|Wreath in my House. Photo taken by me.|
I had no idea what to expect when I asked people to post anonymously on my blog.
No idea at all.
One of those anonymous posts is mine. And when I typed it out and hit the "post" button, it actually changed my thinking a bit. Just putting out there, anonymously, something I'm afraid to say to anyone, was cathartic. Didn't solve my problem, but was a little soul-cleansing.
I hope it was that way for you, too.
Some of your posts frightened me. Most I could completely understand. All made me want to bring you home for a cup of something delicious and a plate of something yummy, and let you know you aren't alone. Make you laugh at least once. Cry with you, too. But mostly, most importantly, let you know you are loved, even though online, here, on this blog, I may seem like just words on a screen to you.
One of the things I love about the internet IS the ability to make friends you never see. Just because you don't live down the road from me doesn't mean we can't be friends.
First and foremost, to the person who said they were afraid they'd kill themselves if things didn't get better --
Don't be afraid of opening that door.
Most of the anonymous posts dealt with fear of failure, fear of not having enough time, and guilt about pursuing their art. If any of you go back and read through the comments, you'll see -- you're not alone. Many of us, I'm sure, have harbored thoughts of never "making it", or being afraid to take the last step to LET you "make it" in your art. It's about opening a door to the unknown and not knowing what you'll find -- that's more than a little scary, isn't it? I share these feeling as well. And I think the guilt associated with finding time is universal.
I've often wondered if I have enough time to finish the long list of things I feel driven to do. And I say "driven" because I've always been a person who wanted to finish what she started, and a couple of my supervisors in my "real life working days" have used that word to describe me. I used to be called the Engergizer Bunny, but now I feel both boredom and a desire to push forward in my artistic endeavors.
I think that's ok. What isn't ok is quitting everything. Everyone needs something that truly makes them happy, and it doesn't have to be a huge accomplishment. Sometimes the deepest pleasures can come from taking a book to bed and staying there all day, luxuriating in peace and quiet and escape. Sometimes it's a drive down the road, singing loudly out of tune to your favorite songs. Sometimes it can be as simple as splurging $5 for that decadent bar of chocolate we always pass by in the grocery store.
The person who said they were surrounded but alone -- I've been there, too. I know that feeling, and I'm sure many readers have felt it, too. I've also felt the agonizing misery of being quite literally totally alone. Either way, if you look through those comments, you aren't alone in your feelings. It's hard to know what to do about it, because the fear of reaching out and facing rejection is terrifying. But we have to try. Sometimes it's as simple as smiling at strangers -- it's amazing the joy you can give someone (and yourself) when you smile. I wish it were always that easy, and it takes practice. But practice, we must.
I've lived a lot of life -- experienced a lot of things -- but I don't think there's a deadline for achieving anything. Sometimes I'm not even sure what I WANT to achieve, so those are the times I try really, really hard to find peace in something else. I've started and stopped several huge things. I could have been an Air Force careerist. I could have been a doctor. I could have lived my life totally alone, but traveling the world. I've started all three, and chosen to stop all three. Interestingly, I'm at peace with it, because the fear that I dealt with in between stopping and starting something new was erased when I FOUND that something new. I keep that thought close to my heart -- the journey can be hard, but the destination can be wonderful.
This post has taken me so long to write because I'm afraid of saying the wrong thing. I'm absolutely in empathy with all of you, but I speak only from my personal experience -- I'm not a certified professional by any means. I've struggled with the right things to say that will help or encourage, and struggled with guilt for even writing yesterday's post -- did I make things worse? I desperately hope posting anonymously helped someone.
It's ok not to finish what you start, to be afraid of the unknown, to be scared, because every road has a fork in it at some point -- every tree has many branches.
|Trees near my home. Photo by me.|
You are loved, anonymously by me.