I know I shouldn’t be this excited, but it’s finally Spring. Or as the mail person in my office informed me at 12:57PM it will officially be Spring.
Gone are the long gloomy days that bleed into each other and force me to squeeze the last bits of aromatherapy directly into my pillow to inhale as I rue another 19 inches. I am wearing a scarf that looks like a beautiful watercolor painting to celebrate sunshine and lift my spirits. I don’t think anyone this winter was able to get away from a tinge of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Doubters became believers this winter and I was one of them.
It’s also, the International Day of Happiness. Did you know that? I didn’t. So let’s talk about happy. Not ridiculously happy like Zach Galifianakis up there, but more of a contented joy or peace. Where does that come from for you? Do you ever take time to think about it from a macro perspective? I spoke with S yesterday. Lately we have both been super busy, she with a huge account harpooned after years of chasing it, and me with, well, life. Her second question (after how are you?) was:
Why am I learning about your life from your blog? What’s this about a secret blog? I didn’t know about that! If it’s a secret, why is it online? Why isn’t it in a journal?
I immediately scrambled to come up with an excuse. I didn’t have one. I felt terrible that I wasn’t keeping my dearest friend in the loop about stuff. We moved on in the conversation, but these questions planted themselves in my heart and quickly took root, searching while I was talking. Why is she learning about my life from my blog? Why are you? I don’t know what I don’t know until I write about it. It’s always been that way, for me. When I was younger I had a journal. There were no latches or pretty lined paper. I don’t remember writing anything salacious in there as I couldn’t have been more than 10 or 11. I loved clean pages that I knew I could fill with anything no matter how silly or unrealistic.
I remember coming home one day from school to a very angry mom. She’d read my diary and found out I had a boyfriend. What kind of boyfriend could I have possibly had? Besides the point. She had my diary and she read it. I felt betrayed, but even more than that, I was angry at myself for thinking anything at all could be private and wholly mine.
Over the years, I began diaries or journals, and would always tear out what was written, panicked in the middle of the night. I couldn’t bear the thought of my feelings and deepest fears being read by anyone who was mildly curious. The judging, which was really, rejection and my inability to handle it. I have these mauled books in a graveyard of journals I stow beneath my bed like monsters. I don’t remember hurts this way, but I don’t remember the joys either.
I allowed this to spill over to other mediums, too. I don’t have recordings or pictures of performances unless they’ve been given to me, randomly by others (even then, I “lose” them). I don’t have many pictures, unless they’re of my children. I subconsciously erased myself. I didn’t want proof of the mistakes, proof of the hurts, proof of the times when, proof of any of it. If I wasn’t there, I couldn’t be rejected, see? I’m figuring out this writing thing. I am figuring out this life thing. I am figuring out this continual conversion thing. I don’t have concrete answers for any of it and I don’t know if anyone could.
Here’s what I do know:
I collect moments now. This blog is where I record those moments. It’s in the recording of these moments that patterns emerge and take shape. Building upon those patterns, I learn more about myself. I just figured this out last night after reflecting on the conversation I had with S. I’ve learned to detach the sharing of my feelings with fear of rejection. One has nothing to do with the other for me.
Paper is something I can’t go back to. It conjures up too much. Sure, I can write a birthday card, or a letter, but even with letters, there are some, I wish, I could take back and shred. Remove the proof of feelings.
I can delete this blog with one click of a button, but, it’s not something I’ve ever entertained, interestingly.
Faith has given me trust. Trust cultivated over nights of squinty prayer and raw reflection is what’s different now. I have faith now. Faith that no matter what, I’m loved and it’s ok to remember it now, because I’m not alone.
What about you? What do you know? What are you still unsure of?