Saturday, December 27, 2014

Dear Diary

I have kept journals all of my adult life and had done so through almost all of my teens.  I never thought of "keeping a diary" as a way to expunge my secrets, but there is some credence to the argument that people who get out their guilt on paper tend to be healthier.

The human brain is pretty fascinating.  It makes it possible for us to compartmentalize things that we are not yet able to handle.  It is like those thoughts and experiences go into cold storage.  When we're ready to deal with them, we know where they are.  The problem is avoidance and denial.  It's not that we can't deal with certain things, it's that we simply are not willing to.  We procrastinate on things that we think will be too painful, not realizing that bottling it all up is hurting us far more.

For many of us, writing resolves that problem.  It is a hell of a lot harder to admit your guilt over something out loud to another person than when you write it to yourself, for yourself, and have power over what happens to that piece of writing next.  There have been times when writing about a particularly painful incident helped me to understand that the only thing I could do was let it go and move on.  And those pieces of writing can get tossed, shredded or burnt to cinders immediately.  I never have to look at them again.

We all get hurt by the people we love and we don't always know what issues they have that contribute to their behavior towards us.  Writing about these things has helped me to understand something simple - that I don't understand why some people are the way they are.  That I may never understand that.  That I have no power over that.  Sometimes the only choices you have are to accept it, and love them unconditionally, or just walk away.  They aren't pretty options.  When you're dealing with relationships of any kind, things get complicated.  Being able to unravel some of that mystery on paper has helped me keep my sanity.

My point with all this is that being able to handle some of life's more interesting moments on my own has helped me to be not only a happier person, but a better friend.  I am far more capable of being a shoulder to cry on when I have dealt with my own crap.  And when I do lean on a friend, they no longer feel like that's all I ever do.  I suppose I've found balance.

All even-keel would be a boring way to lead a life and I am certainly made for rougher seas.  I think of writing every day in a journal as the best way to maintain my sea legs. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Old Habits

I honestly don't know where to start, so that's what I'm starting with.  Nothing prolific, quotable, inspirational - just hopping back in.

BlogHer's NaBloPoMo signup email for January went out this week and, although I still don't feel like writing or know what to say on here, I know I'll regret letting this go any longer.  No matter how much an artist loves their art, there are dry spells.  Successful bloggers work through them at all costs.  I admire that, very much, but this was never really a business enterprise.  As much as I love writing and I really enjoy blogging, I never aspired to be the next Pioneer Woman or get on staff at HuffPo.  While this keeps me from feeling like a complete and utter failure, I still don't want to let LostGirls fade away.

This started with me, but it was always meant to be a collaboration.  And despite having all these people in my life who would probably love to have their voice heard on here, I haven't been making the effort.  For god's sake, I haven't even asked.  So the lack of my writing isn't the only problem I have to solve.  I have to get other people involved again.  I hope Meg and Mary, possibly even Seth, will want to stay involved, but I really want other voices on here, too.  I have so many great conversations with people, especially people much younger than me, and I'd really like to share them with you.  Not the conversations - the people.  They have so much to say, but they're not necessarily going to sit down and create a blog to say it.  So I guess my New Year's resolution will be to motivate myself and others to be a part of this site again.

I hope you'll bear with me here - when you've had writer's block and you've allowed it to stay a while, there is a period of time when the new writing ain't that great.  Another resolution for me is to allow myself shorter pieces.  This isn't Tumblr, so I don't feel like we should only have short posts.  But I recognize that I need to mix it up a bit.  And that not every post has to have a picture.  If we manage to simplify without losing meaning, maybe we can get a post per day on here.

So here's to the short and sweet.  And to New Year's resolutions that we actually intend to keep.

- Jess