When I was in 8th grade I started writing in a journal. I actually recently found a diary with a lock on it from when I was much younger, but I think I wrote in it once. Anyway, I kept a journal from the age of 12 or 13 until about 25. Sometimes months would go by without me writing in it, but otherwise I was pretty consistent.
With that first journal in 8th grade, for some reason I decided to let a couple of my friends read it. I don’t know what possessed me to think that was a good idea, but I guess it’s similar to writing this blog. I wanted them to get a glimpse into what I was thinking and was better at expressing myself through writing. Although reading that joural back, there weren’t many deep feelings; it was mostly boys that I thought were cute. Shortly after I started letting them read those thoughts, I realized that I was sensoring myself. If I was pissed at one of them, I wouldn’t write about it. If I was feeling a certain way that I didn’t want to share, then it didn’t make it into that day’s entry. At that point, the journal wasn’t serving it’s true purpose. So I stopped sharing it. I don’t remember if they ever asked why. Quite possibly they were never really that interested, but I kept forcing it on them.
When I was about 14 or 15, I started writing what was supposed to be the beginning of a novel, but really was about me. It was written by someone I only still slightly recognize as myself; someone extremely insecure, hard on herself, and very naive. It wasn’t too difficult to read it and know that it was me. It was high exposure, but that didn’t stop me from actually passing it around a bus of 40 friends I was in Israel with that summer. It’s almost as if I could hide behind the writing and not feel as exposed. The nakedness and rawness doesn’t bother me. I didn’t care about or even think about how they would judge me. It was the complete opposite of how I usually behaved or felt. There was a boldness to it that didn’t exist in any other aspect of my life.
Now at 34, I am a very different person. Of course, I still have my insecurities, but I am much more secure in myself than I was 20 years ago. I do express my feelings and open up to people once I get to know them. It takes me time to warm up to people, but I can be very candid and open. I was thinking about this blog and how it’s just an evolution to having shared that journal or “novel” so many years ago. It’s been great to get messages from friends that have been following saying that they can relate and how they’ve enjoyed reading my posts.
While I haven’t necessarily sensored myself, I have debated whether to share certain experiences or opinions or internal debates. It is a complete exposure. Like at 15, I am not that nervous about being judged by my blog, but opening the door to certain topics can be real intimate and I’m not sure how intimate I want to get with all of you. I know that if I want this blog to continue to develop and to really speak to where I am in my life, that I will need to start delving more into topics that might not be as comfortable. This post is perhaps the first step into opening that door.