How Personal is Too Personal?

These past few weeks… I’ve been feeling a little “older”. A bit more calm about the uncertainties of life. My life.

Yet, deep down, I still have this anxiety. Not necessarily a fear of failure. It’s more like a fear of becoming someone I am not. As opposed to who I am at this moment. Whoever that is!

I’ve been struggling as a writer. I’ve been struggling to get myself to write – anything. I did finish the last page in my latest journal the other day, something I always see as an accomplishment. Finishing a journal is almost like finishing a book that you’ll never publish because it holds all your secrets and deepest feelings. But what if I did actually publish my journal as a book? What would it feel like to know that everyone who reads this book will know things about you that were originally meant to be kept away from the world? What would my friends or family think if they picked up my book and read my truest thoughts? The hardest decision I have yet to make is on how personal is too personal.

I believe the reason for my lack of effort as a writer is my disbelief. My hesitation to press a key or hold a pen because I believe that what I have to say is irrelevant in this world. In my eyes, I see this overcrowded bubble that is about to burst and just hasn’t yet. I don’t want to be in that bubble when it bursts. I want to be outside the bubble. So how do I recreate such an analogy in the way I live my life without feeling inclined to disconnect from the world entirely?

When I write, I express myself as though I was laying my thoughts out on the table. I try to put it all out there because if I don’t, well, they’ll just be stuck in my head. And I spent most of my childhood daydreaming anyways. My last post was my attempt to get back out there in the writing community by sharing some advice I’ve learned in these past three or so months that I’ve been unemployed. I was proud of what I had written, but in reflecting, I realized that I could be giving advice that people don’t even need. Or better yet, I thought, who am I to tell someone else how to live their life when I need to get my own life in check? There really is no need to beat myself up over it, but still, I want to feel confident in my writing and how I tell my story. I want to know that my reader can feel what I am saying. Not that they just hear me.

You see, I’ve got it in my head that my last post was just me talking AT you all, but not to you. Not with you.

I just don’t want to sound like another one of those “expert” bloggers who make it seem like they’ve got it all figured out. I want to capture the journey that has led me to my conclusions. The barriers I have faced which have brought me to this point in my life. I want to be real. So – the best way to be real is to stop thinking too much about what I am writing and to just write. And I also want to share a secret with you all.

Three years ago, when I was feeling like I wanted to put my feelings out there and was too afraid of getting too personal, I decided to create a secret Tumblr. I won’t share the link at this exact moment because I still have to make sure none of my writing invades anyone else’s privacy. Nonetheless, I think at some point I would like to show you all what my journey has looked like as a writer and just how expressive someone like me can be in writing exactly what is on her mind.

So, How Personal is Too Personal?

I have yet to answer this question and it seems that I’ll have to take a walk of faith. My life is my own and I should feel empowered to share it exactly as is. Regardless, I understand the importance of setting boundaries and protecting those experiences or moments which are most fragile, precious, and sacred to me. At the same time, I can find a rationalization for ignoring those boundaries and sharing those “X-rated” memories anyways.

I think what makes it most difficult to put myself out there is witnessing the consequences that others on social media have had in sharing too much. You know how readers and viewers feel entitled to share their 2-cents on the choices that others decide to make about how to live their lives? I’m not really afraid of receiving hate online, I’m just more afraid of a family member getting ahold of my work and attempting to change my mind about what I shared and how I shared it. Anyways.

I feel stuck on this question. Like, what if I told you that I almost lost my virginity on the balcony of a movie theatre? That’d be the truth, but without context, so it’d come across a lot more vulgar than it really was. But then by giving you context, I open myself up to criticism. Is that what putting yourself out there entails? Well, duh! I just can’t make up my mind. I want my stories to be juicy, but not too juicy. I want to give context, but not the full story for the sake of protecting others in fear that one of my friends who I’ve given all the deets to will ring me up, shocked that I put such a thing on the internet. I guess it doesn’t really matter, huh?

As I tweeted a few days ago:

Any choice that I make today about how I want to share my life with others is totally up to me. There really are no rules that restrict my voice on MY OWN BLOG. It’s mostly just inherited morals that remind me that how I tell my story can affect the lives of those who are or have been involved in it. Who cares? I do. No big deal. Yes, big deal! You see what I’m saying? My writing is a maze that I am constantly navigating, trying to find the center. In a way, that’s the way writing is in essence – always trying to find the center of what is being said. Attempting to reveal that center to the reader in a creative manner without sounding all over the place.

For someone like me, writing is a staple. It is a source of strength. A source of self-love. A source of empowerment. I wish I didn’t have the background noise of people arguing outside my apartment complex while writing this, but hey, I’ll stay focused. Like I was saying, writing will always be that things which I cannot let go of. When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing. The less I write, the more I think about it. The more I think about it, the more agonized I am over my lack of doing it. Oh man, sounds like a fight is about to go down, but let me finish this first before I take a peek out the window.

As far as sharing my personal life on this blog, I am aware now that you all, my readers, are here for a reason. You subscribed to me as a writer, not just as any old blog that you could find in a google search (because my blog isn’t popping up in random searches – YET). As a reader, you want a story, right? You want to know what I have to say about life in hopes that we can relate and build a relationship. Maybe I’m a little off, but I think I know what you want. And I think we want the same thing.

So let’s give it a go, eh?