On January 21st 2010, I let a friend read my other and first blog- MY FAMILY IS NOT BROKEN-which had not yet been made public. I asked him not to be nice and just tell me what he thought. He never uses superlatives. I knew I could trust him. He sent me back an email “I love it. You’ve put tears in my eyes. It’s incredible.” His few words gave me confidence. If my writing could touch him, I could touch anyone.
A few days after that, on my birthday-one year ago today in fact- I sent it out to my entire contact list. If I came across a name of a person who I thought would judge me harshly, I pushed myself to send it to them. If I came across someone who might find it foolish, I included them as well. It is not enough to send your art and soul to people who love you- you must send it to those who might think you are a bit of a jerk too.
I sent the link with a note ” Today is my birthday and sending this to you is a gift to myself. If it is brave to be born into the world with what we know of it then this is the second bravest thing I have ever done on my birthday. I have been working on my blog, my family is not broken, on separation and divorce for several months now and it has already enriched my life, both meeting wonderful people and learning a tremendous amount. Far from perfect it carries a big wish- to create a community for people new to this tremendously difficult situation so many find themselves in as well as to further create understanding and compassion those not going though this life change. It is about how hope endures, humour saves us and moving things forward can make all the difference in the world. Hopefully not just a message for the split, as we are all struggling with something.”
After I pressed “send” I burst into tears. Half happy, half relieved. Extremely moved. I had had a dream to do this since 2006. Within 24 hours I had received over 1000 hits- some definitely attributable to what I refer to as “roadkill curiosity”. I had appeared positive and intact through my breakup. Never negative, never down on my luck, never public in any way about what had happened. A few joked that I must have been on mood stabilizers. Many, I am sure wanted to hear what had happened and see something gross.
Mainly though, I felt my own power, the thrill of creative endeavour, new learning and what sharing my private self might do other than horrify me.
I never thought I would write about me. After all – who cares? But I have come to understand that the ME is really WE, and we all long to understand.