Tuesday, February 8, 2011


If you were wondering if I was going to post today ...
So was I.
I'm finding it nearly impossible to express myself.
I was awake off and on all night thinking about this post.
Rewriting sentences in my mind...changing those words to these...deleting that paragraph, adding this one...
And now sitting in front of my computer, I find myself doing the same thing.

A few weeks ago my sister made a declaration - a declaration that changed my life.
Maybe it wasn't as dramatic as that...but it was enough to know that my sister really knows me.
We were walking around the track at the rec center and she asked me a question about something.
"I probably can't answer that question, " I told her.  "We can't talk about this...not without me saying something that will sound mean and spiteful."
She looked at me and said, "Consider this track Switzerland.  We're in neutral territory.  You can say whatever you need to say.  It will not leave here and it will not change my own opinion about anything."

There are so many things in this world I feel strongly about.
There are so many things I see in a day that I wish I could change somehow.
I read blogs and comments on blogs and get worked up.
I stew all day about things I read.
I hear political opinions and want to shout at the top of my lungs when I think something is wrong.
I hear friends talk about their disappointments and trials, and once in a while I think 'I have the answer that would help this person', and generally I say nothing.
Not because I don't believe in what I think, but because I know that my opinion will rarely make a difference in anything.

I save all of it for the track. 
I tell my sister about the conversations I have with people, and about the things I read.
And then I tell her what I would do to change things...or what I would say to someone if given the opportunity.
My sister...bless her heart...she just listens.
And I love her for that.

Last week however, I read something that I could not save for the track.
I read something that I knew I couldn't keep quiet about.
I thought long and hard about what I would say, and after going through all of the possible ramifications of speaking out, I sent an email.
It's wasn't wordy.  In fact, it was just a few short sentences.  But it expressed how I felt.
You would probably laugh if you knew how hard my heart was pounding as I pushed the 'send' button.
It wasn't very long before I got an email back.
That email could have said anything.  It could have been filled with anger and hate.
Instead, it was an apology.
An apology and a sentence that said, "I deleted that part of what I wrote."

Believe me, what that author wrote would have been humorous for most of her audience.
But for a much smaller audience, myself included, it would have been one more attack against something we hold most sacred.
I cried when I read the email. 
I cried when I told my mom about the email.
And to be honest, I cried when I re-read the email the next day.
Because in one small moment, my voice changed something.
Not something big...not something earth shattering...but something.
Something that mattered to me.


-stephanie- said...

How cool.

Tia said...

It mattered to me too. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Noelle-I'm not surprised your comment changed something. I think you are very influential. Not sure anyone can resist you:-) Hope you are feeling well. I haven't been around much lately but think about my blogging buddies all the time. It is nice to catch up with you and your family.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I think that changing small somethings is the most we can hope for in this lifetime. Good for you!

Vibha said...

Hmmmmm. Thats was the first sound I made after reading this post . Good one as usual . But specifically speaking How do you know that your opinion would rarely make a difference in anything , with out trying ?
May be it is not your opinion people need some times, may be it is just the simple fact that you took out some time to think about their situation that matters . Opinion is of course the outcome of thinking.
Hope this experience would change your perspective about giving an opinion.

Anonymous said...

Come here, friend. Here's a hug. I am happy you could change this particular something.

Lori said...

I know what you mean about keeping things to yourself. I rarely express my opinions either. Your post inspired me to speak up next time.

Nikki said...

I don't know what it was about, but I can tell it was dear to you. I'm glad you did it. My heart raced for you as I just read about you sending the email!

Mr. Thompson and Me said...

I think I missed something. But as long as you're okay...I'm okay.

Cuz I love ya.


Joann Mannix said...

Does our friend know you wrote this? You need to send her this link.

I thought long and hard about what to say and then, unlike you, I wrote a very long email detailing my feelings. She sent me an email back, as gracious as yours, as kind and even with a thank you for you and for me, for opening her eyes just a little wider. She said you gave her a gift when you sent her that message.

Your goodness is contagious. What a wonderful thing to spread throughout the world. And now, because of your words, you have a new friend. Imagine that. A bad situation turned into the very best.

Cheeseboy said...

This was an intense post. I was captured by what might have been in that email.

I need to find a neutral track to let loose on.

And please, let me know if I ever need to delete something. I will happily do it for you.

Heather said...

I am glad you spoke out. I am sure you did so wisely with love and tenderness.

(I just had a thought...I need a Switzerland!)

Kristin @ Yellow Bliss Road said...

Good for you for speaking out. I'm on the opposite side...I speak out too much and tend to get myself into trouble!

Shan said...

So, you get to go to Switzerland on a regular basis, you're heading off to Mexico and you guide the blogosphere? Whew, girl!

Seriously though, it's fabulous when I'm *occasionally* able to say something that goes against the grain without igniting deep passions. I mostly don't attempt it. Good on ya!

jayayceeblog said...

Good for you for being courageous and doing something that mattered and made a difference! I can just imagine how scary it was to push the send button. And I am so happy for you but just a little bit jealous that you have your awesome sister in the same town with you and that great track to walk together!!!