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Friday, 30 December 2016

71: Laid bare..

Over dinner some weeks ago, a friend of mind commented “I don’t know how you do it.  How you put yourself out there and leave yourself so exposed.”  She was referring to my outpourings on “a40somethinglife”.  I heard her concern for me in her voice and I get it.  Because there have been many a time where I have felt the discomfort of friends and acquaintances who perhaps feel like they have opened a Pandora’s Box when they read my work.  In text-speak, TMI: ‘too much information’. And then uncomfortable silence follows.

And yet, when I first started writing in earnest, initially the whole idea was to let people laugh at how silly I can be; but somehow over time, my collection of writings have taken a life of its own and laid bare some of my deepest experiences.   And so, with every essay, a lot of soul searching goes on as I ask myself a myriad of questions before I finally write those two words “the end”.  Will this offend or hurt someone’s feelings - if so, have I been fair? Am I being indulgent – or is this an accurate depiction?  Is what I am saying relevant – will it resonate or be helpful?  Am I being clear – or is my poor reader in danger of dying a death of boredom from my mindless rambling?  You get the picture.

Generally, when I sit down to write, the easiest ones to write are the ones where I am poking fun at myself or my reaction to a situation.  Those are super easy to write and I can whip those out in less than a day.  But then, judging by my writings of late, comedy is not my natural suit.  Luckily for me though, Matt thinks I am somewhat funny and I confess I do go out of my way to try to get a laugh out of him.  For the most part however, I fear I do have a habit of leaving my sense of humor behind as I rush around trying to get ‘stuff’ done.  But I digress.

Getting back to my friend’s concern for me about emotionally exposing myself.  I guess by the time the words on my page have traveled via the internet to someone down the road or on the other side of the world, I would have already spent countless months (if not years) working towards healing from the painful memory or have by that time, come to terms with a status quo.  Especially when I write about my childhood.  You see, I do not look upon my childhood with regret or sadness.  I do not write about it to illicit pity or tears - I had previously spent too many occasions see-sawing between being wrathful and grief stricken over my fractured heart.  And then I recall the legions of broken childhoods that have endured far worse than mine - making my youth appear almost idyllic. As such, I refer to my childhood here and there in my musings, more as just a factual actuality of events that are part of my make-up and DNA.  Like you would when developing a story. 

Which still belies the question:  why do I write?  Why do I share?  I write because I like to write.  I share because sharing forms communities.  In a world where selfies, reality television, instant gratification and photo-shopped perfection reign supreme, I write as a way to connect.  To honor so called imperfection. To celebrate efforts, big or small, to overcome challenges and hurdles of any size and description – because everyone has a journey.  To say you are not alone.  To say nothing is impossible or unachievable.  And so I write.  Laid bare. To hopefully resonate or inspire.

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