When I first envisioned my blog, I thought it would be a wonderful place to document the lively antics of my children, and where I could describe the parenting challenges that are around every bend in the road. For a while, that worked. And it still works, but it also morphed into something else. Sometimes I write poetry. I am known to curse and to occasionally express thoughts that are sexually provocative. I am passionate about many things. All of which I love to write about, including politics. There have been moments in time, where I questioned the fulfillment of being a stay-at-home mom, and wondered where my "self" had gone. Mothering is bloody hard work, and there are extreme highs and lows, as well as lots of days in-between in which you can feel as if you are flat lining. Much of the time I am blessed with positive feelings about my life. Yet, how boring and unnatural would our lives be if we only expressed ourselves in tidy, neat splashes of yellow and pink. I like to color outside the lines of propriety.
All of this is me, and I don't know how to be any different. Nor, do I want to. One of the lovely things about getting older is that you feel a certain freedom to be yourself. Even if people don't like you or what you write. Perhaps your audience thinks they know you, and you write something that appals them. It was not your intent. But, should you then change your writing to suit your audience? To avoid making people uncomfortable? I don't think so. Everyone has their own unique voice and that is what draws us in, isn't it?
If I spend too much time worrying about whether people will like what I write, or whether I will offend someone with a particular subject, I would never be able to write here at all. The page would remain blank, and I would be living in fear.
I made a deal with myself when I created this space. The deal is this... I don't want to self-censor. I have to be authentic. I cannot write to please other people. That is not why I am here. Nor do I take pleasure in disgusting anyone. What I do love is the sight of the naked page, the feel of the keyboard under my fingertips, and catching the words as they free fall into sentences.
Erica Jong says it best:
As a writer, we need permission to avoid being the good girl, to go against societal brainwashing and the inner censorship we impose on ourselves.
The inner self of a writer, the self destined to live beyond the flesh, is not always visible in the writer's daily life. But the writer's true voice, once discovered, is congruent with the writer's soul. This voice is what all writers seek, and a very few find - to raise a cry that is integral with one's soul.
Here is the paradox of writing. You can't hide behind words. What and who you are shines forth on every page - whether you pretend objectivity or not. You strip down to the essential self.
***Painting courtesy of Google images