Part of writing – or talking or singing – about your life is walking the line between the unabashed “Dear Diary…” and some meticulously curated presentation of what you think people want to know about you. It’s tempting to manipulate your audience for your own comfort and sense of control. Tempting as it may be, what’s the point if you aren’t telling your brass tacks truth and allowing that truth to resonate?
If you know me at all today then you know me. My innermost feelings are easily decipherable and completely undeniable. I have no poker face at all, and even if I did I’d probably never have the urge to deploy it. My inability to hide my feelings is part of my charm (I hope). Considering, though, this wide-open disposition, I have a hard time curtailing when I write (or talk). I write like I feel. And I feel a LOT. The last time I wrote a blog I eventually drifted to the cautiously curated side of the line, and my writing lost all meaning. It became what I call “lemonade propaganda” for my circumstances, intended to make it look like I was always making the best of what was handed to me. It wasn’t just my writing that had become that way, it was my real life. Another story for another time, but the point is that I don’t actually care for lemonade.
I quit writing that blog & instead I took to singing more to sort out all those floods – a la Noah & the ark – of feelings I’m always having. I started learning more jazz standards and some old country tunes, both of which led me toward re-learning some favorite hymns. I rediscovered how cathartic it is to sing out – to express – what you really feel. I found it comforting that someone else had written into song, ahead of my experience, something that resonated with me right at that moment in my life. Their song may have been born of experiences that broke the writer’s heart or overwhelmed it for the better, but once they put pen to paper (or vox to the track) their personal experience was there for the rest of us to start sharing. In equal parts, the song goes on to belong to those who hear it, sing along to it, retell it, or are touched by it just as it belongs to the writer who brought it to life. That is certainly worth abandoning a certain level of comfort. I have a lot to bring to life. Here’s to sincerely, so be it, over-sharing & sharing alike.