I’m a deeply fearful person. I’m afraid of death, and mountains, and driving too fast. I’m afraid of heights, and of being poor, and of the future. Of not being liked, or accepted, or understood. Of food poisoning, and of spiders, and of pain. I have about a million and one very real fears. But, more than anything, I’m afraid of what will happen if I write about my life experiences where other could read it.
There’s something about putting a story into written words that seems so permanent. Once the words are written, they can’t be changed. Not really. And the only words I want to write are words that so many will want changed. They’ll disagree with what’s happened and the meaning I take from it. They’ll be angry I put it all out in the open. They won’t understand why out in the open is exactly where I need it to be.
It is this fear which has kept me from writing, the thing I most want to do in life, for years. Sure, I’ve written in journals, and classes, and shared the occasional poem at an Open Mic. But, I’ve never stared at the bald faced truth about myself and my life, slapped it onto a page, and sent it out into the void, letting the world engage with it however they may. My panicked fear of the potential repercussions has always just barely outweighed my longing for that kind of raw disclosure.
And I’ve feared that writing any portion of “my story” would somehow limit the sum of my life experiences into those moments I wrote about, whether good or bad, when I know that the richness and depth of my life has so often been found in the finer, oft-forgotten, points. I didn’t want to provide a glimpse of my naked self, for fear that others would believe that glimpse could be understood as a summation of the whole. This was especially important because I am only thirty with what I hope will be the greater portion of my life still ahead of me.
And, like any artist, I have feared the inevitable rejection we all must face when we offer the most sacred part of ourselves, our art, to the world. I know I am not the best of writers. I know I have plenty of room for improvement. And I know the pain that comes with the criticism of one’s deepest and most valued self.
For all of these reasons, I have granted my cowardly little self the privacy of a journal though the braver, more ambitious parts of me were begging for a blog. A book. An essay in a magazine. An editorial in a newspaper. Anything that others would read. I promised myself that someday everyone who could ever be offended by my writing would die, and more of my life story would be lived, and I would be a better writer. Then, in that imaginary future, I would share my writing. But, you, dear reader. You know where this goes. People will never agree with all that I have to say. Tomorrow isn’t granted. And the only way to be a better writer is to write. So, here is my blog, the greatest realization of my greatest fear: being seen. I offer my deepest gratitude to you for reading it.