One thing that appeals to me about 'the blog' is that you write a succinct paragraph or two and you seal it off with a press of a virtual publishing button. It is easy to keep things under control when they are small. Little pills go down smooth. I can go over and over the wording, finely tuning until my neurotic element has cooled off. While this most definately is an exercise in writing, for someone whose default is sterile technique, the true test would be to keep writing. Leave something undone and come back to it. Not once or twice, but over long periods of time, meandering in wide and unpredictable turns, writing without knowing where I am going, risking getting lost all together.
Several years ago I left home to move far away. From a small town to a big city. Brave. right? Not really. As soon as I arrived I found a small safe space, a handful of close friends, a careful career, and I have barely moved since. Around the same time I arrived, my boyfriend moved to the other side of the country. We tried to make things work, but my insecurities and the distance wore us away. I never really got past it. Up until then I was always in a relationship. At first I thought it was courageous to stay single. Glamorous even. I would walk the unfamiliar streets feeling like I was in the lead role, waiting for the drama to unfold. Now the city is smaller, the cement has set, and extracating myself from solitude feels next to impossible. Last night I tried. The wine wasn't enough.
No matter where I go I always find a hiding place or two. Like air and water, it is a necessity of life for me. I started this blog almost a year ago. Was it brave to let go and write for a potential audience for the first time? Since I could use a pen I have been writing for myself alone, putting it on paper, and hiding it in creative spaces in my bedroom, in my apartment. And now in cyberspace. At first I thought writing for the blog was a big step, but when I look at it this way I am not so sure. I am anonymous. No one I know, knows about this blog. My writing has not entered my life and my life has only come into my writing in small, unrecognizeable pieces. Where is the growth there? In fact, despite being anonymous, I am still unable to write with abandon. It turns out that all of the things in my real life that I allow to restrict me, continue to weigh on me here. It is a microcosm. Writing now is just like it was when I was writing before. It is me, leaking out the sides. I am tired.
What will happen when I meet someone and try to incoorporate them into my life. Will my writing go? Will I continue the slow leak in secrecy or will I ever grow the balls to share myself. A voice somewhere inside me screams, no. Never. I think I recognize it as the voice of the infant version of me, the toddler, the young child. The voice of someone whose world blew apart and had to do everything to prevent it from happening again. Hold it together, Rachel.
So I wonder, am I really living more boldly or am I just really good at pretending. Going through the motions of what bold would look like.
I need a drink. I need to shrug it off. One of these days, when I am truly brave, I am going to do all of these things, without cleaning up. I will leave my notebook on the table, someone I love will see it and they will not think it's crazy, or self-indulgent, or cheesy. And even if they did, they will still love me. Whoever it is will have to be special. They will be getting more than they bargained for.