i did it. i not only wrote about something extremely stressful for me, but i shared it in the most public way i can think of. and although i felt ill the moment i pressed ‘post’ to put the link on my facebook page, i did it and the world didn’t collapse around me.
i’ll never forget a conversation i had in high school with someone who is still a friend. i don’t quite recall all of the details, but it had something to do with a problem her car had (brakes, maybe?) and the fact that because of it, her car was extra loud whenever she stopped. she was so thoroughly embarrassed, in that deep and abiding sort of way that only teenage girls can muster. she confessed to me that she felt like, every time she stopped, everyone was looking at her and cringing at the sound of scraping. she was driving me around in said car at the time of the conversation, and i was just ridiculously impressed that she had her own car. (my parents were not those parents.) rather flippantly i pointed out to her that a.) probably no one was paying attention and b.) even if they were, they didn’t know her so it didn’t matter and c.) who cares anyway? in the grand scheme of things the fact that you have a car trumps any and all other things. mostly i was thinking, oh em gee if i had my own car i would 1000% not care what it sounded like or who looked at me because my own car, yo! but this friend of mine turned to me at the stoplight where we sat, sighed, and said something to the effect of, “well, i’m not like you. things don’t bother you and you don’t really care what people think. but i do. and i feel things deeply.” a lot of thoughts went through my then-16-year-old mind. the loudest of which was, “ha! if that’s what you think of me, you don’t know me at all!” and the truth is, i was right then. and not much has changed.
as a rule, i don’t do vulnerable and open. at least not for most people to see. but the fact is, i’m probably one of the most secretly soft-prone-to-completely-falling-apart-emotionally people you’ll ever meet. i feel. everything. so much. so deeply. to the extreme. but i’m also loathe to let other people in to that. because being vulnerable also means giving people the power to hurt you.
i know that a lot of people think of me as being pretty open about myself and my struggles. i think i’ve perfected the art of making people think they’re learning more about me than they really are. there are certain things i speak very candidly about, and i guess people make the leap to thinking i’m candid, in general. but i’m really not. which is why this whole personal blogging thing is terrifying for me. i’m putting myself–the deepest, secretest parts of me–on display publicly. and not even just publicly. because to some extent, putting stuff up on the internet where strangers may read it scares me far less than putting stuff up on the internet that people who know me may read it.
but a really precious thing happened after i published that post and shared it. i got so much positive feedback. from people just telling me how proud they were of me for sharing, to messages and texts from people telling me how much they could relate. and how me, talking about my own struggle, helped them feel not so alone. and that was honestly the biggest reason i came back to blogging.
people being honest about their struggles, about their humanity is what i love most about blogs anyway. there is a beauty in watching someone be vulnerable. there is a beauty in being able to experience the real and the raw with another person.
when i thought i needed it, i couldn’t find the blog that i wanted to read, the one i could relate to. and i figured i couldn’t be the only one looking to find it. so a few voices (that still, small one…and some other external ones) encouraged me to write it. and so far, i’m sososo glad i did.
i don’t really know where i’m going with any of this–this post specifically, or my blog in general. and as i’ve started, i’ve already let way more time go by than i intended to between posts. but i’m showing up, and that’s something right? and to some extent, i’m laying bits of myself bare. and i guess that’s something else.