At my doctor appointment today he asked me to keep a journal. I told him how much I sucked at journal writing. He said to focus on the painful things that have happened in my past that still affect me. I have always hated writing in a journal because I feel like I am never honest with myself. I will write something, read it and then edit it, worrying about someone else reading it. I think I imagine that someday, after I’m dead, someone will find what I’ve written and judge me badly. If I’m worm-food at that point, why do I care? I usually end up destroying any of my writing I come across. In middle school I got my first diary, had it broken into and read aloud by a sibling. I destroyed it immediately after. In high school I wrote notebooks full of poetry that I destroyed in college. Surprisingly, this blog is as honest and open as I’ve ever been and it is on the internet forever.
I just had a heart to heart with someone who I care about and it made me realize something. It is unfair of me to constantly edit myself, especially with those people I love and care about. I expect honesty from my loved ones, but I hide part of myself from them, worried that they would judge me negatively. My new mantra is “What other people think about me is none of my business” but I’m not really practicing that if I’m constantly smiling and nodding like some drone, afraid to show the real me. If one person I love is speaking negatively about another person I love, why shouldn’t I be brave enough to stick my neck out there? Were the situation involving someone I didn’t like speaking negatively about someone I love, I would have no qualms about sticking up for my loved one.
The epiphany I had today: There is nothing therapeutic about keeping a journal in which I am dishonest with myself.
What that means for my blog is that it is time to get serious. I’ll still post goofy, fun, TMI-stuff from time to time too, but life can’t all be unicorns farting rainbows and butterflies belching glitter. If this blog is going to be my journal and if I want to get anything worthwhile out of it, I’m going to have to go to some pretty uncomfortable places. Good thing I have the internet, so no matter where I go, I’m never alone.