Here’s my problem: I’m scared to be more personal. But, like any relationship, like any friendship, you must be open with people—or you will not get anywhere. And, being open, means being open to the possibility of pain. You can’t be emotionally hurt by people if you are not exposed enough to be loved.
And, well, blogging is not unlike that. I am, right now, doing what I am comfortable with. Sharing what of me I feel I can. And sending it out there for people to see.
But, with that said, I’m not super comfortable with this social media world we live in right now. I don’t mind sharing in person. I’m an open individual generally—were we to talk face-to-face—but I also know what a danger the internet can be.
So, I don’t post as many status updates as I could. Not as many pictures as I could. Most writers—I’m sure—can agree with this mindset. As can any less social person. Introverts are well, introverted: having little shells that we crawl into some days and from which we do not want to leave for a while. And, unless one is patient, that can be deterring to the people who want to talk to us.
It can make others not want to interact with us at all.
And, while not everyone is lonely when alone, a lot are. Even introverts. Social creatures, us humans exist as—even if some of us are not as much as others.
And, funny enough, from a creative perspective, that whole “write what you know” thing doesn’t always work well because of this. It leads the introvertive creative toward creating things about thinking and pondering and being in one’s own head. Which, as I’m sure you can imagine, is not always the most effective building blocks for entertaining products. The real idea behind that old chestnut is to gather your pain, and sorrow, and happiness and joy, and use those for your art. To pour your feelings and passions into things, but not necessarily yourself as a character. Instead, using what you’ve experienced, what’s been done to you, and what you’ve done to others, and then relay that through characters perhaps more active than you are. Characters who are different than you, and yet the same. Characters who might resemble you in different ways, that others will see parts of you inside of, but still exist as their own, flawed, perhaps even broken and damaged people.
And, I get that it’s terrifying to use your soul as paint. Any artist I see tackling topics like mental illness, eating disorders, gender dysphoria, racism, etc.—when they have personal experience with it—I think are the bravest people in the whole goddamn world.
Because I don’t think I can do that. Not as I am.
I don’t think I could ever be that open—I’m too closed off, too protective of myself. As a horror writer and an enthusiast of darker media, people give me odd looks sometimes when I talk to them about what I’m curious about and passionate about and want to understand on a deeper level.
So—through that, and perhaps because of the way men are told to be in America—I got trained (via social osmosis) to be closed off. To not show strong feelings or emotions, only traits like wit, machismo, or brooding. But, as I recently relearned again when I posted the “When You Walk Every Day” article, the more open I am, the more people respond. Upon reflection, it turns out that most people’s lives are similar. We all have similar pains and similar joys.
I mean this in the best way possible, but you, and I, are not the first to experience sadness so deep it physically hurt, pain so hot it seared the mind, and disgust and apprehension and anxiety and fear so static and vibrating it made being alone seem the only safe place to be—even if that is, of course, usually a lie.
Yikes, all right, that was heavy. But, I guess, to share, to communicate, to have honest relationships physically or online, we should share heavy stories like that—at least in small parts. And, for the sake of art, I’ll endeavor toward it.
But, understand, it is difficult for me.
So, for an outing of this, I’ll do something a little light. Something simple. A tale I can tell you and not worry too much.
It’s an odd story, kind of funny, kind of weird, and potentially sad if you’re an animal lover.
So, if you’re interested, come next week, and I’ll tell you the tale of when I tried to help a baby bird. And, only about fifty percent succeeded (maybe).