Being honest, I’m sure I had at least one moment this month when I thought I might not make it, might not actually do this thing. That’s the negative talk thing, of course – and while I can’t say I’ll never listen to that nasty little voice again, I DO feel as if it’s been considerably weakened and I’ve given it a good shove towards the door. I mentioned last night that consistency was a problem for me – probably one of my biggest – but this month, I beat it. And if I can do it for one month . . . four times a week should be easy, right?
There were some moments of panic along the way – What am I going to write about today? I can’t think of anything! – but again, honestly, only one or two. Lack of material has never been a problem for me. “Do I really have anything worthwhile to say, anything that people will want to read?” That’s a far more frightening question, always. I started this blog as a way to begin straightening out the many paths my life has taken, to try to put them in some kind of (not necessarily chronological) order and examine them – to see if I’ve learned anything from them as well. I’d put off this process for years, even though I have been told more times than I can count, “You should write a book about your life – I’d buy it!” Flattered doesn’t even begin to cover my reaction to that; I have had a fairly odd and unusual life, but the idea that people wanted to read about it was always slightly bewildering. Over and over, I told people, “But I don’t know how it’s going to end!” Which was really just an excuse not to begin. Well, I don’t have time for excuses anymore.
I’ve realised, too, that the point of telling my stor(e)y is not just that it’s important to me. I am chronically ill; I’ve been abused; I’ve been alone; I love being creative; I’m grateful for my life, my friends, the gifts I’ve been given – and I am not alone in any of those things. These are human experiences, and they can only be borne by sharing them, daring to hope that someone else will read or listen and say “Yes, I know what that feels like!”
This is why people tell stories. To connect with each other, to share, to entertain or amaze, to understand and to be understood – to not be alone. I’ve realised this month, more strongly than before, that this is why I write, and that it is more than a sometime, maybe thing. It is something I must do, a call that deserves my full attention and effort. This month is just the beginning.