Let’s Talk in the Now -Part 2

To have the world we want, we must be willing to ask for it.

The reason there is a Part 2 to this post is because I did not post Part 1 when I wrote it. I decided after that I needed to take steps, to challenge myself and the ideas I had just written. I forced myself to be vulnerable.

The day after I wrote that, I decided to make plans with a dear friend I was missing desperately. Things had been strained between us and I not only missed, but needed him. It’s hard for me to face my fears when it comes to personal relationships. When I love someone, my heart grows desperate if I feel my truth could hurt them. Instead I shut it in and stuff it down, which I do not recommend. It can come in handy as a pause, but it’s terrible as an emotional habit.

What happened was profound. We are both in new places in our lives. The reaction I was afraid of did not exist and a warm and open heart is what I got. For the first time in years I felt that he heard me. He didn’t question me and didn’t make me feel bad. In fact it was quite the opposite and I felt that in that moment got my best friend back. I am so grateful.

That same week, I made a difficult phone call based on the reaction of a colleague. I made my concerns known with compassion and openness, and again…I was heard. I set up a call with a treasured friend who I wanted to talk to, but was afraid to share the pain I was feeling with. I didn’t want to burden her and have her think I was being dramatic. I had avoided the call for weeks. When we spoke the relief flooded and she assured me that if I ever needed to just cry, I was welcome to.

We all go through our own personal chaos. The lucky ones were taught that no one can do it alone, they ask for what they need and though it’s still hard as shit, knowing you’re not alone gets you through. Unfortunately for many of us it’s not like that. Some force the chaos on others, some blame the world and others squelch it down into the deepest part of their bones (that would be me by the way) hoping it will somehow disappear. This is even harder for people who have spent their lives needing to be strong. Thinking it weak to ask for help or simply say I need you now because I’m not strong enough alone.

Somewhere in my life I learned that to cry, to be exposed, to allow others to see that I am not perfect or as together as so many think I am; it makes me weak. What writing Part 1 showed me was my reflection. I had to see myself and ask if I am actually asking for what I need or sharing my truth. What am I actually saying? I realized that more often than not, I am the one to change the subject. I don’t want to talk about myself…or should I say, expose myself. I am uncomfortable if I think the other person is uncomfortable. I assume they do not want to hear the negative. In some cases, I’m sure that’s true but not as often as I have allowed myself to believe.

In reality what I am learning is that I do want to be seen, and not for the person people think I am, for the person who I actually am. I am a strong, intelligent woman whose soul requires being a part of a community. I am an artist who loves to collaborate, and leader who wants to learn as much as she teaches. I am a human being, like all others, who is imperfect and afraid and I will fight for the courage to be okay with it all, however long that takes.



Author: Finding True North

Nichole Donje is an interdisciplinary artist, activist, and leader. A philosopher and self-exploration addict, Nichole is currently working on two books of art and poetry FINDING TRUE NORTH and LIFE POEMS. She is a visual artist and photographer. Nichole founded and ran the highly regarded New York City based independent theatre company TAPT from 2006-2016. Serving as TAPT’s Artistic Director, Nichole worked diligently to support new and forgotten works that help shape the way we view the world around us. A recognized leader, Nichole served three terms as Vice President of the Board of Directors for The Players. Currently, she chairs both the Communications and Theatre Committees which she established. The Players celebrates the rich cultural life of New York City with exclusive member-only events that include live performances, readings by leading authors and playwrights, film screenings, and dining in its famous Grill Room. More information about The Players may be found at theplayersnyc.org. A key influencer of the Players current revitalization she has become an advocate for the art and livelihood of a social club. The Players not only honors yesterday’s and today’s luminaries of the performing arts but also reminds us of the necessity of building face to face relationships. Nichole is a member of SAG-AFTRA, LPTW/League of Professional Theatre Women, LeanInNYC, and The Players.

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