There’s nothing like self censorship.  I’ve had a lot of thoughts, opinions, and memories rolling around in my mind the last several weeks.  But I’ve stopped myself from putting those thoughts down in black and white for fear of someone taking offense to them or even taking them out of context and twisting my words around into something I didn’t mean.

Sometimes my opinions don’t always roll along the same track as the outspoken majority.  I say outspoken only because when I have conversations face to face with people I find that there are many more out there that think like I do.  But regardless of whether people agree or disagree I am entitled to my opinion, my thoughts, and my memories.

Like everyone else on the planet I have my own thoughts and opinions.  Sometimes they are in line with the majority and sometimes they’re not.  Sometimes they are off the wall and way out in left field.  But they are mine and I’m entitled to them.  I take pleasure in writing about my thoughts and opinions in this blog.  Sometimes I have something I feel like I need to share and this is how I do it.  You don’t have to agree or even like it.  That’s okay.  Everyone has their own opinions and are without a doubt entitled to them.  They also have a right to express it as well.  But arguing with me about it is senseless.  I’m not talking about an adult discussion of differences.  I’m talking about calling me or anyone else with an opinion different than your own uninformed, stupid, or whatever.  An opinion is an opinion.  Its not fact.  It neither right or wrong.  It just is.

There are things that have happened in my life that I would like to share.  Not because they are important or earth shattering.  Some are funny, some are sad, some happy, and some are just crazy.  But they are things that have happened that have caused me to become the person that I am today.

There are things that have happened within my great big extended family that I haven’t discussed.  I censored myself by telling myself that I shouldn’t step on any toes.  I shouldn’t drag that back up.  I should let that go.  I really just didn’t want to “start” something.  But I’ve decided that as far as family events, if I want to write about it I will.  I won’t argue with anyone about what I’ve written and I will try not to feel the need to defend myself.  It is what it is.  If someone has a different outlook or memory, let them write them down in their own way.  In the future I will ignore those who try to intimidate me and to silence me.  Like any family we have our bullies.  I enjoy my great big extended family.  I love to pass the day sitting with family at reunions and get togethers, reminiscing about past events and those who have passed on.  But when it comes right down to it, the only family I need is Doug.  I love all of my family.  I would feel a little empty and do feel a little empty when I lose contact with someone.  But one thing I’ve heard that is absolutely, 100% true is the say “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.”  So I would love to be “friend” as well as cousin, niece, sister, aunt.  But in reality it isn’t always possible.

What I’ve learned since I began this blog in March of last year is that it brings me satisfaction and a sense of  accomplishment.  I think everyone should put their own thoughts, memories, and ideas down in writing.  I know I wish my grandparents and even my great grandparents had left some kind of written diary for the future generations.  Think how enlightening it would be to read what my great grandparents thoughts and trials where when they settled the Oklahoma territory.  Or the thoughts of my other great grandfather as he traveled as a boy from Alabama to Texas because of a falling out with his family’s Baptist relatives.

I’ve received far more positive feedback than negative in the last year.  But I have lost a couple of friends and a few family members.  But looking back I think maybe the connections to those people weren’t so strong, positive, or uplifting.  Maybe the tie needed to be cut.  So I’ll start all over again, fresh.  Unfettered with the fear of stepping on toes or offending someone.  Its not that I’m about to embark on a series of stores or tales that are intentional mean spirited or offensive.  Its just that I have learned in the last year that there are people out there that will take offense or for some reason really believe that I am speaking directly about them.  The world is full of humorless people who carry a chip on their shoulder.

I’m starting anew with the knowledge that these things I write are mine.  I owe no apology to anyone.  I simply say to anyone that feels offended “Get a grip!!  The world doesn’t revolve around you.”  If I should write about a memory or event that involved you or your family, just remember, we all have different memories of the same event.  It doesn’t make mine any less valid than yours.  Its my memory and my opinion.  I’ll be happy to listen to your memory as well.

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