It took me weeks to write this year’s family holiday letter. You know, that piece of fluff some people slip inside the Christmas/Seasonal card that Hallmark makes to give everybody some sort of lift at winter solstice. It took me awhile to recognize why I had no desire to be glib about my family’s accomplishments during the year even though we certainly enjoyed a classic period of transition and success. There was cloudy weather obscuring it for me. There was anger and sadness. There was a desire to yell and march. And there was so much frustration, exhaustion and ennui. But most of all while I was being pulled by all sorts of emotions I was afraid to write.
This in spite of my promise to post once a week to my blog, I couldn’t think of a single thing that would hold my attention.
Then this morning as I woke up I thought maybe this first post on my blog shouldn’t be about anything specific. No, it should be a promise, a nudge to myself and a ‘warning’ to any readers I might have about my intention. If you’ve ever spent any time on my Facebook page you already know I post about my family and all the wide ranging things that impact me socially, racially, intellectually, and artistically.
I’ll write about those things but more importantly I’ll heed the advice of a dear friend who today posted this on Facebook:
“Today, consider facing the conversations, revelations, and facts you fear the most. Be kind to yourself and others along the way. You’ll be glad you did.”
I have enough faith in that last sentence to believe the effort to confront fear will be worthwhile. I’ve said that before. I’ve even started writing in this blog as you might note it’s been some time since my last post and the reason why is because while I’ve faced my fears myself, in quiet conversations with therapists, family members and a few close friends I’ve never really opened them up in a space like this.
My biggest fear is writing will really expose me. When I write, even just the scribbles in my journals, I expose myself…so I stopped writing in my journals except when it feels like I’ll burst if I don’t get the thought or feeling down on paper. I wanted to always show some version of myself that was happy; content with the life I’m living, sitting at the best seat at the table while the part of me that was angry, or more importantly, the part of me that was sad, stayed far in the background.
Not that I want to make this just about me. I wouldn’t necessarily find that at interesting to write about, nor would I want to consistently read it. I don’t think I’m that clever or entertaining nor would I want to waste that much time navel gazing. But I do want to provoke thought and feeling, mine and yours. I want to promote healing (see previous post) and continue being of service in some way.
And I want to grow as a writer, I want to master the skill and the best way to do that is to write more and to leave myself open to comments about both the content and the way I express it. Hopefully it will not take as long to write a weekly post as it did to write my holiday letter.
PS I’ll be working on making this site a little more attractive, too. I want to include some photos, maybe even some new poetry!