“I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.”
It’s been almost a year since I’ve shared anything I have written. A year of coming to understand a very integral truth about myself I hadn’t recognised until a very close friend raised it with me. Her comments were powerful; in essence she shared with me that as a friend she often felt her friendship was lacking in some way with me, because it seemed to her whenever I was going through something, she would only hear about it after the fact.
Her words rang true and I accepted them as they were given. This is how she felt, and I honoured her truth and her courage, and she was completely correct, though I didn’t agree with her about being a poor friend. To me, she is the greatest of friends because she allowed me the space to be with whatever was going on with me, and this is how I have always been; I’ve simply never had anyone point it out to me so clearly.
I have, throughout my life felt incapable of articulating what I’m going through when I am going through it. As a writer, this confounds me utterly. How can this be? Moi, the queen of journalling? What it came down to was that as much as I can give myself words of feeling and emotions, talking about any situation where I am unclear what is going on, especially within me seems to compound and exacerbate it, so I keep quiet. The people close to me know something might be up, but rarely other than the loving check-in do they ask me what’s going on. I guess they’ve got used to me sorting things out for myself.
And that is and has been the truth of me. Since I was a little girl, somehow, in some ways I have created a world for myself where I made myself primarily responsible for everything to do with me and unless I reached out and asked for help or simply to share, I now know people do leave me to it (in a good and loving way). But what I didn’t realise was that it made me less aware and able to reach out. I kept playing the tune of ‘I can figure this out for myself’ and I don’t say anything to anyone, because I am figuring this out for myself.
What it has meant is that in the last year as I have re-evaluated so much of myself and my life, made choices that felt incredibly alien to me – I have chosen to live in almost the opposite way I have been living for so long (more on that some other time!) – I have not been sharing as much of myself as I had promised myself I would, understanding that when I do, I give the people in my life the gift of being there for me. I haven’t been able to be and do that because I’ve really struggled to find the words to what I have been experiencing. Whilst my journals have borne the brunt of my very unclear and at times very bewildering journey, I have struggled and still am in finding a way of sharing my journey when I don’t have a clear view of the destination. This feels like an anathema to me.
The perception I have had of myself and what others have shared with me has been that I’m a person who seems to have a very clear idea of who she is, where she’s at, what she’s doing, why she’s doing it and has been able to help many people gain that kind of clarity in their own lives in deep and meaningful ways. Yet when it came down to it, I realised that what I have been living for so long and what has worked for me in a huge way no longer is and in my intense state of puzzlement, I am less and less able to say what is going on, why and what it all means.
And that for me has been the crux of my non-sharing. I seem to believe I’m meant to know, feel and understand what I am going through and why. I’m meant to have some form of answers; even half-baked ones about what’s going on. It feels ‘wrong’ to me that whilst I’m here, living a truly blessed life that there are times often, when the last thing I feel is grateful and blessed and then the guilt, shame and fear abound.
I’ve become so used to living a life where I do everything within my power to find answers, solve the riddle, fix the problem that I’ve found I was no longer content to sit with the questions, for however long that took and be okay with realising there may not be an answer. I’ve become so used to believing in the need to create to achieve, to be successful, to be visible, I’ve lost the joy in creating for the pure joy of creating. I can write endlessly in my journals because no one will read them, but I couldn’t bring myself to write a blog; people would read it and my confusion, inability to articulate would be singularly apparent.
So, today I decided I would in a sense come clean, write whatever flowed out of me and start on a path where I share all aspects of what this journey has been, is and might be. I’m unconcerned with whether anyone reads it or not, whether it makes sense, or if there is anything in it. This is about my having the courage to say to myself, the world, the universe, whatever makes up all of this – this is me, as I have been, am and may be. I don’t want to pretend anymore I have any answers, any of it together or that I even have the remotest clue what is going on. This is me, doing what I love which is writing whatever comes out of me, sense or nonsense.
My journals will be jealous; they have been my boon since I was a tiny tot. They have held my secrets, my hopes, wishes, dreams and fears and I am grateful to them beyond measure. My dream is to be a writer; I am a writer and I must write and share what I write, maybe to no-one, but the fear of not writing and sharing because I may not make sense or come across as inarticulate or whatever else I may dread; that can’t and will not be my story.
Right now, my story is one where there isn’t a huge amount of clarity, just a willingness to be in it, surrender to it and go where it is taking me, allowing myself to let go of the need to direct and control it. This is hugely uncomfortable for me, and I’m getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Go figure!
“In the confusion we stay with each other, happy to be together, speaking without uttering a single word.”
Here’s to next time,