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LJ Idol: Topic 1/Week 1: Winding Up

I finished my sentence as my heart thudded in my chest and the flames in my cheeks began to die down. The embers still glowed on my olive skin as I touched my face, feeling the warmth. Seeds of doubt planted themselves in my brain as the professor moved on to the next student's comment.

People are going to think you're crazy.
Maybe you misunderstood that guy, and now you've just gone off on a rant for no reason.
Does anyone agree with me?

As a student, hell, as a human being, there are moments where I feel I have to stand up for something I know in my core to be true. I am constantly surrounded by people with differing and sometimes opposing views, and I would not have it any other way. I am a passionate person, though only certain topics wind me up and light the fire in my belly: politics, women's rights, child welfare, racism, homophobia being a few. I am prepared to discuss and, if necessary, defend my views on these subjects. They are part of the essence of me.

I am wound up by these subjects. Sadly, some people I know (good friends, even!) are afraid to even discuss them with me. Either they are unprepared, or unnerved by the fire that alights in me by a good discussion or debate. It is not because I fail to hear out their side of the argument, because I am willing and able to do so. At the same time, I should be allowed to express my views on the topic. Instead, I am considered "too sensitive", "too liberal", and, more recently, "snippy". Snippy? My passion is often mistaken for anger, and it has made some people turn away. My excitement for a good conversation, for an educated debate, is interpreted as irritation. It reminds me of something Ani DiFranco sang in her song, "Not a Pretty Girl":

I am not an angry girl
But it seems like I've got everyone fooled
Every time I say something they find hard to hear
They chalk it up to my anger
And never to their own fear

I have no desire to be surrounded by a million others who think and act as I do. I am a flawed human being, and I am constantly learning and re-evaluating my beliefs. It is part of the process of being human. What I would like, however, is for someone to see me get "wound up" about a subject and come toward me instead of running away at top speed. Rather than buying into the old adage that no one should discuss sex, religion, or politics, why don't we break every rule and discuss them all? Can't we clear the air and still be friends afterward? Even if we disagree, even if what you say makes my blood reach dangerous temperatures, I want to hear it. I will listen. I will always respect the person behind the words. I will never let politics get in the way of a good friendship. Winding up and feeling that fire, that spark within us, is one of the greatest things about life to me. It reminds me that I am alive and capable of feeling, of reason, of constructing a sentence.

Let's do it together. We can even like each other afterward.


( 50 comments — Leave a comment )
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Nov. 6th, 2010 02:31 pm (UTC)
I agree. Sometimes, there is nothing so satisfying as a real passionate discussion to clear the air. I love how you wrote this.
Nov. 6th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, both for reading and for the comment. :) And I wish we could all have more discussions like that without holding it against one another. Maybe someday! ;)
Nov. 7th, 2010 12:53 am (UTC)
Well done. I enjoyed.
Nov. 7th, 2010 12:54 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! I always appreciate when people read. :)
Nov. 7th, 2010 01:28 am (UTC)
My passion is often mistaken for anger, and it has made some people turn away.

I know exactly what you mean. I don't get passionate as often anymore, as I've gotten older, but I used to LIVE for a debate. I understand the feeling of being too intense for people. You did a wonderful job expressing all of those feelings.
Nov. 7th, 2010 02:00 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! I'm glad that it came across that way. I definitely feel too intense for people sometimes, but when it's who you are, it's hard to tone it down. Perhaps as I get older? :)
(no subject) - nyxocity - Nov. 7th, 2010 02:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - awriterswindow - Nov. 12th, 2010 01:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zehlyah - Nov. 7th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 7th, 2010 01:34 am (UTC)
I know what you mean and I need that song you quoted to be in my iTunes asap.
Nov. 7th, 2010 02:01 am (UTC)
Got to have some Ani DiFranco in there! :) It's called "Not a Pretty Girl".
Nov. 7th, 2010 01:41 am (UTC)
awesome post!
Nov. 7th, 2010 02:04 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! I enjoyed yours as well. :)
Nov. 7th, 2010 03:02 am (UTC)
Awesome entry. I wish I had the courage to speak up on these things. As much as I feel them, all too often, the words don't come.
Nov. 7th, 2010 01:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much, both for reading and for commenting. It's definitely hard to talk about these things...you should see how many times I changed what I was writing about! ;)
Nov. 7th, 2010 03:13 am (UTC)
Being one also with the fire, I understand where you are coming from.
Nov. 7th, 2010 01:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :) Thanks for reading, also.
Nov. 7th, 2010 03:26 am (UTC)
I like the ideas you express here. People take things too seriously, i think. They get offended, and friendships are ruined. It's too bad it has to be like that. There's nothing wrong with a good conversation. Not everyone thinks or acts the same way. Different doesn't have to mean bad.
Nov. 7th, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I think so too...I had a friend get pretty upset with me this past week when I made a comment about my state's new governor, and even though I apologized if I offended her, she's still mad. I'd hate to see us not be friends over something so ridiculous!
Nov. 7th, 2010 03:31 am (UTC)
I agree with so many of your viewpoints in this entry.

Perhaps it's that others aren't able to keep a handle on their emotions once they get revved up, and so having those discussions is more difficult for them.

Love the last couple sentences btw. Sometimes we all need to feel a bit more fire in our veins. :)
Nov. 7th, 2010 01:23 pm (UTC)
Hm..yes. I think you could be right about that! Maybe that's why we're afraid sometimes. Thank you very much!
Nov. 7th, 2010 12:55 pm (UTC)
Yes!! :)

(And yay for the Ani quote too. She's fabulous!)
Nov. 7th, 2010 01:22 pm (UTC)
She is! :)
Nov. 7th, 2010 02:59 pm (UTC)
I used to be more like this, but I find myself letting arguments go more and more. I guess I'm losing energy in my old age!
Nov. 12th, 2010 01:17 pm (UTC)
A lot of people have said that on here! Makes me wonder what I'll be like in 10, 20 years...maybe even sooner! :)
Nov. 7th, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC)
Nov. 7th, 2010 07:40 pm (UTC)
Yes, apparently I'm snippy. :)
Nov. 7th, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC)
I really liked this. my best friend and i are on opposite sides politically, and we do have fiercely loving debates sometimes. I hope you do have people who enjoy your enthusiasm and engage you in those conversations.
Nov. 7th, 2010 07:41 pm (UTC)
That's how it should be! I definitely have people who I can debate with and still love (my boyfriend is one of them...we're both sort of on the same side politically, but we disagree on a lot!). I just wish it was with more people!
Nov. 7th, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
Yes indeed! :)
Nov. 12th, 2010 01:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading! :)
Nov. 7th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a great idea!
Nov. 12th, 2010 01:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)
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