So far I’ve really sucked at round two of this blog thing.
Realizing that I’ve not posted anything new since September 19 set me to wondering why, exactly, I’m not writing. It’s definitely not a lack of material, because I have a list a mile long of things I want to talk about. And it’s definitely not a case of writer’s block, because there is rarely a time, when I have something to say, that I won’t find a way to say it.
What is it, then?
The answer dawned on me in the middle of my morning yoga workout, where, aside from the shower, all good thoughts seem to come to fruition.
I hesitate to write because I hesitate to put myself out there.
Out there. For everyone to see.
The whole point of this blog, with its tagline, “life from where i sit”, was to create a little window into the human that is me. Perhaps in the process I’ll get a little bit better insight into the spirit behind the woman in the mirror and at the same time, connect with the human and the spirit that is you. (Wow. That was a mouthful.) But the point is, I read and I write because I believe there is a lot to learn from shared experience and because I believe that every person’s life is, essentially, a story.
My earlier posts tended to ride a huge wave of optimism. Overcoming Fear prevails as the underlying theme, and always, always, the sun shines bright and comes out tomorrow. Except one day it didn’t, and the blog eventually died.
It died because I found myself unable and unwilling to write openly about the things that were happening around me. To me. But ultimately, not being able to write made me feel a whole lot less like myself.
Writing is healing, sharing is healing, and strength comes from having the courage to either step out of your comfort zone or allow someone else to step out of theirs and, in the process, make yours a whole lot less comfortable. I am a writer, and the pen, or the computer, keeps crawling back on my lap and begging for some love, so here I am.
For awhile, I considered starting a whole new blog under a pseudonym so I could write what I wanted without the repercussions that come with baring your soul to 800, or 8, other people. (Insert flashback of splitting my pants in 11th grade English class here.) Then my friend Jeff Weber, life coach and co-owner of Heads Up CTE and Cardio Coach, said something in conversation that stuck:
It is time to stop hiding ourselves behind names and time to simply allow ourselves to shine.
Well, the only way I can truly shine is to be authentic. The only way I can be authentic is to write. To write from the heart about the journey of who I am, where I’ve been, where I’m going, what’s happened along the way. The only way for me to do that is to drop the middle child mentality that only wants to keep the peace and the status quo, that only wants people to just get along, that never creates ripples in the pond, at least not on purpose, that worries that you won’t like me (heaven forbid!). The only way I can do that is to be who I am, all of the time, not just when I’m in my own little safe and protected space.
(Just for the record, since this is the beginning of the new authenticity, I don’t believe in living life safe and protected. You can do that all you want, but I guarantee that something is going to come along and rock your little safe and protected world, so you may as well get out there and enjoy it).
What this means is that while the underlying theme of Overcoming Fear and going for your dreams will undoubtedly remain, mixed in with whatever else grabs my attention, my approach won’t be disguised, vague, or middle-of-the-road, and I won’t gloss over the edges.
So it’s likely I’ll talk about things like why I traded Christianity for spirituality, how I endured and ended 17 years of bulimia and 35 years of “depression”, why I put quotes around “depression”, how much I dislike prejudice and hate and abuse, (especially when it hides behind dogma), why I don’t eat animals, the one thing I have feared the most, how it has chased me from coast to coast, what happened when it finally caught up to me, and why I seriously considered stamping the words Suicide Girl on my forehead. And how ultimately, that one thing has been the guiding light on a journey of self discovery in a very magical sort of way.
I don’t believe we do ourselves or the people around us any favors by not living out loud and keeping our stories to ourselves. So The Orange Chair is back, and this time, it’s a little more real, a little more authentic, and a little more me. Let it shine, let it shine, let is shine.
This post is dedicated to my friend Joyce McCartney. Her ability to write her way through recent tragedy embodies what I refer to as “walking through the fire” and I am grateful for, and inspired by, her friendship, her courage, and her strength.