There is something instinctively, primally, reptilianesquely* resistant to the sharing of personal opinions, thoughts and emotions in a public sphere, with complete strangers. Well, there is in my heart. If I am totally honest, I went into journalism and communications to hide. Behind a byline, behind a digital recording device, behind a camera; behind a press release, behind a CEO/head of organisation, behind senior management. It was a way to write and to change/save the world from within the folds of an organisation, from behind a thick layer of editors, sub-editors and copy-editor, or bosses, supervisors, directors-general, and bureaucratic clearing procedures.
I guess that approach has its cowardices and its courageousnesses, like everything else. Well, everything else except freelancing. Having once experienced it just to prove to myself that I could survive on my own, that is something I’d say is truly brave because it’s truly freakin’ scary; especially if you’re alone and relying only on your income, your wits, your motivation, your organisational skills, and your savings, with no benefits, no leave without pay, and no health insurance. I salute the unmarried freelances! *bows down to the ground* So, everything else except freelancing, which only has its courageousnesses.
Anyway, my point. Today’s assignment was to “write the post that was on your mind when you decided to start a blog”. I am looking sheepish. And that’s because the post would have been a picture of a cute, furry, friendly dog and one line, “I’m grateful for dogs, for they are one of life’s best little mercies… furry, sweet, cuddly packages of unconditional love, affection and gratitude.”
- “I’m in comms. Or was. I really should have some online presence.”
- “I learnt html, Turbo and C once upon a time. I really should practice.” (Useless. Completely useless. It’s like learning Latin and then not learning any other Latinate language for 20 years and then thinking, hey, let’s write a book in Latin.)
- “Oooh. Trackbacks. Pingbacks. Widgets. Pwetty themes…. Fun fun fun fun….” (Because once you have developed an overachieving bimbo/nerd neuron connection, it dies hard.)
- “F*ck. I want to delete this blog! There’s no point to it. It has no target audience. It has no firm messages. It is the opposite of a good testimony for a communications person. It has no purpose! It has no anything! No one will read it and people will laugh!”
Then I decided that I don’t really give a flying *** what people will think but perhaps it will make people feel connected, and maybe even a little entertained. There really isn’t enough empathy in the world.
Besides, the assignment post said:
- Because the best way to become a better blogger is to blog.
- Because you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment for following through on the idea, the blog, and the post.
And… I want. *points to above sentences*
I know lots of people who have pretty nasty, slave-driving, loud little internal critics. Maybe I know them because I’m one of them (or, I used to be), and we tend to end up in the same kinds of workplaces and university courses. If those internal critics suddenly materialised into real human beings in power suits and heels, they’d be candidates on a new reality show called Undercover Boss From Hell. Because I crumpled under the weight of my internal critic and became so tightly-bound by it, 2014 needs to be about management retraining for my internal critic. So the blog is a component of compassion bootcamp.
I don’t know if I have any big ideas, but I have lots of little ones, and I’m grateful for inquisitiveness and insight, and distance and space. I like to receive, earn and share wisdom that’s based on action, on doing, on experiencing, on learning new skills of all kinds, on active observation, on conversation and listening, on suffering and trauma and on bouncing back. I also have a heart that, like most others, has been beaten and bullied and whispered about, conditioned, judged, brainwashed, manipulated and backstabbed into being tight-fisted with its true emotions, opinions, kindness, compassion, vulnerability and love.
Once, in another, more innocent and open lifetime, I wrote: “I am grateful for all that I have been allowed to learn, to earn, and, most of all, to keep.” I swore I would cling for dear life on to the wild, ecstatic, delicious, delirious joy of life I had then that I knew the universe would one day decide I’d had enough of. That time came and I let go. And now I want it back.
And that is what this blog is about. It’s about learning how find joy again (different from fleeting happiness, ya?) after you’ve broken your own word and your own world. And that starts with acceptance, self-compassion and love. And that starts with smacking into line your own internal critic with gratitude.
*Yes, I breezily invent words; if you violently object to the verbizing of nouns, the nounization of adjectives or the adjectivizing of… well, anything, for the sake of your mental health, you should probably not read any of my casual writing.