you last week! Hope to see you again soon!

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