Listen. Do you want to know a secret? No matter what you do or say or attempt or achieve, people are going to have their own opinions.
Everyone can’t like everything you do. Everyone can’t admire or respect or enjoy you. Everyone can’t have compassion for you, or celebrate your wins.
I love how the words of language will have their own meaning, but it’s our voice and style that will add dimension and layer to a definition. So in that way what are words at all? What does anything really mean?
A few years ago I had the summer and autumn from hell. And out on the other side of it I kept wanting so badly for some discussion, an apology, some validation. And I was so annoyed at myself for wanting it. Until I realized that even if I got what I thought I wanted it wouldn’t change anything.
And that’s the really tricky part about our lives that we keep forgetting: words don’t undo.
Words can create, they can decorate. But nothing we say or write can ever undo what’s been done. It’s such a cliché reminder about how we take our own words and actions and patterns for granted.
I was reminded recently that my writing betrays me. I was told that my loneliness is showing. I wonder if that was supposed to hurt? I wonder if it was supposed to give me some sort of wake-up call?
Oh no! Not my loneliness! Can everyone see it?
Oh dear! I used to think showing my vulnerability was super gross, and in truth I’m still not a fan of excessive heart bleeding. But also, once your pride’s been pummeled enough… What have you got to hide?
What becomes the point of hiding? And if I am lonely, does that mean I should turn to specific people? Are there only certain individuals who can exclusively alleviate the aches we experience?
If we find ourselves lonely, isn’t it true connection we seek? Or should we sacrifice truth for the person? Will anyone do? Is any random, or pre-determined, individual a sufficient cure for loneliness? Personally, I need truth. People are very interchangeable. Integrity, Honor, CHARACTER, Courage, these are things I long for. People – not so much.
But more importantly, if my words are conveying loneliness does that mean I’ve finally found my voice? Does that mean I’m finally being heard? Is it working?
Does this mean I’m a real artist then? If my innermost emotions are showing through the work, isn’t that the point? Isn’t writing the loneliest of crafts, besides?
At first it begins with reading. And the comfort in solitude with the book and the story. And then inspiration strikes and a bit of confidence propels you to try your hand at it.
For a while it’s your favorite love affair. The words, the writing, the story, the narrative, the styling. Then, it turns on you a bit. Your ego and the work. For another while nothing you make is good at all.
Eventually, you return. Or it returns. Either way, you do it again and the point is not so much “is this good?” Because good is subjective anyway and anything your ego says is probably a lie.
If you think it’s good, it’s meh. If you think it’s bad, it’s not awful. Throw away perfect because that doesn’t exist. I like to settle, yes, settle. I settle for good enough.
Is it clear? Can it read? Did I make the point I went in for? On the technicals, did I manage the grammar and spelling?
The rest is to the reader.
And here is the reminder of the opening: everyone can’t feel the same way or even the way I want them to. Who cares?
If I write anything at all that gives anyone any comfort ever, then I’ve done the thing I came to do. Which is to pay it forward.
And if I appear lonely, that’s all right. If I appear gorgeous, defiant, Invincible, delusional, petulant?
All of that is fine. Because I wrote and I got it out and if I still got it, that’s what matters to me.
Tell me what you think before we both die