“Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.”
(You’ve Got Mail)
This is a quote from my favorite “chick flick” of all time. It’s got Tom Hanks. It’s about books and book stores. It’s about falling in love through language and words. It’s set in New York City. It’s got a pre-Botox/facelift Meg Ryan. It has all the wonderful makings of a great, syrupy sweet romantic comedy.
But that quote has always stuck with me, because, well, I believe it.
“Do it with passion or not at all.” Another favorite quote of mine – same principle really.
The things we do with our lives, our time, and our resources – they ought to be personal to us.
When I write, it’s personal. It’s about as personal as I can get. I expose my mind, my heart and soul through the pages I share with others. And while the words might flow freely at times, there is a vulnerability to writing and then sharing your words with an audience.
When you read my posts, I hope that comes though. I hope that you see the very intimate side that is opening up to you, my readers. Much of what I write about are things that have been emotionally taxing on me. Or it’s about someone I love, or someone I’ve lost. Or it’s about something that is making me incredibly angry. Basically, I work through just about any strong emotion through writing. So it’s personal. Whether I’m sad or joyful or angry or just plain fed-up, my writing, my posts on this blog, are personal.
Likewise, when I get a comment or a response, I try to remember that once I put my words out there, they are no longer just what I said. They are what you interpret. I am not responsible for your interpretation, nor am I responsible for whether or not that interpretation changes your view of me in any way. That is all on you. I’m simply being who I am, and sharing where I am. But your response is also personal, and if my words have stirred your own heart, then I feel like I’m doing something beyond creating. I’m leaving a mark. And it’s a heavy responsibility. Because my hope is that I leave a good mark – not a bruise or a stain.
Who and where I am have changed a lot, especially over the last 4 or 5 years. I’m older, for one thing. I’ve grown up a little more and started caring about other peoples’ opinions a lot less. So there are going to be times when I write about things that you don’t agree with. I think most people who know me, know who and how I am, and understand that I am a truth-seeker. And I don’t put truth in a box. I try to be open to it, whenever, and however it finds me. “Seek the truth; come whence it may, cost what it will.” (William Sparrow) This is how I’ve lived my life for the last several years. It’s cost me some friends. It’s cost me some sleep. But you can’t unlearn what you’ve learned. You can’t “UN-know” what has become known to you. And there’s absolutely nothing I would change about the trajectory that I now find my life taking because it’s personal. Everything I’ve discovered and learned these last several years on a spiritual, religious, political, psychological, social level – it began by being personal. And it’s evolved me into this person that I am now, and continues to shape me.
I place great value on authenticity. So I promise you, my readers, that I will be nothing less than authentic. But I want this post to serve as a disclaimer to you and make you aware of a few things, now that you know how personal my writing is to me.
1. I am not a liberal, and I am not a conservative. I fall somewhere in the middle. Most people don’t like to hear that because they think it means I have no spine. I can assure you that I know many others like myself who bleed neither red, nor blue, and our spines are perfectly intact, thank you very much. So I will thank you not to label me, or to assume that because I lean one way on one issue and maybe another way on a different issue, that you have me pegged for a certain political mold. See #3 for more on where I write from in regard to politics.
2. I use profanity sometimes. There are some people that are greatly offended by this. I am not. And as I stated above, my writing is personal. If you are close to me at all, you know that I am not aversive to using expletives. Language is language. If I tell you to “Shut the front door!” and I use it with the same intent as some other words, then the meaning is the same. So I don’t really see a whole lot of difference in using one for the other. Some people consider it in poor taste. Again, it’s a matter of opinion. I am generally pretty good at conveying my meaning without too many cuss words, but sometimes, they simply get across the emotion that I’m feeling at the time so I will not apologize for some well-timed and well-placed adjectives if they are serving the purpose for which I am using them.
3. My slant. I do not pretend to be objective about anything. Everything I write has a slant. If I’m writing about my daughter, I’m completely and utterly biased. She is the best kid ever given to a mom, I’m certain of it. Likewise, my parents, husband, friends and anyone else I write about is the best. Or the worst. Period. I also generally write a lot of my political posts from my point of view as a working female professional and also, as a follower of the teachings of Christ. Not a denominational slant – an actual Jesus focused slant. So there’s that. And that in and of itself will make many of the points that you may feel like making null and void because you will have missed the point of my post entirely. So read my words carefully on those more “touchy” topics because I will respond to your comments. I will not be rude, but neither will I tolerate rudeness. And if I see a flaw in your logic, I will point it out.
You must understand that EVERYTHING you read is written with a slant. The key is finding the central truth in whatever it is that you’re ingesting. If more people could read that way, we might have a more civilized society, but most people are too busy arguing semantics to focus on the underlying, albeit sometimes heavily disguised point.
4. Some of you will believe there is a hypocritical phenomenon happening between points from #2 and points from #3. It’s not my job to help you figure that out. I will just say that Jesus loves me, and I’ll leave the eternal state of my soul in His very capable, nail-scarred hands. Somehow I feel that He’ll be less concerned with my word choices and more concerned with the state and intentions of my heart. And if I’m wrong, well that will be my problem, not yours.
That’s really it. For now. I just know that some of the things that I have written lately and have considered writing about in the future need some preface given on the front end. Up until now, I think people have expected certain things when they opened a new post of mine. I’m simply giving notice that some of my future posts might not be part of that status quo.
I do want to express appreciation for anyone who has commented or shared my writings in the past, and encourage you to continue to do so whenever you feel inspired. Or even if you want to share it and say, “This is what I don’t agree with about what this lady wrote.” That’s entirely your prerogative. On YOUR page. 🙂
Becoming a writer is, and has been, one of the most personal journeys I’ve ever taken. I will continue on that journey, and just wanted you to know, ahead of time, what it looked like from my perspective.