I first started blogging when I was about 15. I used my Xanga to chronicle my day and get some things off my chest. Only a select few knew about my blog and I wanted to keep it that way. Blogging wasn’t as established back then as it is today, and like any teenager, I didn’t want to put myself out there anymore than I should. That all changed very quickly.
Once MySpace was born, the blog portion of the site became my new best friend. I became more comfortable with writing freely and the support from my friends was encouraging. I mostly blogged about music and the songs that mirrored my life at the time, but once I started going through the motions of depression and every day life, I turned to writing for support and release. People often asked me, “Why are you so candid? Don’t you care who sees that?” As far as I was concerned, I wasn’t writing about anything people shouldn’t know about, so I kind of shrugged off the dissertations and kept writing. I had nothing to hide. I’m only human, and to this day I firmly believe that everyone has the same emotions; whether we decide to be open about them is a choice. My main audience were my friends, and whatever I wrote about, most of them could relate to. It was then that I started to feel liberated in my writing and I liked the freedom of being able to show the world that yes, I am human, and this is how I feel. Take it or leave it.
I guess you can kind of call me the Taylor Swift of blogging, minus a few things. I was calling out the bad behavior of boys before the country/pop princess made her mark in the entertainment world. In high school, I even wrote about the pain of my first heartbreak. *insert pathetic teenage angst here* I won’t lie – I loved the therapeutic release of letting everything out, but the response wasn’t so positive (from his side, of course). But I knew in my heart what I believed to be right, and I kept my head held high and walked into school the next day. A month later, a random girl messaged me and told me that she went through the same exact situation and that reading my blog helped her find the courage to tell someone that he didn’t have the power to hurt her anymore. That fueled my fire tenfold. If I could be someone’s voice for even a second, then it’s all worth it.
Now, as I continue to write about my life candidly for all the world to see, I’ve lost that inner 16 year-old telling me to hide my true feelings. There are definitely things I consider to be off limits when it comes to what I decide to share, but it’s always a choice. Sometimes I may be cryptic with some things, but I just get that unnerving urge to write something. Some may get it, some won’t. That’s art; that’s life. If I’m not proud of something, I won’t publish it. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m pretty big on the whole honesty thing. I’m not hiding behind a ruse. At the end of the day, it all boils down to impact. I enjoy helping others, and like music helps me, I want to be the voice of my peers. If not, I still enjoying blogging and I wouldn’t stop even if my readership died down to a select few.
I love when someone tells me that my words helped them in some way. The notion that something I wrote from the corners of my mind reaching a stranger in need is beautiful to me. When I get comments like “thank you for putting everything I couldn’t say for so long into words I was never able to find,” it validates that our feelings are real and we are not alone in this world. Finding that common thread is critical, and once we all learn that we are not as strange as we think we are, who knows what might blossom from such a vibrant connection? Blogging and writing in general keeps us linked together, not only with ourselves and our innermost thoughts, but with the world.
It takes me a while to put my thoughts together. If you read my blog but don’t necessarily know me in real life, you might be surprised of my quiet demeanor upon first meeting me. I may come off as fiery and brash in my writing at times, but I’m usually pretty quiet in the presence of strangers. I’m always writing something in my mind – I’ve even had dreams of me writing. Some mistake my quietness for insecurity and that leads to them thinking that I only write for attention. I get a lot of messages from people (always anonymously, of course) telling me that nobody cares about what I think. I hate to break it to them, but we are living in the age of information overload. The good thing is that we have the choice of not reading the things that we don’t care for. I particularly don’t care what they think, either.
So, for those wondering why I expose so much, it’s because I want to. I have the right to. I have never once nor will I ever write about something I don’t feel passionate about. If I’ve written about you, it’s because you’ve inspired me in some way and you’ve made your way into my heart somehow, whether it be positively or destructively. I realize that being a writer pushes people away for fear of being used in some shape or form in our work, but that has never stopped me from living out loud and finding inspiration in the little muses that enter my life. As long as I’m still around, there will be words.
I bare my soul and I come in peace. If something I say somehow offends you, that was never my intention. Maybe you need to look deep within yourself instead. Because one thing is for sure: I won’t put down the pen and I won’t close the book.
“I don’t think I can be anything other than me.”