Friday, March 1, 2013

An exercise in bravery

I have 34 blog drafts waiting to be completed and published.

To be fair, a small number of the 34 posts were never meant for anyone's eyes but my own, but those aside, there are still a lot of technically unspoken words.

I've had a few moments where I felt like I was really going to put one of those drafts out there. I  started writing and felt like I was on a roll, like the words were finally coming back to my fingers, like I was no longer stagnated by some unknown force and could really write something.

But it never quite worked out.

I've had this one thought in the back of my mind for a while about what that "unknown force" could be, but I haven't felt like giving life to it. It's not bad, really, I just don't know what it means if the unknown force causing me to have trouble expressing myself is what I think it is. It doesn't seem to be an easy fix. If I'm going to recognize something as a cause, I'd like it to have a fix.

But I said I'd be brave.

Maybe really considering and admitting to myself that this is a possibility will help me to understand if it really is what's been holding me back. Maybe doing that is brave.

A couple of weeks ago I took a mini trip to visit my best guy friend, Cody. I was going because I had a long weekend and I missed him. I hadn't seen him since right before Thanksgiving, and that was too long a time to go without seeing his face. I needed face time. We needed face time. To catch up. To relax and be comfortable. To spill our guts.

Except I was determined to not spill my guts.

At least about one thing. Just one thing. I didn't want to talk about it. I told myself I would be doing it to protect him. Because if he gave his opinion, and it was something I didn't want to hear I might hold it against him. I told myself I was doing it to protect me. Because I didn't want to be emotional about it and go back on promises I made myself. And in a small place that I never much allowed myself to linger, in the place where the thought inspiring this post has clung to life, I believed it might be because...well, because of something that I can't really explain. Because of an indescribable feeling.

But I can't keep much from Cody. I'm sure he'd like to think that it's because he could get anything out of me or because he's so smooth, but it's not that. In this instance it's that he knows the most about that one thing. He knows details that other people don't about that one thing. And even if he didn't, it wouldn't matter. He is someone with whom I can be comfortable. His friendship is one of few that provides a sanctuary for me. He is someone I trust. So given enough time, and along the right lines of conversation, the things on my mind come out.

And that one thing came out. He said the right thing - asked the right question and it came pouring out of my mouth. Not every single detail on my heart or of the story, but some of my truths. I told him about changes in my life. About who is no longer around. About every hurt that has derived from that. I don't have, or rather I can't have, someone who played, however unknowingly, a role in my life here within this blog.

So here I am. Afraid that I can't write because the person who may have most inspired me to write isn't around anymore. What if the person I was because of that person can't exist without them? What if there's a part of me that cannot survive without that person? What if he took it with him?

And God, it sounds so whiny. And so pathetic. And I refuse to believe that I can be so defined by one individual. Because I know that I'm not.

But he was one of my people. One of those people who I can't explain. One of those people who easily worked their way into my heart. Who I loved in a moment. In an instant. Who I loved with the uttering of a few choice words. And I don't mean love in the way one would automatically assume, I mean the type of love whose confines are personal to me. That maybe only I really understand. That automatic appreciation kind of love. The immediate fondness of another kind of love. The recognition of a twin soul.

I'm tired of losing my people. Those people who say what's on my mind before it can get to my lips. Who make the same jokes. Who finish my sentences. Who can match me step for step. Who share a special part of me that I don't even really know how to explain.

I've been left with a small, dull aching sadness. It doesn't exist all the time, and it doesn't sting anymore. I think my head is protecting my heart in that way. Hurting will do me no good. But at times I feel the loss. And I'm worried that the loss has taken something more with it this time.

The last time I lost one of my people, I was left with a bunch of good memories with all the potential in the world to turn on me and a lot of inside jokes that would never again emerge. And that was hard to come to terms with. It still gets me every now and then. But aside from new memories that would never be made, nothing was taken. This time I feel like something was taken. But that's not his fault. That's hard, too. There's nothing and no one to blame. Not that I'd want to. Not that I think that would do me any good.

I just see how my writing has changed. My silliness doesn't really come out. My random thoughts that he enjoyed so much and that I so easily shared with him don't seem to come to life here. I know that I am not wallowing in sadness. I know I'm not broken. Maybe a little bent, but not broken. I guess I damaged my silly bone. I think it's connected to my heart. I didn't realize that would take so long to heal.

I know I'm happy. I know I have reason and cause to be happy and smile and enjoy life, and I am and I do. And I have hope that if losing him is what has caused me to lose what he was so good at bringing out in me, I will find it again. But does it hurt too much to feel that way without him? Am I more upset than I think, and is that causing some kind of writer's block? Or did I just need to explore the possibility that this could be what was causing it?

Maybe I'll be better in the morning, though that may be a bit much to hope for. I know I will be better eventually. I am the eternal optimist. Maybe I just needed to get this idea out. Maybe it is what was causing it and I needed to get it out, but it's still going to take time. I just feel like this was worth a shot. To say what I feel. To partake in an exercise in bravery.


  1. All I can say, is that I'm always here for you. :)

  2. I know you are. And trust me when I say that means the world to me. :)