In blogging, much like my writing, I fly by the seat of my pants. Sometimes those pants are capris of many different colours, a good pair of blue denim, or in black. I have a germ and off I go. Rather than changing, I adjust much like an airplane makes its adjustments during take-off, landing, or turbulence. Lesson one on this journey, try to be yourself not somebody else, even someone you admire.
The second lesson, the one proving a little harder, involves not worrying about what other people think of me. We all want to be liked, to have people truly know who we are, but online it’s a little tougher. I will never forget the jarring comment left on my Livejournal blog by a former co-worker. I wrote a lot about Nathan Fillion. It’s amazing how my imagination had a lot of former ‘boyfriends,’ while my real life had virtually none. The comment went along the lines to stop being silly, grow up, both in a patronizing tone thinking he knew what was best for me. I felt stunned and noticed my fingers freezing in fear, worrying if someone would lump me into the crazy-unstable-fangirl category. Ever the polite Canadian, I didn’t fire back with a zinger.
Now I wish I did.
I read post after post of WWJD posts or something like it. The only different between a fangirl and an Evangelical/faithful Catholic man writing about Jesus comes down to the guy in question. Is he here? Is he over there? I respected his right to talk about Jesus, about God’s will, about everything. It’s his life. It’s a modicum of respect. I read a blog from written by a woman unafraid to share her faith. We probably don’t agree on things, but I hear her out. To that guy I wished, I said what the kids say nowadays: GTFO.
Oh, and Nathan and I ‘broke up. His career has played the same note, and I like what the ex-school Orchestra cello player does with his art. He’s got a jam, and I dig it. It inspires me to push mine.
I noticed my writing got better because I, as a person, bettered myself. I built up my writing by building myself back up from the foundations, and I am not done. To quote Bruce Cockburn from a previous Music Monday, “I’ve proven who I am so many times. The magnetic strip wore thin.” I worried self-care would turn into selfishness. I said that once to a school guidance counselor, repeating back the things taught to me from the time I could walk. It’s what people from Portugal knew. Don’t be a loud woman. Loud women are bad women. Bad women bring shame to their families. Repeat after me: GTFO. I wondered if the world would end. It didn’t. I am still standing.
This 500th post is an affirmation. It’s a reminder not to underestimate my abilities, a truth a teacher once told me, and one I will never forget. I will screw up, I will pick up, and I will keep going. To quote C. Day Lewis “We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.” It’s the blog’s mission from day one. Thanks for coming along on the journey through 500 posts and here’s to more and beyond.