“I want to move to NYC after high school and write” I told my parents and friends at 17.
“You just watch too much Sex and the City” they told me.
This was the first time I voiced my true interest in writing after having dabbled in writing poetry, having a secret Xanga (really aging myself here…) and falling in love with blog reading.
I left my NYC plans behind when I got accepted to my first choice college, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where they uniquely make you declare your major as a first quarter freshman. I wanted to write, but I didn’t want to write fiction, I also didn’t want to write news….but somehow I chose Journalism as my major. It’s a long and unrelated story but I left Cal Poly after half a quarter and also seemingly left my love for writing there.
Years passed, I started going to therapy and it changed my whole life. I fell in love with the idea of being a therapist. All of my formal studies now focused on Psychology, including the Masters I’m close to finishing now. But as I focused my career in Psychology I still continued to love reading blogs, memoirs, self-help books and essays. And I still wrote; letters that would never be sent, essays that have never been read, poetry that I didn’t even realize was poetry when I wrote it. I wrote as my outlet, for my eyes only.
But off and on over the last decade I’ve felt my gut quietly pushing me to write; to start a blog, to submit something to Thought Catalog or Huffington Post, to put my writing out there. But as usual I didn’t listen to or pay much attention to that nagging in my gut, something I’m notoriously good at ignoring. I wrote things that were intended to be seen, I continued to dabble with the idea of sharing my writing, but something always held me back from actually putting it out there for all of you to read.
It took me a whole decade but I finally realized that Fear was the thing holding me back. The word is so small and simple and yet it carries with it so much power.
I’m afraid of a lot of things.
I’m afraid of people not reading my writing. I’m afraid that if people do read my writing they won’t like it. I’m afraid that people will judge me for writing publicly; that they’ll think I’m trying to be something or someone I’m not. I’m afraid of succeeding as much as I’m afraid of failing. I’m afraid of taking a chance and being vulnerable. I’m afraid of admitting to you or to myself that this is something I want, because once I admit it and start trying that is when failure becomes a possibility.
But after sorting through all of these fears I’ve realized that my biggest fear of all is admitting to you the things I shy away from even admitting to myself. Because if I do this, if I write, I know what kind of writing I want to do and what kind of writer I want to be; an honest one. I want to be authentic, raw and vulnerable. I want to write from my heart and tell you truths that I may be afraid to share or face. I want to say the things that people don’t often say in ordinary conversations.
I want to go deep. And that is really scary.
But I’ve been striving to live more from a place of faith and love and less from a place of fear this past year. And this is just one more chance to do that.
So here I go.
My intentions for myself as I embark on this journey are that I can be kind to myself. I hope I can give myself some grace as I navigate this newness. I hope that I can let this be something that brings joy into my life instead of stress. I hope I don’t take any of it too seriously.
My hope for you is that this is a place where you can feel like you’re less alone, have a laugh sometimes and an “AHA!” moment occasionally.A place that gets you thinking.
Stay tuned friends; I have a feeling this is going to be quite the ride!