I have always found it easier to express my feelings through the written word. When I was six years old I left my Dad this note on his computer keyboard. I don’t remember why I was mad, but I do remember sitting at my desk trying to sound out the spelling.. “ss..t..ooo..p..ed”.
I was always quiet about what was going on inside me, but I wrote about it constantly. My journals from when I was little contain hilarious anecdotes about how I was struggling to overcome a bad habit of saying “I love you” too much, philosophical questions about life, and explaining the odd uncomfortable feeling of having stories stuck inside my head (I was convinced that I was destined to be an author). When I got older I kept writing; I’m sure one of the reasons I survived my adolescence was due to my obsessive poem writing. All of those journals have since been burned, but I still know what they said.
I have found it interesting to look back on my writing and see the hidden (or not so hidden) messages that the words carry with them. With the awareness I have now, I can actually pick out evidence of survival maps and my old stories within the misspelled messy text of a little girl who pretended her dolls were real and got excited over crust-less sandwiches.
For the most part I kept all of my feelings to myself growing up; however, when I did have the courage to connect and share these feelings with others, I did so by sharing something I wrote. Either a note I wrote to them or a poem from one of my journals. Written words have always been my portal to connect with others…and that was even before the wonderful invention of text messaging ;).
Sharing, even with the distance paper created, didn’t always prove to be safe. I took in that lesson deeply, and for years I kept my writing secret and my conversations quiet. Over the last year I have made leaps and bounds when it has come to being open to sharing my inner world. I’ve done this, again, through writing. What I have found lately is the better I get with sharing my thoughts and feelings through writing, the greater the divide becomes between who I am here and who I am in person.
I write confidently and authentically. I own my emotions on the page and share them openly.
In person I crumble.
I write bravely, while I speak timidly. I write truthfully, while I censor my speech.
I think writing will always be where I feel the most comfortable and strongest when it comes to expressing myself, but writing alone is not good enough anymore. I want to have that strength and openness in my face to face interactions. I want to connect when we can truly connect. I want to be able to connect to my emotions while looking you in the eye. I know the strong & healthy part of me wants this, but even writing it makes me cringe and want to hide.
It’s an ongoing struggle of “See me, but don’t look. Hear me, but don’t listen.” I can tell it will be a long battle, and I’m up to the task… but I’m sure there will be many more notes left along the way – at least my spelling has improved since 1992. 😛