I’ve had a few people unsubscribe to this blog since my last post. And I’ve had a couple people ask how they will see my writing if I’ve given up on Facebook. I think perhaps they’ve assumed that since I am not participating on Facebook that it means the end of the blog. Quite the opposite, I see it as a new way forward for this space.
I haven’t posted anything in quite a while, and it’s not because I haven’t been writing. I simply haven’t felt free to share it because I have felt paralyzed by the need to please. You can’t write something true and honest and at the same time try not to offend anyone. And yet, that’s where I’ve felt stuck. Because many times in the online space, to speak honestly and share your heart means opening yourself up to intense criticism. And it is almost never a fair critique of ideas, allowing room for respectful disagreement. No, it gets personal. Really personal, and it hurts. Many tears have been shed over unfair comments I’ve received here. And some would (and have asked me), “Why in the heck do you keep doing this? Why do you need to share what you’ve written instead of just keeping a diary or something for yourself?”
I can’t fully explain my answer to that question. Writers have to write. I don’t know another way to say it. It’s as if there is something that builds inside of me, and I have to find some way to release that pressure that keeps growing. The emotions and the feelings and thoughts that swirl around in my head need to be organized, and they need to make sense, and for some reason writing them and sharing them are the ways that they become the most real, the most authentic, the most powerful. There’s this line in a song by The Lumineers that says, ” I don’t feel nothing at all, and you can’t feel nothing small.” I smile every time I hear that line because it reminds me there must be others out there like me. I can’t feel anything small. I have big feelings about a lot of things. And in my experience, when you’re someone who feels very deeply, there are only a few ways to deal with it. One, is to numb yourself to those feelings with your vice of choice- alcohol, drugs, medicines, money, unhealthy relationships and more things than I probably even know. The other is to protect yourself from the world and live in isolation and sadness because the world feels too hard and too dangerous for those that feel all of it. And the one that I choose is what I believe to be the healthiest. You find a way to feel the pain, the sadness, the joy, the hopes, the dreams; you choose to be brave and put yourself out there. You live out loud and work through every single thing that the world brings to you.
That’s why I think getting untangled from social media is ultimately going to be better for me. I still need to write; i just need to be able to do it in a space that allows for honesty and vulnerability. I need to be able to get quiet enough to hear my own thoughts and recognize my own feelings instead of being bulldozed by the voices screaming online. So my plan is this: I am taking a break from online input for the next 30 days- news websites, celebrity gossip websites (which I LOVE), social media etc. I did this once earlier this year for Lent, and I found it incredibly helpful. My hope is that it opens up new opportunities for me to write and share. I’ll share whatever comes to my heart and mind and see where that takes us. I’m not going to edit or find fabulous images to go with the blog posts. I’m not going to agonize over the words and become paralyzed by whether or not people will like it or dislike it.
Feel. Write. Share. The end. Let’s see how it goes.