I know last week’s blog entry promised more content but words and other things got in the way. Or better put: just because I have the words doesn’t mean I can write them down.
Being a writer means you’re a bit crazy in the head. Writers have running monologues about all kinds of stuff, stories and characters running around in their heads in search of a story to be put into, and then there’s all the other practical stuff in life that has to be taken care of at the same time.
The day before I wrote that blog entry I’d had a pretty intense weekend trying to put into words something that’s been eating at me for a long time. Once I found the words for this I felt better even as I’ve dancing around the thought of whether or not to talk about it publicly. I’ve decided to start talking about it because it’s definitely not a one-shot, one-post kind of thought.
The thought is this: what if my writing is a barrier that keeps people away from me?
Now why would I think that, you ask.
Looking back over my life as much I have over the last six years has made me see where I think my pursuit of writing created problems for me. Even though I have worked my ass off since I was ten years old not to be in anyone’s face about my writing like my late father was, that wasn’t good enough for some people in my life at times.
In my twenties, when I was living at home helping to take care of my mom as she was dying of cancer, my parents came right out and told me not to say anything to anyone who was giving them shit for letting me live at home rent-free and write. In those years, my parents paid my writing group dues and conference and workshop fees in addition to making sure I had time to write. I think the issue back then was if I was off doing something writing-related or God-forbid writing instead of being at everyone else’s beck-and-call, then I was a freeloading stuck-up bitch. I wasn’t doing anything else in my free time like going out and partying or dating. Back then, I thought I could keep my writing on the down-low but I knew it wasn’t popular with some people (and no, I’m not going to name-and-shame because this isn’t about anyone else here but me).
My parents never, ever made any demand on me to stay and help them out. Just the opposite really- they thanked me for everything I did and made sure I took time for myself. If I had wanted to leave and strike out on my own they would have done everything they could to support me and told me they would handle things on their own. I have never forgotten that and I’m forever grateful for that. But as I look back I have come to realize one thing about the shit-talkers as I now refer to them: they honestly didn’t give a genuine shit about me or my own life and goals. They had no intention of following through on the fear I had that my relationship with my parents would be destroyed by people telling them I was only staying and helping out as much as I did just to be seen as a martyr. That was the farthest thing from the truth and I honestly tried not to come off that way but in some people’s eyes I failed spectacularly at that.
But if my writing is a barrier to people not wanting to have any kind of relationship with me that’s on them. It’s taken me a long time to realize I can’t do someone’s thinking or feeling for them, nor am I the person to pull their head out of their asses when they’re in the wrong. Most of all, if someone sees something I have devoted my life to because I love it as a problem, then that’s their problem and not mine.
I can’t turn off the words inside my head, or slow my brain down, or be anything other than my funky, weird-ass self and I don’t need to. Yes, I’m fucked up and different as all get-out. And I’m just as prone to making mistakes and screwing up as anyone else. But deep down I know I’m not a bad person because of that. And I certainly don’t deserve feeling like I would never be good enough or that I was damned if I do/damned if I didn’t no matter what I did.
My writing and my words are not a barrier I have put up to the world. Actually, I feel like they’re an opening into who I really am. If you want to get to know me, you can start by reading my writing. Because with my writing, and unlike in real-life, I don’t hold myself back.
So where are my words?
Right here for all the world to see. Do what you will with them as I’ll do what I will with them in return.