On my drive home from the mall yesterday I thought about how much criticism I’ve received over the years for being so open about my life and my struggles. The fact that I share intimate or personal details with the world via the internet is odd to some. But this is something I have been doing since I was 12 years old… it is a crucial part of who I am.
Whether I need to vent, ask for advice, or share a lesson I’ve learned, blogging and writing is therapeutic for me. The icing on the cake for me is that my stories and my struggles can be used as lessons to strangers. There is something magical about it and that is probably what drives me to write the most.
I’m so happy when someone tells me how much they enjoyed what I wrote, or how thankful they are that I shared my story because they had gone through something similar and didn’t think it was okay to open up about it. For me, it’s always okay to open up about tough situations (even good ones) because as much as we may feel like it, we are never alone. There is always someone else who has gone through something similar, and I want to remind my readers of that. My biggest hope is that one day I reach a larger audience. I have so much to say and so much to share.
There was a time I was afraid of hurting someone's feelings with my words, but I moved past that a long time ago and have since written my share of controversial blogs. A recent one that comes to mind is my If You Really Knew Me post. I received a lot of flak for it, mostly from some saying I was seeking attention, when that was the last thing I wanted. I wrote it when MTV aired their If You Really Knew Me series because I felt empowered to share my story. I haven’t had an easy life and the more I grow, the more I believe I lived through these experiences because I am meant to help others rise above their own struggles.
I firmly believe that by sharing our life experiences, good and bad, we can inspire others to live better and to live honestly. It's also a great way of healing yourself. From my experience, holding things in only prolongs your anger, pain, or sadness. I'm seeing this clearly for the first time through therapy.
If you want to discuss your problems but you're too afraid of people in your life finding out some truths, start a blog under an alias and change the names of people you want to talk about -- just get it out! I promise that you will feel so much better by writing it down.
Helping others is the way we help ourselves.