So, as most of you know I did some writing for xojane.com last year — self-indulgent personal essays about the trials and tribulations of being me. That’s pretty much the xojane model – with stories that range from heartbreaking to revolting. Lots of content about things that have happened in or around various writers’ lady parts. Collective “ew”.
I wrote four pieces for them, about my cultural identity, my former Ambien addiction, my having been bullied as an adolescent, and my struggles with depression. Pretty personal stuff – yet because of who I am, who I am not yet, where I am in my writing career, and my incredibly close relationship with my mom, I found myself, if not sugar-coating, then certainly diluting a lot of the content. Because addictions, bullying, depression – these are all really hard topics to write about without dredging up things that make me feel sorry for myself – not my current self, but for young, lost, scared me. And what mom wants to read about how lost and scared her young daughter once was and about how much said daughter kept from her — to protect her, protect herself, or because she didn’t quite know what else to do?
I’m “proud” of the pieces that I wrote but I am fully aware that they do not tell the whole story of who I am/was and what was going on at the time. That the first piece I wrote has a photo of me with an ex at the bottom does not further my cause of absolute contentment.
Someday I’d like to write as openly and honestly as I can about the things that have shaped me, the good and mostly the bad, but I am not quite ready. I think this might be a partial impetus for this blahhhhhg. Gearing up to let it all out. Because without doing so I feel like I’m not truly tapping into the darkness that has paved way for whatever brightness still eludes me.
My dentist just lost his mother – she was 104. He’s dabbled in writing for decades and on hearing of his mother’s death, a patient said to him, “Now you can finally write your book.” I know what he means – but there is nothing I look forward to less than not having my mom in my life. So I need to be brave and take a page from the xojane guidebook – which I would absolutely recommend wearing gloves to handle – and “own it”. I need to let it all out, even the horrible stuff. I need to purge it to move forward. And I don’t think the people who love me will be horrified. I think the ones who are horrified aren’t meant to read my words.
Bear with me as I figure out how to do this.