Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What do you blog about when you're afraid to blog?

I've had blogger's block. It's not an accident. There's a reason.

I'm afraid to tell the truth.

Five-Trick Pony, as a workspace, lives sort of separately from my author-space. Separate from the whole promoting-Unnaturally-Green-thing, from my Twitter, from my weird alias Facebook, it's a space that's a little more sequestered than it is in the spotlight. (I like to think, anyway.) It's also been a space for me to speak on a host of random things that have crossed my mind (manicures, sweat, and other riches).

For the most part, I've kept it light. Mostly.

And now? I'm afraid to go dark.

Hence blogger's block.

In prior writing, I've alluded to some crazy shit that's been going down in my life (sometimes more blatantly than others), and since then I've debated with myself over how much I should disclose to my readers and internet comrades -- even though said "crazy shit" is THE EVENT of my current life.

You know have you have eras? The era I dated so-and-so. The era I studied abroad. The era I tried to go vegetarian but then I realized I loved sausage too much. The past six months of my life could probably be termed "The Era of Shit."

Pardon my French.

In truth, one day doesn't go by that this THING doesn't affect me in one way or another. This needling dysfunction. This slow, steady decay of my "former life."

Sounds juicy, right?

So why do I resist the urge to write about it? If this is the thing that I'm most focused on, the thing that "needs my writing," so to speak, why am I afraid to go there?

Maybe it has to do with reputation. The tarnishing of the sort of happy-go-lucky, witty-to-my-core, sometimes-vulnerable, but always-resilient image I tried to create in Unnaturally Green and on these very e-pages. None of that was a lie. When I wrote my memoir, I wasn't even aware of it.  So I gave it my best shot. The light, without the dark.

There's also the reputation of the others involved. People who may or may not be reading this in the confines of their fortress because they're too afraid to come forward and face it -- not just me, but their demons. Honestly, I don't know why I'm protecting them. They may not even be reading this. Rumor has it they're not nearly as broken up about it as I am. They've been on vacations all over the world. They've feasted and celebrated and called upon an impressive array of pinch-hitter acquaintances. Maybe I'm protecting them because I once felt closeness to them. Maybe because I'm worried it will sink these folks further down their rabbit hole of dysfunction, into thinking they're completely and utterly right, and into thinking I'm so obstreperously and outrageously and gosh-darn crazily wrong! for speaking the truth.

Today, I woke up, did the usual, then read this post by Canadian blogger Schmutzie. She reminded me why it's so important to write and self-reflect, sometimes privately, sometimes publicly. And I was inspired.

The reasons to write about yourself are countless and varied. Writing helps to clarify, to investigate, to work through issues you can't work through by staying silent, to try to understand those life "characters" who truly baffle you.... To accumulate an audience of readers and listeners, so you, and they, don't feel so alone.

I'm not sure how or when I'll be able to write about everything so openly and honestly. The so-called Crazy Shit is a tricky topic because it involves a cast of characters, and a fraught dynamic, that is difficult to capture without my doing at least some finger-pointing. And I don't want it to be that, or to seem like the writing of a person determined to absolve herself.

But maybe that's what it has to be?

Whatever it is, it's my truth.

Hopefully one day I'll be able to tell it.

--FLR

15 comments:

  1. You could always try that thing that therapists say - write it, but for your private eyes only. Then you get the expression out, but you have time to reflect if you want it totally out there or not.

    (Like when Jane Lynch wrote a letter-not-to-be-sent to her parents coming out. Then chose to send it.)

    Regardless, your private life is your private life, and you only need share it if it will help YOU.

    THAT being said, I think you could write a whole best-selling book about THE EVENT, except every chapter is like this blog entry and you NEVER. ACTUALLY. REVEAL IT. Ripe for book discussion. ;-)

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  2. Oooooh that's actually kind of genius!

    Thanks for the weigh-in and for reading. :-)

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  3. Liz gave the exact comment I was thinking! Last weekend in my Developmental Psych class we split up into some group discussions about homosexuality and I was paired with a couple of guys. Let me explain: I live in Western Kentucky and I attend a private southern Baptist college. I'll let you draw your conclusions about what sort of guys I might have been paired with (They were wearing camo, cowboy boots, and normally chew dip). I was so distraught over what happened that I came home and just wrote about it. Only it wasn't a public place, I just opened up Pages on my computer and started writing. A few days later, I still felt like I wanted someone to hear it - so I emailed it to a friend. It worked...I got it out of my system.

    I'm sure you're like me, in this aspect, writing things out helps you stop obsessing about the topic. Or at least parts of the topic. So write it up, send it to someone, if after a few days you feel that it still needs to be heard - and then maybe in a few months you can make it appropriate banter for the blog.

    Best of luck, Felicia!! We all have dark days, and this "Era of Shit" will eventually find it's place in the past. *hugs*

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  4. Ditto with the above comments. If my psych degree taught me anything about myself, it's that keeping things locked inside make me feel like shit. Mentally, physically, and emotionally. If you don't have an outlet such as a person you can talk to about these things then writing "for your eyes only" is the way to go. You get an awesome sense of release afterwards. Not to sound cliche, but it really does feel like a weight has been lifted.

    You got this!! Give the "Era of Shit" a kick in the pants!

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  5. I'm sort of thinking this out as I write, so apologies if none of this makes sense.

    First of all, I'm so sorry you're going through some stuff and sincerely hope that things get better and that the holiday season is a welcome break for you, rather than an unpleasant one, as the holidays can be infamous for stirring things up. I agree with the earlier suggestion that you should write your feelings down for yourself and decide what to do with them later (I also have had success emailing friends who aren't directly involved in drama). Also, for as much as I don't think it's healthy to keep everything locked up, I also commend you for your maturity in not deciding to put this on the internet. There's such a thing as oversharing, and I think your Unnaturally Green experience was also quite different from this one, especially because I imagine that you had more perspective on the experience and it was easier for you to decide what to put in and not put in. For as much as I appreciate your honesty with your memoir, I also respect your privacy here. Maybe you'll feel like you tell it someday, maybe you'll feel like you can tell it but not here, and that's okay.

    And can I just say how much I love this particular blog? I love Twitter Felicia and I love Unnaturally Green Felicia, but I also love the Felicia-the-writer of a post-UG world, and I love that you can be her here.

    I have a lot of other thoughts about this, but I think they're related more to me, so I think I'll respond to them in a blog entry of my own.

    I hope the next period of your life is something along the lines of the Period My-Life-Wasn't-Perfect (because it never is)-But-Still-Pretty-Darn-Good.

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  6. Wow Felicia! This really inspired me. I too am stuggling with this kind-of stuff. The thought had crossed my mind to try to write things down, but I thought "What's the point if no one is going to see it?" Maybe I should give it a whirl. Heaven knows that I've tried everything else.

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  7. That's a good point, that Mara made when she said "I love Twitter-Felicia and I love Unnaturally Green Felicia, but I also love Felicia-the-writer of a post-UG world..."

    Felicia, you also said "Maybe it has to do with reputation. The tarnishing of the sort of happy-go-lucky, witty-to-my-core, sometimes-vulnerable, but always-resilient image I tried to create in Unnaturally Green and on these very e-pages"

    I can only speak for myself, but I imagine that I am not only speaking for myself - The reason why I am drawn to you, want to follow you on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, real-life-stalking (Okay, not stalking lol) Is because you followed a dream when you were in Wicked. A dream that was HARD and you didn't know if you could do it. It isn't that you were in Wicked that I am on your blog, it is because you faced a giant. And then you faced another giant and self-published a book. Now you're salaried-office-worker (With benefits!) and (I think) attempting to write another book.

    It's your resolve to face those giants despite of fear, those cannons of war firing insults to your self-esteem, you have a fan-base here, and we want to cheer louder than the cannons that are firing things your way.

    I could actually send you a video of me cheering, if you'd like, You could like, play it loud or something.

    (See that, I'm trying to end a serious comment with a little funny thing ha But really, I could just video myself cheering and YouTube if for you. hahaha) (If anything, you'd probably laugh at me, and I'd be okay with that.)

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  8. As a fan of Unnaturally Green, I totally understand the reputation thing, about not losing the authenticity of the character you have (so wonderfully) displayed to all of your readers. But, at the same time, one experience can never portray every aspect of your life, and I think that's important to remember: we don't think the ONLY Felicia is the one who exists in the 274 pages of your memoir, because that would be a pretty small amount of pages to show the ENTIRE life of one person, let alone someone with all of the amazing friends/accomplishments mentioned and not mentioned in the book.
    For me, what's helped in "Eras of Shit" is writing about it, but not in the same memoir-ish way as mentioned above. Instead, I've changed the names, changed the specific scenarios and personalities, but included a main character (the "me" of the story) who is going through a similar internal issue as the real me, as in: no way, [insert character name] with a different personality and background found a great way of looking at this issue and a great solution! (Of course, these can/should always remain private.) As in life, this obviously won't work for every situation, but seeing other people (even fictitious ones) deal with the same issues as you are, can often give you an interesting perspective and make you feel better.
    All the best, and good luck. I hope everything works out in your favor,
    ~A faithful reader :)

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  9. Thanks for the comments and the support. It means a ton. Amy I can hear the cheers from here! :-) Really encouraging and enriching to hear everybody's perspective, especially expressed so thoughtfully. You all rock.

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  10. LOL!! I'm glad you could hear me - I'll refrain on the video. I'm a little hoarse, I'm not sure I could make a cheering video at this point in time, anyway.




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  11. Dear me! Blogger sends me emails every time there is a comment and the "publish" button is hazardously close to the "delete" button, and I just accidentally deleted Alayne's comment! There doesn't appear to be an undo function so I will just post it here from the email notification? Sorry, Alayne!!!

    Alayne's comment:

    " ((((Felicia))))!!! So sorry you're going through an "Era of Shit". We've all had them and it sucks, but fortunately for the majority of us, it eventually ends and we move on stronger and/or wiser somehow.

    I agree with the suggestions above. You don't have to post about it if you don't want to. Writing's a great way to put things in perspective and sort it all out, and by doing it just for yourself, no audience, you can more easily be honest and uncensored. Then, once you've processed everything better, you can always choose if you want to share all or part of it with others. (I know it's daunting to do. I'm working on an autobiographical-style project myself and hesitate over a few moments I'm not proud of, debating whether it's worth it to share those or gloss over them.) But don't feel you owe us anything just for the sake of keeping your blog current. Your life is yours and what you choose to share with us is a privilege to us, not an obligation to you.

    On that note, don't feel constrained to being Miss Sunshine and Laughs for us either. (For one thing, that's too long to type as a signature every time you post.) You're human and should feel free to express whatever you want to, funny or cathartic. FIVE trick pony, remember? You're allowed more than one emotion as well. :)

    Whatever you choose to do, I hope things will improve and you'll be able to move past The Event to many happier and more fulfilling things! Know we love and support you no matter what. :) Good luck and hope this all doesn't spoil your holidays! "

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  12. Felicia, I want to tell you that you are loved not only for what you've accomplished, or for making others laugh. Those who are there for you only in the good times are self-serving and not truly caring. For what it's worth, I like you because you seem like a nice person. Fun, sure. But even better, complex, and as a complex, intelligent, and all human human, you do not have to be up all the time, or even appear to be. It's not real. This is your blog to use however it benefits you. Those who don't like it don't have to read it. Those who are not represented positively by you more than likely deserve it, and again, this is your space. And we who come here, or follow you wherever, do so because we like you. Don't you think we all have issues of one kind or another? No shame in that. No apologies are ever necessary when life kicks you in the teeth and you just need to let it all hang out. Even unnaturally green babies just need to have tantrums and be comforted sometimes. Big hug! Hope 2013 brings you joy! (By the way, I'm Alayne's mom and she is very wise. Trust me.)

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  13. These comments are warming my little green heart......

    (Not little like Grinch-little; little like cute-little.)

    Anyway! Hugs all around.

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  14. LOL No problem! I've deleted so many of my own posts on various boards by accident. Thank you for bothering to copy and re-post it despite having already read it yourself!

    And thank you, Mom, for the character reference. ;) I agree with her too. I saw a quote somewhere that said if someone doesn't want to be depicted as a jerk in your autobiography then they shouldn't have been one to you in life. Something to think about perhaps.

    Glad your heart's been warmed in this cold season!

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  15. http://youtu.be/0AV8lxGjdZ0

    - This song may not be reflective of exactly what is going on, but I think it conveys a positive message. :)

    "One finds that with music, there is no filter. It seeps down into your soul."

    I listened to this song earlier, and it made me think of this post. I read it about a week ago, but I was in a hurry and I didn't have time to comment.

    Just judging from your blog posts, Facebook statuses, and Unnaturally Green, it seems as if you are genuinely a good person. Don't let negative situations get you down. Worrying about things that are going on, whether they are within your control or not, doesn't do anything to fix them.

    Worry and stress increases blood pressure and makes you feel tired. You are awesome and shouldn't let ANYTHING get you down.

    Eric U. :)



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