A wonderful friend of mine said something to me once that really caught my attention. I was having a hard time and she said, "Mandi, I know you are a private person, but you can always share with me." And I probably didn't respond to it the way a person should at the time because I was caught up in these five words: you are a private person. Really? How could that be even remotely right? I have a blog, for cryin' out loud! I'm on Facebook. I'm a private person? Ha! How could that possibly be so?
You know what, though? She was right. It's taken me about three years to come to that conclusion, but she was. It's not exactly that I don't share with people, though. It's that I don't share deeply. There is a part of myself that I keep locked up in a little box and shoved into a remote corner of the cleaning closet in my brain. Most of what's in there isn't really pleasant. My shames, my fears, my insecurities, my angers...all the things that make me feel vulnerable. The idea of being vulnerable to someone is just unbearable. Yes, there are many reasons for that; no, I'm not going to detail them out right now.
Why won't I share? Because the idea that some of you reading this would roll your eyes at those reasons and think, "Wow. Holy white-girl-first-world-problems, lady. Get a damn grip." makes me want to curl up into a ball and fall in a hole. That's why. (I think it's safe to say that my defensiveness is in that box too. Mostly. Apparently it can escape. Ha!)
It's not just the negatives, though. I'm like this with the things that make me happy, as well. The moments I cherish most very rarely see the light of day. It's not that I don't appreciate them. It's that I feel protective of them. I don't want my shiny moments seen through the tarnished lenses of others. You know that Eleanor Roosevelt quote about nobody being able to make you feel inferior without your permission? I've never been able to get behind that one. It doesn't matter how happy I am about something; if someone poo-poos all over it, it affects me. I don't think I will ever understand the need that some people have to cut down the happiness of those around them. I find joy is some really small things, I know; that doesn't make me ridiculous or silly. I'm just simple-hearted.
I love to write. I mean, I love it with a blind effin' passion. It's hard to do that, though, when you are suppressing the uglies and protecting the lovelies. Do you know what I mean? Great writing requires depth, and I'm only allowing myself the expression of what is in the middle. There's a beauty to that too, but it's not the type to which people truly respond. And if I'm not expressing things here that people can really connect with, then what's the point?