I’ve run this blog since 2012, and before that on another server since 2010. I used to write a lot, but something happened along the way that made me hesitant and weary with my writing. While my posts got better, they also got fewer and farther in between.
This past winter, I vowed I would write more. I needed to write more, and I did write more. I attempted three posts a week for a short time, usually only managing two, and wrote about everything that was going on in my head, good and bad. I wasn’t scared of the internet or who was reading, or what they were reading into, but I definitely maintained a filter. Slowly, my honesty began getting me in trouble.
I don’t write a blog to have people talk about me. My goal in every post is to have people talk about the issue at hand, whether that is friendships, mental health, personality traits, love, or just the imperfections of life. And more often than not, I write to communicate, as obvious as that sounds.
We live in a world where real communication is at an all time low. People don’t talk to each other anymore. We write to each other in short, cryptic sentences that mean nothing. We are always talking, but we’re never saying anything. I used to spend almost every night during high school on the phone with a friend. We’d talk for hours.
Now before I get to say “back in my day…”, I recognize that times change and technology changes, but our respect for the human need to communicate should not. We shouldn’t stop having conversations about things that matter just because the phone feels farther away or we’re too “tired” or “busy” to get out of the house. And more than anything else, we should not avoid conversations as a form of punishment.
Journalist Sophia A. Nelson really gets it. In one of her articles on Huffington Post, she says “To use silence as a weapon to wound is never the right path. When you (or I) avoid talking, we give room for people to draw their own conclusions with half facts, half-truths, and bad information. Talking provides clarity. It also allows for apology, and for restoration.”
She also lives by a very understandable rule when it comes to communicating.
“My rule, and I try never to break this ever, is that I will 1.) Pick up the phone at least twice to try and talk if there is a conflict of any kind. If my call is not returned. I will send an email or note asking to talk. If that is ignored, I have done my part. 2.) If I sub-tweet (meaning you don’t name names but everyone in the know knows who you are talking about) it is only after I tried to talk woman to woman or man to man first. If I talk about it beyond that I will use my platform as a writer and columnist to try and teach others what I have learned. 3.) If I am wrong. I admit it quickly. And I will offer a sincere human to human apology if afforded that opportunity. It’s just the right thing to do.”
Not only does this apply to conflict-management, but it confirms my spirit as a writer – “I will use my platform as a writer and columnist to try and teach others what I have learned.”
When I started this blog, that was my exact intention. Though the world will try to make me feel otherwise, I understand my value as a person. I understand the unique experiences I bring to my community and I know many of them are worth sharing. Maybe it’s because I usually give the benefit of the doubt, or are able to see more than one side to a story, or am curious about other people’s stories, but that is why I write.
I also write about the people in my life and the way I feel about them. People are my strength yet also my kryptonite. They can make me feel so many things all at once that my brain feels as though it’s starting to swell. And this blog is my open letter to those people. In a world where our communication is filtered through acronyms and emojis, and nearly everything said is taken the wrong way, this is where people can find me talking truth.
The next time I write about something personal, and there will be a next time, don’t just go and talk about it. Let’s have a conversation.