I’m shedding layers, here. Writing has always been a strength of mine, a form of self-expression where other forms would fail. In an essay I could argue coherently that which my tongue would jumble and confuse. Points fall all over the place when I speak, the words don’t sound half as elegant on the way out as they did in composition.
Much as I plan and rehearse in my mind the things I want to say, the practice never makes perfect. In writing, that almost never happens.
In writing, I can compose thoughts and feelings illustrated with metaphor. In writing, I can articulate the processes that form my decisions and reactions. In writing, I can show the workings that I have smothered down for one reason or another.
I’m not sure how long there has been a disconnect between how I look, and how I feel. Attempts to guess my state of mind or motivation are almost always wrong, it’s lead to a fear of what people see in me. It isn’t what I see, nor is it what I wish to project. I don’t know what it is, I don’t know how my actions change that view one way or another. I worry that one day I will reveal the thing They Don’t Know Yet and the game will be over. I won’t even know why, it will just be Over.
I know, as any good marketing student knows, that I cannot fully control how others view me. A public image is made by many eyes and many minds. I should have some control, but I get it wrong. A lot. Someone mistakes my sorrow for anger, my attempt at being respectful for indifference. They see things I am not. Things I don’t want to be.
I fear further explanation will only make matters worse. Silence has always been my preferred defense. Retreat into a neutral face, say nothing more. Fear of misunderstanding wraps me in layers of quiet neutrality. If I ever knew how to express myself, I’ve forgotten. I don’t explain. I don’t offer information. I worry too much about how it will be ‘read’.
I make myself a mystery. Frustrating. Maddening. And all I feel for my efforts is misunderstood. But what else could I be? I don’t give enough to be understood. I don’t give anything.
The layers must come off. It’s no longer good enough just to give the final answer, I need to show my workings. I need to show who I am, and why I am: to articulate my brand and properly project it. It will be uncomfortable. It will be confronting in places. It will be public. Perhaps a journal would be a better, private log–but that only feeds the echo chamber inside my head. It needs to get out. Whether it’s read or not, it needs to get out.
And I know I’m not alone, too. The internet has a marvellous way of connecting like minds. For all of the blogs I read, for all of the times I stabbed the screen with my index finger and cried, ‘That’s how I feel!’, and for all of the comfort I found in reading the words of someone so much like me who was out there and moving forward–I hope my words can provide the same comfort.
If this blog can help one, just one, person feel less alone–or encourage someone to understand another better, every last word is worth it.