When I started this blog, I told myself I would only put positive emotions in here. Positive words … positive feelings … good things. I really and truly believed I could do that. My previous blog, on Live Journal, devolved into nothing but a whiny rant-fest after several years of activity. That blog saw me through some of my darkest, toughest times. On the one hand, knowing this makes the negativity understandable for me. On the other hand, I just got tired of it. Negativity wears at you after a while. It’s subtle enough that, at first, you don’t notice it. And then, suddenly, you turn around and there are parts of you missing. Parts that make you “you”. Parts that you need. It’s a silent erosion of the soul and psyche. Maybe not for everyone, but for me. And so I thought to myself, “Hey … a blog where I put all my best things. Where I can show just the nicest parts of myself. Where I can, maybe, believe I am a good person, a worthy person. No problem. I can do that.”
But the truth is that I can’t. Because life just doesn’t work like that. Because people just don’t work like that. Because I don’t work like that. Because, sometimes, life spits in your face. People crowd in at you from all sides, until you want to tell them to back the hell off and give you three feet of personal space. Everyone wants something and they want it now and they don’t really care if it hurts you or not. All around you, there are sights and sounds and just … stuff. And all of it — every last little bit of it — whirls away, dancing beyond the speed of light, all of this shiny, beautiful promise that you want to reach out for but know you’ll never, ever, ever be able to grab. And sometimes, it’s too much. Sometimes, life is too much, and it chokes you until you can’t breathe. And you want to huddle in the corner with your face hidden in your knees and scream until someone stops this crazy, whirly-gig ride and lets you off. Right the heck now.
But you can’t get off, because this is your life. The good parts, the bad parts, the parts that make you want to claw your way out of your own skin — all of it. And, somehow … somehow, you have to find a way to embrace it and love it for what it is. It is beautiful and awful. It is crazy and stable. It is up and down. It is nothing and everything. As my husband loves to say: “It is what it is.” I’m still not sure that saying means anything. And yet, it feels like those words mean everything.
I haven’t kept a journal for a long, long time. Not since I was a little girl. Back then, someone close to me found my journal and read what I had written in there. It didn’t matter that those were my private thoughts. All that mattered to this person was that I had hurt them — not with my actions or my words, but with the private thoughts I had written down, which I had never intended to share with anyone else. And that person was so upset with me, so hurt, that they confronted me about it. It remains one of the most painful memories that I carry with me to this day. After that, I tried to journal. But, fearing I would again be discovered, I learned to censor my thoughts. I learned to pretend to be someone I wasn’t and to only write “nice” things. As a result, my journal devolved into a whole lot of entries that read along the lines of: “Today was a boring day. Maybe tomorrow will be better.” In the end, I gave up on it. And I gave up on my life, too, because it was a place where things didn’t happen. More than that, it was a place where I didn’t dare let anything happen.
Tonight, I realized I had fallen into this same trap with this blog. On days that were rough for me, days when I struggled, I avoided posting because I felt I couldn’t share anything “nice” or “pretty” or worth sharing. But I was only avoiding myself.
I don’t know if this makes sense to anyone but me. Maybe it doesn’t, and maybe it shouldn’t. But it felt like something I needed to send out into the wilds of the internet, even if only to hear the echoes of it rumbling back at me. Because at least I had the courage to look myself in the face and admit that, sometimes, I am a liar. Or, perhaps, that’s too harsh. Maybe it’s more accurate to say I’m afraid of the truth.
I still think I’m a fairly positive person. But I have baggage. I struggle. Some days are good; some days are bad. After a string of “bad” emotional days, I feel raw and strung-out — like I’ve, somehow, managed to get turned around until my skin is on wrong-side-out and everything slices through me with a pain that is fresh and raw. Everything feels like nails down a chalkboard, and I just need some space from the world and from myself. And you know what? I feel like I should have figured everything out by now, but, really, I haven’t. I know less today than I did yesterday, and a heck of a lot less than I did ten years ago. And sometimes, I want to scream for the world around me to shut the hell up.
But, maybe … somehow … some way … all of this is “lovely”, too. Not the kind of lovely that makes us think of teddy bears and puffy hearts or flowers. But its own, weird kind of lovely. Because it is the truth. Because it is life. Because it is my life.