Why so Shy?

I’ve been writing this blog, one of my favourite pass times of the last few months, for a while now. It’s important to me. It’s meaningful. And it’s relevant. So why have I been to shy to share it?

After I’d written a few posts, and spent hours configuring one of the world’s simplest websites (I got there in end. It took an embarrassingly long time considering I work in Digital Marketing), I kept looking at it, adding to it and thinking “hmm, I quite like that actually”. I started to share it with a few select people for feedback. My hubby, my best friends – old and new, supportive friends who I knew would give me an honest opinion, and my parents.

I don’t know why I was so hesitant, and why I didn’t just splash it all over my social media pages straight away.

To be honest, when social media first became a thing, I was reticent to join. I didn’t feel I had anything interesting to say. Why would someone want to nosey around in my business when it’s so boring? Hello Imposter Syndrome! To write about my own thoughts and feelings on something as important as racial equality, felt similarly uncomfortable. This is a subject that really, really matters to me, and more importantly, really, really matters to society. It is far from boring or mundane. And yet I couldn’t bear the thought of opening up about it and people not finding at as important as I know it to be.

The reason for “Oo! That’s a bit Racey”, right from the beginning, was to open up discussions about race. That’s what I’ve found so valuable in my own person journey to understand and do more. If and when people don’t engage it devastates me. It also frustrates me and angers me. And because I’m British, I’d much rather have a nice cup of tea than deal with any unpleasant emotions, thank you very much.

But that’s why I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone to do this. Because my comfort is less important than racism.

One of my “inner circle” who I asked to read my blog before I shared it more widely, encouraged me to share more of my own personal experiences. And that’s the hard bit. But I’m up for the challenge.

I’ve learnt how hard it is for people of colour to share their experiences of racism. Roxy, Legane, leader of the incredible organisation, Kids of Colour, explains very well in her Unconscious Bias training, that it’s a huge risk for people to speak up about racism. They risk being branded “difficult”, causing unnecessary trouble, playing the race card. And those labels can last a life time. They also risk the pain of not being heard. And that really is painful.

So it’s not just me.

Over the last week or so, I’ve shared my blog more widely, and the response and encouragement I’ve had has been truly inspiring and so encouraging. I feel very blessed to have a hundred advocates in my life for every “silent witness”. And do you know what, if my constant chatter opens up just the smallest crack of a closed door in someone, then my objective is achieved. My little circle of influence will only get larger. And that’s what spurs me on to keep writing and keep sitting on my uncomfortable cushion of personal sharing.

Wish me luck everyone, and thanks again for joining me!

Published by clairebale

Mixed-race Brit on a journey to learn, explore and understand more about society, equality and race. A marketer, educator and feminist, and a committed ally to everyone wanting to do more to make positive change in the world.

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