Blogging has been a love/ hate relationship from the beginning. When this all started I used it for very personal reasons. It was a vehicle to break illusions, confront fear, and meet other people because words are good for all three.
In my life, I often tap out events to see them from a different perspective. I’ve found they look completely different when I get them out of my head. The result is that I learn far more about myself and other people. If these posts help someone else in the process, then so much the better because we grow from other people’s experience as much as our own.
That’s the purpose of a collective consciousness, to share each laugh or tear and in the telling of life stories become more of our true selves through these teachers. I’ve had many who’ve opened my eyes to a larger universe and helped me avoid otherwise painful lessons. Not always because I’m as human as the next person and, sometimes, very stubborn. But eventually I see the light of wisdom in the advice I receive.
The problem I recently faced with all of this is one I hadn’t anticipated. This tool for breaking through illusion and fear has caused a fair bit of turbulence in my personal life and relationships. Though I explain time and again the purpose of writing out my life and struggles, they eventually offend or upset someone.
So I have two choices — walk away from social media or stop worrying about what people think. The second being the more difficult because I have big love for the people who are or have been in my life.
It’s an excruciating decision.
“You’ve become an amazing woman,” a good friend recently said. “When I met you two years ago, you were this unsure girl who accepted everything everyone did and let people walk all over her. You’ve grown so much, and I’m happy I got to see it.”
These changes were forty years in the making and took every ounce of strength and courage. It nearly broke me, and by that I mean I was ready to send my daughter back to California and fade off the face of the planet.
It’s interesting people say, “Love yourself and do what’s right for your life.”
It’s a double edged sword, isn’t it? Because what they mean is… do it so long as it doesn’t change anything with them. We admire people who blaze their own path, but demonize them when they fall short of our expectations. No one is immune from this human failing, not even me. But over the past several years, I’ve come to understand that I won’t understand why or how people do things, but I respect their journey, even if it’s far from mine. And I’d hoped for the same respect in return.
But when I started saying:
“Hey, I want to help, but I just can’t.”
Or… “Look, if you want to be here you need to start contributing because I can’t afford to support you.”
And… “I’m not going to be your part time playtoy, so if you want a relationship let’s do this thing.”
That’s when I found out who was here to be part of my life and who wasn’t. I found out who truly respected me and who didn’t. I thought I’d be more angry, but not really. I mean, sure I’m sad because we’d put a lot of time and energy into those relationships, but they also created a lot more turmoil than I’d realized.
I have many fond memories, and they’ve all been wonderful teachers of one kind or another. So none of the time we spent together was wasted, at least not from my perspective.
Looking back serves one purpose, to see my strengths and failings in any given moment, and possibly do it better in this one. In my mistakes and successes, I find lessons and teachers. In my words, I cut through the crap and find the reality outside the complicated mess of thoughts and emotions twirling through my head. Though these posts have evolved, this process hasn’t changed, but I have through it.
So, I suppose I answered my own question in the course of writing this post. It isn’t a big screw you to world, but rather points me back to something I wrote this summer.
Authenticity because anything else is slow death.
Just as I don’t have the right to tell any of you who you are or should be, no one has the right to tell me either. We might be able to try on other people’s shoes, but we can’t walk in them because their road is paved by a lifetime of experiences we can never know.
Ultimately, we have power over one thing – Choice. Not the outcomes or consequences, but we choose the path to our next lesson. And mine is a dirt road where maps or GPS have yet to conquer. Though I may hit a pothole of two, I have a feeling it will end up being one of the biggest adventures of my life.
And in this very moment as I write these words, I’ve decided you’ll find out about it right here, if you choose to join me. 🙂