Writing this blog has evoked emotions and gut-reponses that I wasn’t planning or expecting but have surfaced nonetheless. A fellow blogger, Sarah, told me that as she has written and written and spilled out thousands of words that paint her stories of life, sorrow, and growth that she has come to learn more about herself than she ever expected.
I agreed with her but only in the context that I agreed that her writing has helped her grow.
But then I started looking at my own writing through a totally different lens which caused me to start writing about totally different things. Now, I’m also on summer vacation which means that my daily dose of students and academia is suspended in limbo at this point. However, as I have been reading through old blogs, I realized that I really am on my own journey of self-analysis and self-reflection.
I started writing for rather selfish reasons. I wrote because all the top writers say that in order to be a better writer, then I need to write every day. Tim O’Brien or Stephen King or some other person who is a great and amazing writer said that a person should write at least a 1000 words a day, even if it turns out to be complete and utter trash and deserves to go into the recycling bin (real or digital, take a pick).
Well, I aspire to be a writer. I want to be published. But I don’t write everyday because I’m so damn tired and I don’t feel like it and what am I going to write about anyhow? But this blog has challenged me and made me think and stretch my mind in different ways because I am constantly thinking about my audience or my would-be audience or my potential audience which makes me censor myself in so many ways. I don’t want to spill out all the nitty-gritty details about my life. I don’t want to throw open the door to my life and invite in all the strangers and their families and invite them to have a drink while reading the woes and joys of gracelesscurran. Besides, I’m not that interesting.
But writing has put me on an invisible, intangible tightrope that I know exists and I know it is perilous to slip off the line but I don’t always know where it the line is located. As I have dug into my daily occurrences and laid them on this digital platter for the world to see and peruse and dissect, I have steadily seen more and more of who I am.
Which is weird because, after 43 years, certainly I would be better acquainted with myself. But I’m not. Who I am and who I want to be are frequently far from the person I portray to the world. And that is where this blog has put me on the tightrope and given me the balance bar which I can see and feel and hold.
Self-reflective writing that doesn’t deal with teaching but deals entirely with the self is such a Pandora’s Box. I have stripped so many of my foibles bare and looked at them, touched their squishy sides and reflected on how they came into existence, the causality of each little personality trait.
I believe in nature. I believe in nurture. I believe.
But as I stroke my hand across the distorted mirror and try to clear away the condensation that skews my perception even further, I am aware that I will never fully be the person whom I want to present to the world. Does this mean that I should stop changing and altering so that all those little frustrating traits don’t surface and I can be a little closer to palatable to the human race? No. And don’t take this to mean that I hate myself and that I hate everything about myself. Because that is an untruth as well.
Writing this blog has made me reconcile myself to memories and experiences that I thought were long since settled and far-removed from the past and the present.
I sit here and listen to the cacophony of noise that surrounds me: the television with its blaring commercials, the clacking of zippers and buttons as clothing tumbles in the dryer, my daughter noisily eating an apple. I take in these stimuli and process them and let them wash over me. They are part of my writing environment. They are part of my life. They are a part of me. And, at this moment, as I mentally walk through this blog post and see what I tried to communicate and how far I have deviated from this, I realize that this is my life. A path. A side-trail. A deer path that cuts across the road. All of these little bits and pieces of life falling together, intersecting, and breaking away.
Why am I fretting about a tightrope? My feet are firmly planted on the ground.
Now, let’s start running.