Monday, April 8, 2013

Why I Write - The Journey I Am On


I could not have said it better myself.

I am reading this great book right now, "Writing to Change the World" by Mary Pipher because I long for higher aspirations for my writing, but they are just that...aspirations.  I have no allusions of grandeur when I sit down at my computer to write, or when I pull out my Moleskine and start journaling long hand.  In fact, most times, I never hit "publish" on this blog, or actually type into here something I have written down on paper.  The thoughts too raw, too vulnerable, too real...and I fear the judgment, the knowing, the revelation simply to/of myself in whatever it is I have quite literally unearthed from my soul into words.

*Sigh*

I am disappointed in myself over that truth. 

The beauty of social media is that you can share thoughts, ideas, articles, books, movies, etc.  The downside is that you can share thoughts, ideas, articles, books, movies, etc. 

*Sigh*

It saddens me when I lose a follower or a friend on a social media site because I know that something I have posted, said, or done has offended them. It breaks my heart that I have hurt them.  I have many friends who feel the same way, and we talk about the "high school effect" of social media.  You are wildly popular or wildly scorned...or invisible.

Invisible.

That word gives me great pause.

I believe this is why I have a love/hate relationship with social media, and with writing. I live at the intersection of not knowing whether or not I want to be invisible or shout from a mountain top.

*Sigh*

This...is why I can never go into politics. Americans like their politicians like they like their coffee...strong, bland, predictable.  While I toy with the first two, the last one I am NEVER. I base my decisions on gut instinct, intuition, faith, and a core belief in doing the right thing in all things. Not only does that make me unpredictable, it makes me a woman without a party.  I don't believe in party platforms anymore than I believe that there is one all-knowing religion out there that "nailed it" when it comes to what God wanted/wants. 

Which leads me to a story... 

I sat around a fire pit this past weekend with a literal melting pot of individuals. It was breathtaking to me as I leaned back in my rocker with a quilt over my lap and drank in the scene. The conversations were as varied as the beliefs of the individuals having them. One of the people there didn't believe in God. They actually said to me that in getting to know me, I was probably the first person they had ever spent substantial time with that had faith as a core belief in guiding their life. {My eyes started getting misty.} That statement led to a conversation about their childhood experiences with the church.  This is a person who dedicates their life to others. Unbelievably so.  YET, they don't go to church, don't believe in God, and before this past weekend considered themselves borderline agnostic.

Fast forward to Sunday....

Some of this same group of people were at a birthday brunch.  Birthday girl offers up a prayer before our meal. Beautiful.

But wait....

Before we could all dig in, the person quizzing me from the night before, suddenly wanted to offer up their own prayer. {My eyes welled up.}  I had to wonder, had that conversation the night before given this person some new found faith or courage to show some faith???  They had laughed at my "you can't hate people into heaven" stance just a few weeks before, yet had they realized with all of us sharing our diverse faiths the night before that struggling to find their own was okay. That God's love is universal with no borders???  The questions flooded my brains in waves. I was shocked, blissfully shocked.  I had to take a nap yesterday afternoon to recover. ;)

Now...I don't tell this story for any other reason than to point out (to myself if no one else) that it is okay to be me.  Sometimes I have to remind myself of that.  There are politicians, Christians, individuals out there that I admire...wish I could be more like....try to emulate at times....that I love. Absolutely love.  BUT...I am not them. I cannot live in their skin, and I cannot make their skin my own.  I have to (for lack of a better phrase) love the skin I am in.  I have to be okay with living, speaking, doing, writing my own truth. Whatever that is.  My voice is not always popular or even clear (sometimes I think as I speak), but it is my own.  My own.

That is a very tall order for this woman.  I am sure there are arm-chair psychologists out there who understand it far better than I ever will, but all I know for myself is that it is a struggle...for me....and one I am challenged with...Every. Day.

The challenges of my nearly 42 years have given me inner strength, great empathy, a questioning nature, revolutionist tendencies, deep resolve, a deeply stubborn nature, love of laughter, tenacity, driven-ness, tremendous faith, deep hope, a quiet anger (which sometimes becomes a roar), great love, tenderness, and an openness towards people and things I do not understand.  That would be my curious nature, which has to be my personal favorite of all of my character traits.  I am deeply curious about the whys and wherefores of life in general, of people, of people's choices, of what makes them tick.  I guess I never got out of the terrible twos; I am perpetually in the "Why?" phase. :)

So why do I write?

I write to understand myself.

I am still searching to understand the whys and wherefores of me, my life, my choices, and my world.

I can only hope that my searching will be met with empathy and understanding, and that maybe in some small, minuscule way, it will help someone else along their own journey. 

“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

 

 
Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :) 

2 comments:

  1. This might be the best thing you have ever written. I too, at times, struggle with why I write. At times, I want to be heard, but then I wonder who gets offended. In the end, I am who I am, just like you said. At 58 going on 59.....i don't worry so much about what people think, at least to the point of offending. I don't want to offend. anyway, just wanted you to know that this was way above your normal excellent standard!! Chuck Dudley......(not sure what profile i was supposed to use, so i used anonymous..best i could do:)

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  2. Loved this! Thank you for sharing why you write. I'm a woman without a party, too, for so many similar reasons. Write on...this vulnerable account was good for my heart.

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