On Writing the Truth, All the Time, Forever.

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I suck at consistent bloggging. Really, I do.

So, I’m sitting at my computer, flexing my fingers, trying to think of something to say that will capture who I AM and what my story is in a page or so. It seems as though every assignment has been asking for ME, ME, ME! Who are you? What is important for me to know about you? What is your most impactful moment? When have you failed? When have you succeeded? By the way – don’t exceed 650 words. But make sure you’re you. This is 65% of our consideration for you. This is the way I’m going to gather a first impression on you. Why should I care about you? Why should I want you? Make me like you. But be yourself. Just make me like you.

Having come to terms with the kind of brash honesty that helps me put myself into words, I struggle with these questions more intensely than anyone thinks I do. I can’t do it. I can’t put pen to paper and explain exactly what you should like about me. Who am I to say that you will like me for who I honestly am?

An interesting note at this point is that I am talking about everything I have written in the past few months that I’ve had to turn in – from college essays to introductions to English teachers. Talk about a place you feel comfortable. Talk about a time you experienced failure. Talk about a person that has impacted your life. Explain to me who you are. Write me a letter and tell me! You would think that a normal, sane person would go insane. I love writing. I love it with everything in my soul, but I can’t…conjure up the words anymore. I wonder what I’m doing sitting there, trying to sum up the right sorts of words that will express what I’m trying to say and do in this world. I, as my blog name may suggest, am all about trying to express that life story. But how can I do that over and over and over and over, to different audiences, and sum up a past and a present and a optimistic future? How can I guarantee to the sixteenth person asking me that I will produce anything…worth reading? Worth caring about?

So maybe I can’t type a first impression. Maybe I can’t hold up to the pressure of having to dig so deep, become so raw, when it no longer feels raw. I’ve gotten in the most beautiful habit of my life, which is to give out all the details. To hide nothing, because I have nothing to hide. But I write best when it’s honest and raw, and the sixtieth time I’ve asserted that I am being vulnerable, I have grown comfortable being real. Conjuring up the right expressions to convey how REAL I am…is now not enough. I am troubled because I have not been able to cut down to what hurts and what stings, because it feels as if I have already laid myself bare.

I have no qualms admitting to be rash and foolish and young, nothing against being angry and showing the world that I will fight with every word in my vocabulary to express how angry I am. There is no hesitation behind my answers to your questions. If you want to know the truth, why shouldn’t I give it to you? The only truths there are left seem to be buried in a place I cannot really find anymore. People have called me frigid – fan-freaking-tastic. I am perfectly happy to be frigid, even though it hurt like burning coals the first time the word came up. People have called me shy – yes, I’m that as well. People have called me stubborn, vain, every little insult you can come up with, and I’ve accepted all of that. The one fault I haven’t sorted out about myself is my total avoidance of conflict. While it’s a weak point, I’ll confront my fear of confrontation and tell you that it exists. I have nothing against saying so. It doesn’t mean I’ve mastered it, by any means.

I suppose, what I’m trying to say, is that the questions that ask who we are, what we want, where we are going – those are perhaps the hardest questions we can be asked. Because even after you know, you stop knowing again. You stop being absolutely sure, because when it comes time to bare your soul, you think it to be entirely naked. Of course, it isn’t. There are still things to be discussed, deep down, that still hurt. I feel as though I’ve run out of sources of past insecurities that I can tap into. You would think that insecurity is hard to get over, but it really isn’t. You have to destroy the walls that were allowing you to be insecure, and after that, it’s all rather simple. That’s a step, though, that’s really impossible, because even after you knock down the wall, doesn’t another one grow instead? Maybe, as mine is, it’s a tiny wall hidden in the darkest places you can’t even reach. I think convincing myself that I am confident has, in a way, served as a wall. Perhaps I am the one blocking myself from my own insecurities, and that makes it hard to find the tough stuff to write about. It finds it hard to be real and honest with myself. So MY quest is to locate the next wall and figure out what’s behind it.

I challenge you all to do the same thing.

~ELS

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