Blank Pages. An Intro...
At various points in my life, I’ve felt the urge to write things down. For no other purpose than to give it a place to live instead of inside my head. However, I’ve never given into this urge. I don’t consider myself a writer and I’m simply not one to journal. The idea of it scares me actually. What if someone finds it when I’m dead and reads it?! It’s horrifying and entirely too exposed and vulnerable for an introverted Capricorn. Are you kidding? Who does that? Stupid people. This past Christmas, my boss gave me a journal and a set of beautiful pens. A very thoughtful gesture, yes. He journals, so he was excited to introduce me to this “relaxing” activity. He assured me that it’s a rather therapeutic practice. A necessary daily ritual. UGH! Can’t I just get a massage? It is currently laying on my nightstand completely empty. Full of blank pages. Maybe someday, but most likely never.
People have even encouraged me to blog on several occasions. “Oh, that is awesome! You should totally blog about that!” I force a smile and think to myself- why the hell would I do that? That’s insight into something no one, including me, wants to see or hear. I don’t get all of this current transparency. A cultural diarrhea of the mouth, if you will. Who cares anyway? I’m 47. This is not of my generation. We are content with keeping our thoughts in our heads where they belong, while simultaneously burying any unpleasantries like our good mothers taught us. “Chin up!” “Suck it up!” “Get over it!” My siblings and I were not coddled. Not even close. We were allowed to say something hurt if we needed an ambulance. I may be exaggerating a tad, but I’m not far off. I in no way intend to imply that we were mistreated. I had the best childhood ever. We were raised on a 100-acre farm, we were taught the value of hard work, had everything we needed and not much that we didn’t. Lazy was just about the worst thing you could possibly be. You never uttered the word bored. And, we had to figure out problems on our own. Imagine! My German grandmother helped to raise us. She was our only neighbor and we learned so much from her- mostly how to make everything perfectly clean, especially our plates. I’m so grateful for that upbringing because it taught me invaluable life skills and enduring principles that are more evident and rare with each passing year. Farm kids operate through life differently. We have a different lens. We just do.
My father kept a daily journal, mostly about the crops and to record the weather, and he never missed a day. I witnessed this daily practice firsthand, but I had zero interest. Besides, we had so many daily chores there wasn’t time for reflection. We were too busy doing. Who had time to write about it?
So why start now? Why do the uncomfortable dreaded sharing in a blog using my real name? Where people who know me might discover “unpleasantries.” Yikes! Maybe it took me 47 years of living to gather something to say. Maybe I’m really good at delayed gratification. Maybe I listen more than I speak. Or maybe I have a heart for helping. Maybe it could be helpful for other people who might be going through similar issues to see that they aren’t alone. And maybe, just maybe it will help make some sense as to why people suffer. If we suffer in silence and don’t use our stories to help others then it’s completely in vain and, in that sense, does double the damage. It is truly my hope that perhaps in revealing my weakness others can find strength.