I am terrified to do this. To step out of my documents and notebooks that are just for me and share my thoughts. But I think that’s why I need to do it. I’ve spent the last few months processing years of my life and I’m not done, but I’ve come to some realizations about who I am and why I am this woman. I’ve read hundreds of blog posts and wrote dozens of pages in reflection and I want to set them free.
Lately, I’ve been infatuated with the word liberated. In fact, I wanted to get it tattooed on my body, with some beautiful wildflowers, until my friend told me I might as well tattoo “regret” on myself. I don’t know that I totally agree with her, but it put the idea to bed for awhile. I still love the word for all of its many connotations though.
I also love it because it’s how I’ve felt for the last few months as I’ve found my voice again. Right now, in this moment, it’s a defining word. On my 26th birthday I wrote about how each year is like a book and I’m pretty sure 25 and 26 will each have a chapter titled Liberated. They will have different stories, of how I was unwillingly liberated and then willingly liberated myself.
I want to use this blog to tell those stories.
There’s a show/program (I’m not quite sure what to call it) entitled Mortified that encourages adults to take to the stage and read from their middle school and high school journals. It’s fantastic. To revisit your writing in a public forum is brave and also hilarious, but beyond that it demonstrates that each of us has a story to tell. And it’s liberating to watch (and do!) I mention it because this, telling my stories, sharing my thoughts, is in many ways mortifying but also innately beautiful.
I spent years (7 to be exact) convinced I would be a journalist. I thought I would write inspiring feature stories and shine a light on injustice and use my story telling to change the world. It took me only a few months of reflection to realize that’s not what I was in for if I continued to pursue journalism as a career. But it’s never changed the summary of what I want to do because that is simple – I want to do good. And I think writing is a tool I can use to do that.
So this blog is an exercise in liberation. And story telling. In lesson teaching and self-exploration. I want to add my voice (even if I’m terrified) to the chorus of women and men who are speaking up about what feels right and what feels wrong and how their past has shaped their present and what that means for the future.
I’m stepping out to struggle in public, feel free to join me if you’d like.