17 Mar a manifesto of sorts
Three years ago I was adamant I was not and would never be a writer. I told people on a regular basis, I am not a writer I am a director, I put other peoples’ words and ideas on the stage.
To anyone who asked, I said, I definitely couldn’t, wouldn’t, have-no-skills-in-this-area, and no desire to, write.
…And then, I had stuff I needed to say.
Over a number of months, words and ideas, phrases and stories filled the inbox of my mind.
I wasn’t looking for them.
I was barely aware I was collating them.
I realised in 2009 that my life wasn’t working. And it hadn’t been working for a while. I suffered what I refer to as ‘the crash’.
I had been addicted to ladder climbing and self-effort, wearing myself out trying too hard. I had lived duped into believing that to be successful, was to push and push and push some more, no matter the consequences. I had spent years beating my head against the same wall again and again, waiting for the day I finally became resilient enough to stop it hurting.
The ideas I had held about the meaning and purpose of my life, had become dangerous, unhelpful, and ultimately redundant.
I felt like a failure and was sick of hiding, sick of pretending I was okay, wearing a mask when in public, for fear someone might notice that I was not keeping pace.
I was broken.
The world I had been living in had become unbearable.
I needed to re-build myself from the ground up, and to do that,
I needed new stories.
Because I am at heart, a communicator, an over-sharer, an extrovert, built for community and connection, I didn’t want to keep the stories to myself, I couldn’t if I’d tried.
If I was going to figure out who I was now and how I saw the world, if I was going to re-build myself, I was going to have to do this in public.
Although I was primarily writing for myself, to unravel and start to understand the mess in my mind, I knew that if I shared my words I wouldn’t allow myself to take the easy route. I would mine deeply for truth. Sharing my thoughts, and hopefully finding some encouragement and other like-minded people along the way, was the only thing that would keep me learning, keep me challenging myself, keep me searching and re-building. It would help me stay sharp.
Suffice to say, I enjoy the gentle accountability of a blog.
The new stories I am writing are about discovering another way, searching for peace, learning to accept grace.
I write about the experiences I have had that I have wanted to hide, the dark places I didn’t want to invite others into for fear of rejection. I write to re-claim this shadowy place where shame and guilt and defeat have tried to name me. To talk of these things and bring them into the light.
I write about a place where pain, weakness and suffering don’t disqualify you. A place where learning how to be kind to ourselves and to connect with each other is a priority. I write to create a safe space where we find, as we lower our masks, we are all alike, all broken, all beautiful.
I’m setting boundaries around this place and calling it: Holy.
Naming it: Freedom.
This blog is a sketch book of ideas. Starting points and pencil drawings. Posts that start from hastily scrawled thoughts on the back of receipts, and quotes underlined in books I am reading.
This blog is a way to connect, to add to the conversation. It is not definitive, and I may well disagree with myself along the way. It is evolving and not static, wrestling with ideas, unpicking and re-learning.
This blog is a place where I look for, and try to offer hope, where together we can talk about the important things; beauty, faith and giving up, failure and grace.
*Not my tattoo. I’m not that cool.