First of all, I apologize that I haven’t been a good, consistent blogger lately. I’m going to re-commit to putting out something-even if it’s short, or not the best-several times a week. At this point, I’m also kind of wanting to refocus on the purpose of this journey in writing. While I’ll be looking for a little bit more of a cohesive feel to future posts in terms of format, at least, I still plan to write about whatever strikes me at the time. Here’s why.
My site is called “Write Where You Are,” for a reason. I know it seems like a cop-out—like—oh she can just write anything on here if she calls it that. And that is sort of the point. But it actually has always been very intentional, to the point of HEY, I am NOT one thing. YOU aren’t either. For another good post on this topic, and just a good blog, check out my friend Corinne over at: https://owanderingfolk.wordpress.com/
Here’s the thing, for me anyway. I could write on my description that I’m a “homemaker, wife and mom,” which I am. But if that’s my “theme,” then that shapes the whole impression people have of me, the way I look at myself, even. And I’m not really aspiring to define myself only by those terms, as noble as they are (also I totally suck at laundry, among other household tasks). Or I could say, “I am an academic, a bookish old soul and introvert.” Also somewhat true, but that’s not me completely either (although that sounds like someone who would own a rockin’ tweed jacket, which is on my bucket list. Elbow patches please.) There’s the good girl who never got grounded, never had a rebellious phase, did everything I was supposed to do, in the right order. Those are all ideals, categories I sort of aspire to fill, but not really me.
Hey, then there are my failures: there’s the flake that I can come across as a lot of times, who never knows what to say in person, who gets flustered easily in uncomfortable situations and breaks virtually any nearby technology with a single glance. There’s the temper most people don’t know I have. There’s the part of me that always feels like an imposter, not good enough. There’s the part of me that’s a selfish brat. The part of me that’s incapable of understanding certain concepts or remembering to do certain things.
Or-to be a super-confusing person-I could label myself as happily, productively, ADD. I could reference the silly, extroverted Zumba instructor that I am several nights a week, or I could place my identity in the fact that a lot of times I dance and sing like a crazy person in my house to Bollywood while being a multi-tasking hoodlum and caffeine junky. Did you know Gilmore Girls is my favorite show? Because it is. Oh yeah, I’m a health freak by the way….BUT I also love cheese and red velvet cake.
I could call this a “Christian blog,” but I feel that would be unnecessary, too (and maybe a let down for the theological blog-readers out there). Because my content is everywhere, and my faith infiltrates my perspectives– my hope would be that my faith is transparent here, regardless of topic.
You get the point? I feel as though any label I could choose would be, to some degree, counterfeit in its simplicity, it’s in-completeness. I feel like that’s unavoidable for social media like Facebook, but no, not on my blog.
Here’s the other thing–Really I started writing more when I was heavily grieving the loss of my mom in 2013. I guess I found it necessarily to somehow bring together the part of me that people saw on a daily basis (the one who could function and teach and smile) and the part of me that frequently screamed at the top of my lungs in empty parking lots because I couldn’t handle the stuff my heart was feeling. Writing became a way to discover about grief and love and the reality of the way that the world-and you-grows over these ugly wounds to make something new. I tried to be honest, and I shocked some people I think, because my voice is most real in these typed words….much more real than the little voice people hear when they speak with me.
So here’s my angle: We spend enough of our lives worrying about fitting into boxes and not enough of them finding our voice. Really, that’s what I want “Write Where You Are” to be about. It’s a one-woman stand against turning labels into restrictions…Because the temptation to fall into a category is very high-pressure. More than that, it’s my way of finding my voice, and maybe encouraging others to do the same.
Ultimately, you not one thing; I am not one thing. You can be smart and a flake. You can be hilarious, fun and depressed. You can be an introvert who’s good at fake extrovert-ing. You can be the cool person who is a big nerd on the inside. Or the nerd who is a cool person on the inside. You can be a loving husband or wife and let down the person who cares about you the most. You can be a good friend who forgets to do the stuff good friends always do. You can doubt and have faith. You can be in pain and be full of joy.
You are much more than each category, or the sum of their parts, or even the differences between them. And that voice that represents the real you, when and if you can find it, is worth putting to paper. The best way to start is simply to write where you are.