It's why we sometimes feel hesitant to publish or share. What will people think?Let me answer that. If you share, if you publish, if you write, if you speak, if you are brave and decide to put yourself out there, I promise you, someone won't like it. Someone won't agree with you. Someone will misinterpret. Someone will think that you are silly, unqualified and that your work is crap. That you are crap. They might not just think it but they might tell you. And that won't feel good, especially not the first time you hear it. But it is necessary. And it's okay.
- Kelle Hampton, Enjoying The Small Things
I recently told my mom this, that I could never write "my story", because it would hurt others. "OH, ME TOO!" she exclaimed. That even sort of stung. "No, I mean, I know, but... you mean that you can't tell your story. I couldn't even do a who's who in my life on my blog without offending someone."
Sure, if someone wrote out their experience of something, people can offer their different opinions. But that isn't what I mean. I mean, not only can I not talk about my OPINIONS, but I can't talk about existence. I can't reference the smallest of things. I can't talk about my life, as it is. It has to be how others are comfortable with it. THAT, to me, is tragic. That is what hurts. It's one thing if I felt strongly about some idea or thought or movement or personal trial - and I'd write about it and yes, probably hurt some people who didn't like it, and then they would criticize and it would hurt, but I feel I could be strong. I would be standing up for what I believe in.
But what about the other stuff? Stuff I don't really "believe in" one way or another - things that have just happened? That I've had no choice or control over, that I may not agree with, but choose to let go? (Oh, people reading into this, just stop. I'm not referencing anything in particular. Not that brave. Yet. In fact, I am being SO vague, that I don't even know if this post makes sense.) I don't know if I can bravely share those things with the world. Maybe I'm just not ready, maybe it isn't mine to share.
Or maybe I am doing myself a disservice. Maybe I aim to please a bit too much, and put on different faces to different people and hide certain comments that I shouldn't. I should just be me, 100% of the time, take it or leave it. (Remember that quote in The Departed, where Mark Walberg is talking to Leo about being a cop, or appearing to be a cop? He talks about how his parents where divorced and lived in different parts of town... "You're upper-middle class during the weeks, then you're droppin' your "R"s and you're hangin' in the big, bad Southie projects with your daddy, the fuckin' donkey on the weekends. I got that right? Yup. You have different accents? You did, didn't you? You little fuckin' snake. You were like different people."
I wrote a note to a fellow blogger who asked about my "story". And I poured it out. I have never done that before. Not in therapy, not in a journal, not to a friend, not to Tyler... I haven't even thought about a lot of it until I was writing it out. It was hard, it sucked, it was therapeutic, it was brave. And I'm so, so happy I did. And I wonder if one day I'll be brave enough to really share it, or if I will want to.
I wonder who I am hurting by NOT sharing. Is it, like Kelle says, necessary?