I learned a little life lesson yesterday. A friend of mine here on the island confronted me about my blog and said it was painful for her to read because she could sense the actual pain and confusion I’m going through in my life right now. It was too revealing and consequently too hard for her as my friend to read. My response was surprise, pure surprise. It hadn’t occurred to me until then how my writing has been my emotional outlet, and that there’s been quite an undercurrent of emotion.
But what she said scared me. I found myself scared to write anything yesterday, fearful of being too transparent, or making other friends uncomfortable too. I was paralyzed…not a word found itself through my fingers onto the keyboard. Then last night, as if on cue, I got an email from another friend saying the same thing about my blog – that she could sense unease and pain in my life and how she was concerned for me. But then she went on to say how creative and inspiring my blog has also been. It was at those words I was encouraged and realized my paralysis was self-inflicted. It wasn’t my friend’s comment that caused me to shy away from my thoughts, it was me.
Because there wasn’t much “real talk” growing up, I have always searched for people to be real with in my journey. There is so much superficial small talk, and I crave the real issues – the raw, hard stuff that we all go through but rarely talk about. I have a difficult time verbalizing my thoughts and emotions, so my blog is a forum I can explore and process the hard stuff. When my emotions are materialized, I can start to make heads or tails of what’s going on in my head.
The follow-on question, then, is why publish my thoughts openly out into the world? I have two reasons. One, I’d like to find and meet and dialogue with others going through similar challenges, with whom there can be mutual inspiration and encouragement. Two, there is edification into putting thoughts out into the virtual heavens. Online confessions is a current phenomenon and example. Before the internet, people wrote their thoughts and (sometimes still do) attached them to balloons, or put them into bottles and threw them out to sea. It’s a sort of letting go of yourself into the wide world. I took a friend’s critique because I opened myself up to it by publishing my thoughts online, and I let it stop me and second-guess myself. But I am not afraid of myself and my thoughts are nothing to hide from. So here it is, me into the wide world. No apologies, no excuses, just the journey.