So, I’ve decided to just write a blog post, because how many times have I been on the cusp of posting something, how long have I gone not finishing what I’ve started because composing and arranging and editing what’s on my mind have all gotten so very muddled? Is it possible to just say what I want to say and hit post? Is it possible to stop trying to get it right, to stop thinking through all the ways it will be received, trying to make sure I clarify every unclear point I make, trying to make sure I mention every connection, all the things that have wowed me as I listen and learn and go about my days? What if I forget to share that podcast I heard? And all the things it reminded me of? What if I leave out the… . Pause. I re-read this. And I think, what am I saying again? What is this post about? What is the point of this? And I almost stop writing this and just close my laptop.
But I’m not going to.
I start writing a sentence and then I stop midway. I backspace backspace backspace delete, and I say to myself, no, not that. Not that direction. New paragraph.
This is what I do on Facebook. I scroll, see, sometimes choose a reaction (👍, ❤️ , 🏳️🌈, 😆, 😮, 😢, or 😡?), though most often, I don’t. I might start writing a comment, an innocuous one even, and I stop for a second. Because: is this a 🌎 one or a 👥 one? Who all is going to see what I write? And what will this mean to them? And do I want them to know what I’m thinking about anything? Or that I’m even online? What about when I have a complex response to someone’s query, and I take the time to comment on that post (hey they started it!) then… nothing? Never mind. It’s not worth it. I select all on my comment & delete. I scroll some more. Think one thing, then another. See a post from this person, that person, this old friend, that relative, this neighbor, that new connection, this artist I know who knows me, that artist who wouldn’t recognize my name if I engaged their post. So many people from different parts of my life, known and not known, all in one place, and that’s not how I do things, talking to all these people at once. I code-switch. It’s not because I’m changeable, not because I’m inauthentic. I care very much about empathic listening, about clarity in response. I want understanding. I want one-on-one talks more than blasting my one opinion in one post or comment or thought, and posting it for all my connections to send me their varied responses. I’m not referring to when I post about my personal life (amazing days or heartbreaking ones) because that’s generally when I hear from personal connections, like ones from a while back, or ones fostered mostly online but still personal, or even ones that are from IRL. Those are positive exchanges. I post an experience, and I hear back from people I know on some level. But when it comes to having strong reactions about everything that gets to me (it’s a lot), then interacting with everyone who reacts to my reactions, how busy would my Facebook self be? I’m worn out thinking about it.
So I consider posting here on my blog instead. I imagine what I might post before I start writing. I tell myself: Include that one thing you thought yesterday that connected to that random thing that happened today, and tell about how it’s making you see everything differently. You wonder, if just… could just a little more knowledge make a difference? Could what I write make a real difference? But the more I think about it, the more I realize that I have more to say than I’m able to write, and no one post would suffice, and how even if I started to write, once I got a paragraph or two in, I’d get confused and twisted. I’d turn back to re-read, try to edit and arrange and compose and I’d lose my way. And if this was all written by hand on a piece of paper (it never is), I’d crumple it up and throw it at the wall. Instead, I close the tab or window. If I save, I let the computer auto-fill the title. I walk away.
I feel a little sorry for myself. (I also roll my eyes about feeling sorry for myself.) How can I do this? My brain is not the same. I don’t write like I did before the injury two years ago. And lately I can’t even post to social media like I did before. It’s exhausting.
So I need to make peace with what’s incomplete. I need to start somewhere and do something. So I’m writing this. And all the things that I thought of as I wrote this, that I can’t manage to mention or explore right here? I’m letting it go. Maybe I’ll get to it later. Maybe I will post more tomorrow. I want to leave that option open for myself.
This is just a blog. This is short, but it was still really hard. I still did the re-reading and deleting and rearranging. But instead of erasing the whole thing and walking away, I’m going to hit publish. At least I’ve started this thought. And maybe instead of expecting this thought to run through to its conclusion, I will set it free as it is. And maybe by doing that, I’ll learn something new.
By the way, this sort of relates to what I’m doing in my current show. I have work up in my space, in the front of my studio that functions as a gallery. Find more info at www.thestudiomind.com