A storm was here. Words were said, darkness exposed, feelings hurt. It was never intended to be a battleground, but a meadow where people gather and count their scars out in the open where the wildflowers grow.
I stoop down and examine the damage, let the rubble sift through my open hands. How do you get up again? How do you stand where winds blew and heaven poured down? Is it possible to come back the same?
Just days ago came the final blow, the one that followed a slur of snide remarks. The one that was meant to send me packing.
“Your blog is boring,” he said, eyes icy, words pointed, “You write about the same thing and it’s just so people pity you. It’s pathetic.”
His were icy, mine were heated red and that’s all I saw as I threw expletives like arrows and told him he was hell-bound anyway, to have a nice life. It was all so untrue, so unwarranted, so not about me, so not about him.
And after that, human nature jumped in, whispering that it would all go away if I just packed up camp.
Packing up is the easy route: deleting this blog and publishing anything else under a pen name where no one can trace my words back to me. But packing up has never been an option and it never will be one. Everything in me wants to write words that are boxed up and set on display, behind the glass where no one can touch it. But writing is messy and emotional and trying and people will always get involved and tell you what they think you should say, how you should say it, or even that you should say nothing at all. As a writer, you can explain points A, B, and C but all people will read is point A and they’ll fixate on it, your point soaring above their heads. It happens. Life happens.
At the end of the day, people are going to say what people are going to say. And you have to learn to ask yourself, “So what?”
To tell yourself, “So what.”
To scream at yourself, sometimes, “SO WHAT.”
And after all that, sometimes you have to sit down and really search your heart, open that wound and figure out where this is headed. How can you learn from hurtful criticism? That’s what this post is all about: I’m learning and there are four things I feel I should explain and/or say and five things I’m planning on changing:
- My journey as a writer began with crying into a pillow a lot in my adolescence. I was always imaginative and storyteller-minded, but I never would have picked up a pen if I’d never felt so completely alone and misunderstood and upset that I felt the only thing I could do was explain myself to a blank piece of paper. That’s why my writing is so emotional: it’s always been my therapy and it always gave me a voice when I felt I had none.
- INFP is my personality type. It stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving. Those four little letters have a lot to do with who I am and how I perceive the world around me. As an INFP, my mind is kind of like a map of places I’ve been emotionally and I’m able to tap into that emotion because I remember how it felt and I translate that into poetry and it becomes this emotion-infused piece of work. That’s it. When I’m writing about a situation, I’m not sitting in a dark room with lit candles and Lana Del Ray playing in the background. I’m not sobbing over tubs of ice cream. Really, I’m sitting on my couch with my siblings, sipping coffee, and, to be frank, thinking. But I’m not emotional. If I’m deeply hurting, I’m not telling you about it; I’m telling my best friends about it. And while it might be easier to deduce me to a dark, deeply troubled, emotionally unstable individual. . .you’re wrong. I feel things deeply, but I love deeply too. I write deeply, but I’m loved deeply too. I’m sad sometimes, but I also see the beauty in everything–even pain. I’m funny; I’m creative; I’m kind-hearted; I’m lively. I know who I am and you can take that to the bank.
- If you’re here to pity me. . .thanks? If you’re here to get inside my mind . . .go away. If you’re here to pick apart what I say. . .I get it, but I hope you leave with something of value. And if you’re here because you’re kind of broken and I’m kind of broken and you understand what I write: bless you. You’re my audience.
- Lastly, you should know. . .I am emotional, but that doesn’t make me weak. I communicate my emotions, but that doesn’t mean you know me. I’ve struggled with depression, but that doesn’t mean you get to psychoanalyze me and stash me away in a little box. I’m a person, darn it.
That being said, here is what’s changing:
- More Jesus.
- More humor.
- More story-telling.
- More poetry. (Warning: The poetry will always be deep and emotional, but I guarantee it will be beautiful.)
- More talking about making waves, light, and journeys made. (To be continued. . .)
Basically less dark: more light. I know all about the dark and I’m always willing to talk about it if need be, but I can’t camp there. So in my next post, I’m talking about 2016 plans, being clean, making waves, and being light.
Thank you for reading,