Hi, welcome to Inner Reformation! My name is Tessa Priem. You can learn more about me on the right and by perusing my site. I am beginning a new phase to my dance project: my life story is danced out, now I aim to put it into words. I'm playing around with the term "reality literature" or "social media lit," where I will be sharing my writings via Facebook. My website will sort of serve as the hub where it's all collected. Enjoy!
The Autobiography Written for "Inner Reformation," Writing #4
Are You Being Honest?
"You know, Tessa, you aren't forthright." That's what she told me. That's what my roommate told me years ago. She asked me a question but could see the dishonesty in my reply, likely through my nervous glance. She was right: I internally thought differently than how I answered her. I guess I didn't want to hurt her feelings, even though all she wanted was an honest reply.
Though it's embarrassing, I'll go ahead and tell you that I didn't know what forthright meant at that time. So I looked it up, and I was none too pleased with this definition of myself. I had never thought of myself as a liar; I considered my speech to be honest. But this proclamation hit me: there was a lot that I lied about because I didn't want to disappoint people. It's not that I did this every day, or straight up weaved wicked falsities, but in subtle ways, I was insincere when pressed. When in an uncomfortable situation, I would bend the truth. Yet I would somehow think I told the truth simply because I had been "nice" in my response.
This revelation and accusation of me lacking honesty hit me similarly to being called a 3 x 5 pool. It's not who I wanted to be! But how could I possibly become forthright? I was far too timid in situations where I perceived I might hurt someone, AND I hated conflict with a passion, as I already mentioned. To say "nice" things or to politely back out of the relationship always seemed the easiest route to go. If you're dating someone and you don't like something about them, back out of the relationship! If someone said something and it hurt you, don't tell them! Just keep it to yourself and see if it goes away. It'll probably go away.
However, in my case, and in many instances, it doesn't go away! Not for someone like me! Not for someone who holds onto things, never letting them go. In other words, dishonesty and unresolved conflict have a way of lodging within that makes it challenging to live, let alone interact with the other person. Especially in cases where the absolute truth is needed.
How many relationships could have gone differently, I wonder, had I been truthful? How much more would I, and the other person, have grown if we would have talked, opened up? Where did I learn this timidity, this lack of courage in my communication? Was it nature or nurture, or both? How could I undo it? And would things have ended up differently between him and me if we both would have been HONEST?
I will never know because that is the past. I will never know what "could have been;" I will never ever know that.
But what I do know is that I have now. I have the opportunity to be brave and sincere NOW.
Click here for my previous writing. And here you see can see a record of my Facebook post. And if you want to learn more about all I do, visit my about page!
Hi, my name is Tessa. I'm a dancer, choreographer, writer, performer, and digital art maker--the creator of the solo show "Inner Reformation: an Autobiography Danced." It's my life story danced out! I began creating my solo show on October 31, 2016. Now (October 31, 2019), I seek to put my life story into words. I'm allowing myself five years to complete my written autobiography; it's an adventure! Feel free to leave comments, share, "like" these blog posts, and so forth. If you need anything, just write!