I’ve kept blogs, journals, sketchbooks, and other sorts of self-documentation for as long as I can remember. In my late teens, I kept a public (though anonymous) profile, posting on forums and a series of blogs that became less anonymous with each iteration. It was my shout into the void, a way of reaching out to something, someone, who might feel a connection with what I had to say. In those early blogs, I sought validation, recognition, a way to not feel totally alone with who I was and how I thought.
The last three years have seen me pull further and further inward: my blogs lie dormant, my tumblr is relegated to reblogs of pretty flower photography and cats, my general need to create and display and connect with a greater world outside of my own very tiny sphere has all but disappeared. I have become the epitome of The
Hermit, closeting myself to learn and regroup and reevaluate my beliefs, practices, and identity. This is all well and fine, except that lately I’ve been feeling the pull again to create and make and put stuff “out there” once again. To allow the thoughts and ideas that have been hibernating to finally push up and out in the Spring season, air to fire. Since last year was such a “cold season” for me and my household – emotional setbacks and loss, pain, betrayal, and a generally distress-filled year – the metaphor for the sleeping life finally bursting through the frozen ground is particularly fitting here.
The process of deciding to open my heart and mouth again has been a little bit problematic for me, mentally. I don’t ever really know what I want to share, much less what I should share. On one hand, I feel incredibly protective of my practice. Alongside that protectiveness comes the fear that people will see what I have to say, what my practice is (and therefore, my identity), and seek to undermine it through naysaying or mockery. At one point, I also feared that my practice could be “defiled” in some way – that someone could see what I’m doing and take pieces of it from me. While I don’t feel that way about it anymore, I still frequently have the knee-jerk reaction – all stemming from fear that my identity isn’t good enough, or strong enough to hold up to scrutiny. Heck, it probably isn’t. I’m an incomplete psyche in a messed up vessel. Which leads me to my other major issue…
A lot of my practice nowadays comes from a place of attempting to rebuild what was lost through my early years: dealing with trauma, piecing together missing memories, and reconstructing a sense of self that has been shattered over and over and over again. It’s an incredibly personal process that leaves me feeling tugged two directions – one aspect wants to shut down, shut out, attempt to do my healing in silence and solitude. It’s the wounded animal part of me (and, surprise surprise, primarily ruled by fear) that shirks into the darkness to lick the wounds alone, shunning all help and fighting for the strength to make itself well, alone. The other aspect longs to reach out and connect to people who might understand, and in a reminiscence of blogs of times past, receive validation.
I’m not used to talking about my wounds publicly. Like many people in my position, I’ve spent inordinate amounts of effort and dedicated a large portion of my life to stuffing down any weakness, completely shutting down and bottling up the parts of me that cry to be let out and allowed to heal in the fresh air. I’m still not entirely sure that the habit will be easily broken, or even that it will be broken at all. But possibly, by at least recognizing that those weak places are indeed there, I will have enough momentum to get me started.
The last reason for my hesitancy to blog is really a pair of reasons that are more mundanely embarrassing – I have absolutely terrible follow-through, and a remarkable tendency for change. The latter is something that I’ve always shied away from admitting, because to me, it smacked of uncertainty. There are countless ideas and beliefs for which I hold something to be A True Belief for myself, and then months or years (or weeks!) later turn around and notice that – Wow, no, I don’t believe that at all anymore, due to [new information/an experience/etc]. As long as no one takes anything I say as The Way To Do Things (which, I don’t believe anyone does or ever has, so we’re good), I have to learn to be okay with my aspect of Ever-Changingness. As for the lack of follow-through… this just means I need to get myself to write more.
Here is my new shout into the void.