I Will Show Up Anyway
It's the moment when I sit down to write... that's the most difficult. All of the truths and emotions well up from my depths to be heard every day, but there is a fear that also bubbles up, a fear that no one will see or hear me, that my words are worthless.
This morning, I decided to show up anyway because this is all I know how to do; to write it all out and share it to the world. There is no worse pain than bottled up words clogging up my throat. It's worse because of how shameful and guilt-full it makes me feel to have not done it, and to wish I could have been more courageous for myself.
All my life I have always wanted to really be seen. I yearned for my music, my art, my drawings, my words to be felt. And to somehow know that what I have created affected someone - that they, too, understood what it meant.
My paradoxical nature is something like this : I want so desperately to be seen, yet I fear being seen due to the possibility of rejection, yet I know that being known requires me to be seen, and so it is something I want to do but also don't. Which leaves me spinning in the middle of neither here nor there most of the time when it comes to sharing my writing.
Here's the thing... I'm (mostly) an introvert. I like quiet. I like nature. I like one-on-one, deep conversations that get down and dirty and real. I get nervous initiating conversation, and when I'm in a group of people it takes an enormous effort to even contribute one word. Honestly, it drains me. I just can't operate or pretend to be superficial when all that wants to be spoken about are the things that keep me up at night, that scare me, that inspire me in a big way.
But what's worse is keeping everything inside. I have book ideas and poetry that are just waiting to be spilled onto blank pages. But this fear cripples my expression, my gentleness, the softness of my words. It brings out the worst in me; the parts of me that self-inflict hate-filled words, words that drown, monologues of voices telling me that I do not deserve to be seen.
Then I heard these words on a podcast episode with Elizaberth Gilbert : Who gets to decide?
The answer is : ME.
Because no matter what, I am the decider of my destiny. I am the creator of my life. I am the poet, the writer, the artist who decides what she wants to do, what to share, what to say with conviction and integrity and hope and honesty. No matter what I put out there and the criticism that WILL come, I stay in the place of softness and strength within myself knowing that nothing will sway me from being who I am, nothing and no one can take away my voice. If I don't do it for me, then I do it for all the women who couldn't, but could only wish for the freedom to do and say what was on their hearts and in their souls. For all those who wanted to be free from being told who they could or couldn't be. For all of the women who were burned at the steak for being who they were. For all of the women who raised their families wishing they could sing, dance, write, study, travel, go. For all of the women who still to this day can't find the words to say the truth out of fear of being thought of as a bitch or vain or arrogant.
I will do this not only to heal my own wounds, but to be the plucked string that resonates in the hearts of others who may have forgotten their power, their truth. I will continue to break down these walls of fear. Break down the barriers between me and the world. Burn down what's seen as right and wrong, good and bad. To just share it. Scream it. Reveal it all.
What I do know is that sharing heals ourselves and those who see themselves in our sharing. Even if its for one person, it is still one human essence changed, one human being's truth remembered.
This is no time for me to sit waiting on the sidelines of my life for the harshness of the world to fall in order for me to share my vulnerability. It will never be.
Vulnerability is the mirror that reflects our most profound and real truths. So, I will share anyway. I will show up regardless. Even if it hurts sometimes. Even if I get criticized for being candid and real. I will rise to the occasion of being a fiercely wild truth-teller, barrier-breaker and stigma-shatterer.
Because it is all I have ever known.