A woman from my writing group commented that one of the reasons she writes is so that her voice doesn’t get buried with her. As I heard myself later vehemently exclaiming my passion for “telling the truth”, I realized that this is a vital reason why I write as well. I realized that my writing is all about honesty and boldness while my default in my physical life is to keep quiet. Not make waves. Don’t call attention to myself. There’s a great passion in me that wishes we’d all just drop our clothing. Not our physical clothing though that’d certainly be an interesting sight! But our soul’s clothing to reveal the secrets beneath. This might seem to suggest the terrible things we have hidden in our closet but I’m suggesting moreso, revealing ourselves openly to the world. Sharing those characteristics that are worthy of praise (and let’s face it, many of us don’t toot our own horns enough, waiting politely on the sidelines for affirmation from others) but being bravely open with our frailties as well. I wish we’d all just quit playing The Game, allowing others to drop their clothing and walk openly as well. Though I’m changing more and more in my physical life, it’s still so much about listening in, being attune to others, not making waves or conflict. I’d hate to know that my world might end while I’m still playing nice, before anyone was able to see that I may have had an opinion or conflict or see some deeper meaning to the apparently mundane. My writing is a way of letting myself all hang out, and perhaps in doing so, allow others a chance to be a bit more relaxed as well. I heard someone recently say that when she dies, she wants all her journals to be burned with her. For me, perhaps a bit narcissistic, but hell no! This is my remaining voice in the world. Even if only my family reads it, I want them to know my thoughts – the pretty and the warty parts.
It’s a shame to me that the majority of us – myself included, depending on the party – sit around in our masked perfection trying to outbest each other. Maybe not outbest, but possibly just try to look like we’re not straggling behind. I’ve long been enamored by bold realness. I have a distinct memory of my paternal grandmother, “Nanny”, who was openly thankful for a new bathing suit my mother had sewn for her, complete with the new “non-rubber” bra cups. She exclaimed loudly to the neighbors, “This suit is fantastic! You can poke your fingers into the cups and they don’t stay poked in!!” (And then proceeded to demonstrate that!) This was the epitome of her sassy openness. Or later in life, when I met a friend who had the wonderfully irreverent demeanor to utter “Fuck” in church (albeit the gym!) or suggest sex to the pastor. I’m even appreciative of the rudeness found in Simon Cowell on the early days of American Idol, though more harsh than I’d ever want to be, saying exactly what most of us were thinking. Though it hurts sometimes to deal with another’s truth, to me it’s so much easier than trying to figure out what’s really going on inside their head. Likewise, we maintain so much more of our personal energy to just let go with our true feelings and thoughts rather than “cleaning up” what we think is appropriate.
Admitting our weaknesses, surprisingly, we’re stronger. I’m recalling the number of times I’ve been asked to perform a speech. It’s one of my worst fears, causing a deep gut churning just thinking about it in this moment. Yet, if I spend the first few moments in front of everyone to admit my nervousness, usually in some kind of self-deprecating joke, I’m fine for the remainder of my spiel. It’s also an oxymoron that talking about your struggles, while many might think would just be fuel to the fire, is actually a relief. It frees us. And by doing so, it gives the world an opportunity to lower their fences, drop their clothing, realizing they don’t have to maintain a face they’re not. It could be such a contagious action!
So, as my physical self catches up – and even when/if it does – my writing is my practice in dropping the clothing. My desire to have myself heard when I’m too shy or insecure to put it out there verbally, hoping that I give it the right vocabulary. (which is never quite as eloquent or clear coming straight from brain to mouth! Too quick of a mental synapse for me, I suppose. I need the pause in writing to help me form a clear thought!) Writing = naked me in written form. Haha, what a vision!