Taking up space – the one thing I am terrible at and have to work on consistently.
I never liked it when people took up too much space. When they sucked all the air out of the room and encroached on my personal bubble. As a response to this type of character, I spent my entire life trying not to be that person. What happened instead was that I did everything I could to minimize myself, make myself as small as possible and basically try to erase myself from any room I walked into.
It’s easy now to look back and point to the fact that I was shy, scared, or lacked confidence. Although, my go-to defence was that I was an introvert and I liked to listen more than I talked.
But as time passed, and I slowly started gaining more confidence, this inner conflict kept brewing. Should I speak up? Should I say what I think? Should I hide away in a corner and make myself small? Should I let the extroverts talk and silence myself? All these questions were at the forefront of my mind anytime I was in a social situation.
The root cause of these questions and the emotions I was feeling took a while for me to understand. What I was doing was perhaps a form of self-sabotage rooted in a lack of confidence, but at the end of the day I truly believed that I wasn’t allowed to take up space in this world.
I believed that if I took up any space, then I was encroaching on someone else’s space. Not yet understanding the idea that we are all here, and therefore we are all allowed to take up the space we are given. There is a clear difference between encroaching on someone else, and just taking up the space granted to you as a human being on this planet.
What took me years to learn, and is something I still remind myself daily, is that I am allowed to take up space. As long as I am not disrupting or encroaching on other people’s space, I am allowed to take it up. I am allowed to be here; I am allowed to exist in this space however I want.
So here is my small piece of wisdom to you all: You are here on this planet, therefore you are allowed to exist and take up space. You are not a waste of space, you do not need to make yourself small to accommodate others, you can be here and be yourself.