Some time ago, I was asked to remove a post from this blog. I agreed with the request, because the grief in which I wrote the post had clouded my judgement.
However, the entire experience freaked me out. People in my town, my neighborhood, now know that I blog and they read it. In a swift move of "I'm going back to completely anonymous and I'm never posting anything familiar about this place again", I then removed no less then twenty posts from here. Posts that I had worked on for hours and had felt like they were heartfelt pieces of me.
For weeks afterwards, I felt like I couldn't post anything again-a feeling I know all too well.
As a child, I also wrote-but back in the 80's, it was letters. I prided myself in my letters and by high school had over 120 penpals all over North America. I wrote letters during English class, hiding the papers underneath my books and madly scribbling about anything but English. Those letters were my creative outlet, sort of like a snail mail blogging. However, those letters were often highly personal and intended only for the person reading them, which is why I would be so horrified if my parents found one and actually read it, which inevitably happened more often then not.
The result was that I occasionally was in trouble for what I wrote, and I began to feel that maybe sharing this this unapologetically honest side of me with people wasn't worth it. I hadn't written anything malicious or offensive, all I had done was shared pieces of me and how I felt. Somehow, those feelings were seen as wrong. Offensive. I shouldn't be feeling that way, and something was obviously wrong with ME.
So I eventually quit writing. Quit sharing. I kept those feelings, those observations, hidden away inside so that nobody outside of my husband and two very close friends saw them. Up until 5 years ago, even my husband didn't know that I wrote. My closest friend was (and is) an e-mail pal that only knows that side of me, because we've hardly met in real life. It wasn't until she suggested that I submit a piece of writing to Canadian Living Magazine that I even thought anyone would be interested. To my complete astonishment, it was published. And then another. And now even another with a seperate company is pending. (I'll give details when I know for sure)
I started blogging last year as a creative outlet, as a way to get back into the writing I loved so much because I had been told that I was talented, and should share my gift. Maybe, just maybe, other people outside of those closest to me would like to read my writing too.
However in the last few weeks I have been completely second guessing everything I write.
Maybe I shouldn't be sharing this.
Maybe I'll offend someone.
What if they get angry at me for feeling this way?
For the past few weeks I've sat here looking at an empty screen, wanting to share this or that and then stopping because I'm afraid. I came close, very, very close, to shutting down this blog altogether; my finger hovered over my mouse, poised to click on the "delete this blog" button. I just couldn't do it.
I'm tired of feeling afraid of what other people think.
So finally, at 35, I have made the decision that I will not stop blogging, or writing. I will be more careful, yes-that much is obvious. However, I'm not going to stop sharing how I feel. I won't hide those pieces of me any longer because this blog is ME. All of me. If readers do not like it, they can move on and go elsewhere. I will no longer apologize for who I am and how I feel. I've done that far too often in my life-bending myself for other people, all the while sacrificing what I need for them. I'm not going to do it any longer.
Today it ends here.