Like I Tell The Kids: If You Don’t Tell ‘Em What You’re Doing, They’ll Think You’re Doing Nothing


Don’t take up too much space.

It’s not nice to talk/think/write/focus so much on yourself.

Who do you think you are?

(which was really more of a statement than a question).

These are some of the messages that came at me from all directions during my formative years, and let me tell you what: they burrowed in deep and took a tight hold. Despite my Big Birthday, I still need reminding every now ‘n then (like yesterday, for example), and I thank my son Kipp for splashing a little of his wisdom on me and wrapping it around my finger as a constant reminder that it’s not only okay, it’s imperative that I speak up and tell people what I want and need instead of wishing, hoping, thinking, and maybe even praying that they’ll get it on their own. It’s okay, for example, to tell the hair stylist that I need a towel under my neck at the wash basin. And it’s okay to open my mouth and tell my friend that I’d like her to occasionally ask me how my writing is going. And to tell another friend that I’d sure appreciate it if she’d give me credit when using my words. That it’s okay if I look my mother right in the eye and tell her that I need and want more than anything for her to see me as the creative, funny, trustworthy, honest, reliable, responsible, talented, caring woman I am. Cause you know what? I just can’t waste another nanosecond sitting around waiting to be discovered.


  1. sarah

    Yes, it’s amazing to see that the discovery comes from your side, identifying the what-you-need-don’t-need and letting others know.

    i want my loved ones to feel loved, and i am grateful when they tell me what does or doesn’t feel that way. Because, of course, I take everything personally and so do they.

  2. sorrow

    You sparkle and you shine. And How is the writing going? ~grin~

  3. Carrie Hensley

  4. Joyce Beverly

    You’ve put words, again, to what so many women feel, especially Southerners. “It’s okay to do a good job, you’re well-bred after all, but don’t think you’re anything special” and if you do, don’t worry, one of the Methodist Women will fix that for you. Enough!
    It would be different if we really were getting too big for our britches but this message went so deep there’s no chance of that.

    • Tari

      That’s the exact phrase I grew up hearing, “Don’t get too big for your britches, little lady.” My mother thinks I should “get out of the way” of 18-wheelers on the highway because they need to use the roads to earn a living. I guess everyone else just uses the highways for pleasure. Talk about driving the point home that other people’s needs are greater than mine!

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Hey, Sugar! I'm Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer ~ stitcher ~ storyteller ~ one-woman performer ~ creator & founder of The 70273 Project, and I'm mighty glad you're here. Make yourself at home, and if you have any questions, just holler.

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