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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