Friday, February 21, 2014

Why I Write

I have found sitting behind a keyboard to express myself more useful than speaking millions of words. I grew up with very little opportunity to express myself emotionally. My parents are servants at heart and full of love. But they have always had a tendency to show their love through actions and not words. I carry much of the same trait myself.

I have come across some wonderful communicators in my day. I admire and to some extent envy them. The ability to speak openly from the heart and let someone know exactly who you feel, is definitely not something that comes naturally to me. It has been nice to connect with people who worked hard to help me develop that characteristic. I think I do have a way with words. But here's the thing about me: I have to trust you implicitly in order to speak freely from my heart. Those who know me best probably don't even recognize this is a struggle for me. I am open, honest, detailed, graphic, and passionate in my communication. But you could have known me for most of my life and get little more than jovial sarcasm, and pleasantries from me, if you're not in my inner circle. It's even worse if I don't trust you. I may as well be a social mute. Insight into my mind and heart will not be granted. I am self described "nice" but not necessarily "friendly". I am not on a quest to socially isolate someone, but I am also not on a quest to make friends either.

 So dearly and purely do I love those in my inner sanctum. But I am hard pressed to add to the list. I have loved and trusted them all for so long. I have no intention of every letting go of  "my people". I have even less ambition to add to said circle. We all come across people who intrigue us. Who we want to sit and chat with. To understand more about them and their perspective in the world. But I have not added anyone new to my list of true friendships in years. You never know what kind of special connection you can make with someone if you don't occasionally take a risk. It's humbling to me, when someone thinks I am interesting and wants to cultivate a deeper relationship. In 15 years or so there are only about 5 people I have taken a risk on. Not all of them made the cut. However, one of them I am now happily married to.

Things change when I sit down with a keyboard. It's an opportunity for me to pour out everything my tongue is unwilling to say. I feel so unfettered. It's almost like an opportunity to be more of who I am. More of who I want someone to know. I'm trying to understand why I operate this way. Is it cowardice? I don't think so. I'm not one who shies away form conflict if it absolutely has to be dealt with. Is it a control issue? Again I don't think so. I am told pretty often that I have excellent communications skills. I always enjoyed Active Listening lessons in both Psychology and Communications courses during my college years. I don't have to control the pace or content of a conversation. I think it all boils down to issues with intimacy. I am intimate with very few people. I like it that way. Because I don't know how to do anything less than love family and friends with my whole heart.

When I sit down to write, I do very little editing. What I write is what I am feeling in that moment. It's a snapshot into my brain, or my heart, or my soul. But I think I have really fine tuned the ability to expose only what I want someone to know in the midst of that communication. It gives me the chance to titrate just the right about if openness or intimacy if you will that seems appropriate for a given circumstance.I can give someone all of the words, with just the right amount of personal exposure. I must say it's been wonderful in allowing me to express myself positively and appropriately. I hope to continue cultivating this craft. I feel confident that writing will prove to be one thing that will allow me to reap benefits both personally and professionally in the future.

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