There are a number of factors that went into my slowly going from guy in the corner observing the people at the party, to talking to people at the party. The same goes for speaking in public.
I was afraid to share my views in the past because people are usually unkind when others express their views. But I have to do it. Regardless of fear, regardless of rejection I am outspoken regarding what I think. It isn't because think others need to know what I think, it is because I do not want to be painted with the same brush as anyone else. On some issues it is more important than others to separate myself.
I make no attempt at convincing others, but if I am called strident, cynical or indignant, it truly makes me angry. I never try to destroy another person's motives, or character. I simply look at what was said or done. Usually, actions will speak volumes about the motives.
I get asked a number of questions for a number of reasons. I write fiction, but some people assume that because I do, I have an interest in any of the subjects I've written about, and perhaps I do. However, since I've written about such a wide variety of subjects from Jack the Ripper to Bigfoot to Samurai to Jesus, the readers of my work have a lot to ask about, and assume about.
But what was the trigger for the change? I had no choice. In order to graduate from college I had to take a course for my minor degree wherein I had to give two 10 minute speeches in the class. While the class was fun, interesting and I learned a lot, what I truly learned was, no one in a class wants you to fail, they are all, just like you, wanting you to succeed because a 10 minute speech can truly break you as a person, as the speaker, and as a member of the audience 10 minutes of a stammering, slow, pointless, horrible speech can feel like 100 minutes. So, the course showed me that the fear of judgment by others towards me was baloney. And at some point the classroom, at 8:45 pm, in July, was so dark I couldn't read my notes, so I thought, wait, if I can't read my notes, they can't see my face. So the nervous factor just disappeared. I got a B+ in the class, and both speeches got A's. Who knew?
And now, I have decided to write here, for the future, about my world, political, religious, and philosophical views. I might not be entirely popular, or even, at all popular. But my work of writing is who I am, and my poems tell my story. I've survived my loss of my mother, my good friend Cathy, and now, I do not want to go forward investigating my depression, but rather, expressing my views, and catching some hope.