Why I Write

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I’ve thought a lot about why I want to write. It isn’t just limited to getting pent up crap out of my system, though that has been most of it lately. Writing enables me to express myself in a way I’m not capable of verbally. I tend to get tongue-tied and flustered, especially when I’m talking about something important. And past experiences have made me feel like my voice is unheard. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has been frustrated or hurt by people who talk over them or just totally ignore what they’ve just said. A good deal of my social, school, and work experiences have been like that. And after 20+ years of feeling like nobody is listening to me, feeling like I’m invisible, the top is about to blow off. That’s one of the reasons I decided to start writing. I need to just get all this pent up frustration and anger out of my system so that the more creative stuff can come out. And so I don’t end up losing it.

So, why do I write? In the past, it was usually for school. Now, it’s because I have things to say. I’ve actually always had things to say, but didn’t feel like anyone wanted to hear them. Of course, I think that’s probably still true, but I’m no longer going to let that stop me. I have a voice and deserve to be heard. Actually, I feel like I need to be heard because so many people in my life seem to think they know me and what’s in my head. Guess what? You don’t. I don’t even know what’s in my head most of the time because it’s always changing. I had briefly deluded myself with the belief that I would find an audience online that would “hear” me and value what I have to say. I know there are people here on OS that read my posts; some even respond, which always makes me feel like I’m being heard. But I also import this blog to my Facebook profile, where friends and relatives have an opportunity to also read. I think perhaps a handful of them actually do read my blog. But generally, I think I’m still “unheard.” I won’t lie and say it doesn’t matter to me. Part of me would like to think that people I’ve known for a long time are finding the time to read and discover who I really am. But I also know people are busy, so I don’t delude myself that I’m read that often. I know I’d like to have more time to read and respond to posts on OS. I’d like to have more time to communicate with friends, especially those I’m now in contact with after 20 or more years of nothing. That’s what getting older and going to different schools does.  You lose contact with people and you often don’t realize how important those connections are until they’re gone. But I digress. A post on missing friendships will have to wait for another day.

A lot has been going on lately and I’m just overwhelmed by a lot of it. Relationship issues, work stress, financial worries, parental health. The list just seems to keep growing. So right now, my writing takes the form of therapy. I just have to get all these worries and frustrations out somehow. Why don’t I actually talk to someone about these things, you ask? That’s a great question. I’ve always been the kind of person that kept things inside. I just never felt like bothering anyone with anything. The other part of it is something of a double-edged sword. If people don’t know what bothers me, what my insecurities are, they can’t hurt me. But if I don’t let people really get to know me, I also can’t develop a truly meaningful relationship with them. At my age, I should be over the fact that people I’ve trusted have betrayed me. I learned that lesson before I made it out of 6th grade and it’s had a lasting impact. I don’t trust easily. I don’t share much of myself. I keep up that protective wall so that I can’t get hurt. And without fail, every time I’ve let someone through that wall, they hurt me. Some people will tell me that’s part of life, and I know that. But it doesn’t make it any easier. I’ve had a few friends tell me in the past that the reason they didn’t call me a lot was because they always ended up depressed by the end of the conversation. Well, if you felt that way, can you imagine how I must have felt? I don’t think they ever considered that I was in need of someone to listen to me and tell me that things will get better. Or to just reassure me that I mattered. Instead I got the brush off. These are the types of experiences that have shaped me and made me someone who can’t open up to people. So I write.

I write to an audience I don’t know for the most part. You are real and have your own fears and weaknesses. You have your strengths. You have your own unique challenges. But because most of you exist in the ether that is the internet, I can open up because I don’t feel like you can hurt me. The people who can still hurt me are those I actually know. Nobody should have that kind of power over me, but some do. My neuroses are a product of past failures, rejections, and betrayals. It would be great if I could just ignore it all. But I can’t. I blame it on being a Pisces. I can’t say for certain that there is one person that I know, that I have an actual relationship with, who truly accepts me, the person with the flaws and insecurities, for me. But maybe that’s because I don’t completely accept myself, the bad with the good. And how do I accept myself when I sometimes don’t “know” who I am. I feel like I’ve spent my life playing roles for other people: daughter, sister, friend, spouse, co-worker. The one person I haven’t spent a lot of time being is me. When I have been me, it hasn’t been good enough for other people. I’m not “happy” enough; “girly” enough; independent; interesting; assertive; the list goes on. So what? I am me, ever-evolving and flawed. Why is that never good enough? As I try to find myself for me, I’ll probably continue to disappoint people who have some sort of preconception of who I am or who they want me to be. The trick will be for me to not get sucked into old habits. I need to find me. And so I write.

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