Listen, first you should all know I try with my whole being not to like Mumford and Sons.
But this song, y’all… I can’t stop.
Now, for something totally unrelated to Mumford –
Recently, I read this beautiful piece about writing what you know. Writing about the pain and the joy… and the stuff you think no one gets. I’ve always hated people who sugar coat the truth – or people who sugar coat their writing (ie: Elizabeth Gilbert’s first chapter in Eat Pray Love), but writing what you know means you have to write about the real stuff.
And the real stuff gets personal.
For the most part, I think people know a lot about me. I share way too many short sentence thoughts on twitter and FB, I share too many opinions on this Southern Wild blog, and I post a thousand photos of daily, mediocre life on snap chat. But I feel like there is still a large aspect of me that I keep secret.
Someone recently made a very sweet effort in telling me how inspiring my posts were, and they noted that they were “envious” of my happy outlook on life. That was incredibly sweet, and nice to think about, but it made me feel like a total fraud.
You see, I don’t like thinking about the bad stuff – which means I don’t like sharing it – which means I don’t write about it – which probably means, even though I share a lot of personal thoughts, people don’t really know me.
But in a world where selective oversharing is taking over, the idea of being completely translucent in writing is difficult.
Really, really difficult.
After a post I wrote a few days ago, my mother expressed that my writing is not as vulnerable as it once was. She was worried I put too much thought in what others think when they read it, and she was right.
But when you want to write for a living – people have to want to read what you write.
AND THAT IS TERRIFYING.
I love sharing my attempts at discovering who I am, what I want, and where I fit in this world, but I hate sharing the negative side of doing all of those things. Unfortunately, when you don’t want to harp on negatives, you have to find the positives, and sometimes that focus on the positive side shows an idealized, Kim K version of what life is really like.
I guess what I’m trying to get across is this:
Life really is beautiful, chasing after dreams is the best adventure, and love and friendship are the most rewarding feelings in life. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t parts that suck. There are days that are hard, there’s disappointment, there’s loss, and there’s still failure.
I don’t write to help people, or to inspire, or to evoke feeling. But I also don’t write to mislead. I write because I like it, and sometimes I feel like it’s the only thing I innately know how to do. I write when I can’t sleep, I write when I can’t talk things out, I write when I can’t understand how I feel… but that writing isn’t the writing I share. I share the dumbed down version of that, because I have this immense fear of how it will be relayed.
And that’s not fair.
Maybe that’s something we should all strive to change? I’m not saying not to keep the private things private – but this world could use a raw look at things. Maybe it will let us all know how closely our lives and challenges align with one another.