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vulnerability and being a writer.

i think most writers are probably introverts.  there is a certain level of self-awareness that must be present in order to articulate stories, especially if they are your own.  it is what makes writing so difficult for me at times.  i am, at my core, an introvert, yet i hit publish on some of the deepest, raw feelings.  in the beginning, it was a compulsion, i was in so much pain, pain that i could not have born alone.  so i shared, i hit publish.  now it has and continues to change, my pain is becoming more of mine to bear alone, my grief is becoming more and more inward.

once when we were dating, i wrote this essay, i guess you could call it, on jim and i.  just a random piece of my thoughts expressed in a certain fiction way.  i never showed it to him, i was too embarrassed, too afraid of what he would think.  i found it after he died and i was looking through my old posts, most of which are and continue to be drafts (thoughts for my head and not meant to be shared).  i showed it to alayne, she asked me if he ever saw it, and i shook my head no.  i was so sad in that moment, that i had let this avenue of intimacy go unexpressed.

and so i walk this line, of processing privately and yet feeling a compulsion to share my story, in hopes that some can say, "i identify."  it is an unraveling that i feel, will most likely, take a lifetime.  my friend shelby wrote a post which sparked this train of thought for me (found here).  there is a certain level of bravery and faith and trust that is exercised when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

i've been lucky so far.  i've only had one person bring up what i've written as an argument against me.  but this stuff is done every day, especially for writers, poets, musicians.  rolling stone rates albums like there can be a star level on people's souls.  i remember reading their review of sufjan stevens Carrie and Lowell, they gave it four out of five stars.  that album is one of the most personal and raw things i have ever listened to.  in my prior 28 years of existence, i had never experienced anything come close to touching on the grief of losing my mom or the abuse i experienced at a young age and that album touched it.  yet we have created this society where people's vulnerabilities are held up, judged, and rated.  it is an interesting and slightly disturbing concept to me.

there is a certain level of power in privacy.  do you remember when a million little pieces came out?  and everyone (Oprah) was in shock and awe over this guys honesty and vulnerability and then it came out that, you know, it wasn't all true?  i get it, i get creating a role for yourself and allowing that character to take on the vulnerability, to flesh things out as a fake until you get a handle on it.  i, at times, find myself jealous of actors.  who, when confronted with a reality they don't like, get to escape into another one.

yet, that does not seem to be my path in life.  i have this compulsion to keep pulling back my layers, to write only what i find is truth at that time, to not allow myself to escape into the fantasy but to keep hammering home reality over and over and over again.  to share my story again and again and again.  to shout about the pain and eventually the joy, in the hope that others will hear my shouts and know, they are not alone.


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