Hang-ups and Hangovers
Several days ago, I met up with a friend and recent self-proclaimed fan of The Light Files for coffee. He hadn't read any of my writing until about a week ago, so I gathered there were a few entries specifically that he was curious about - I elaborated a little on the experiences that lead to each one. Finally, my friend asked me what it's like to "put myself out there" in such a way that anyone who reads my blog can easily determine the details of my dating life without so much as adding me on Facebook and doing a more formal stalk first. I answered him earnestly, honestly, and like any graceful blogger and writer would:
"Oh, are you kidding me? It makes me want to throw up."
He looked at me, surprised.
I went on on to tell him that the more honest I am, or the scarier it is for me to finally write something down and share it with the world, the more likely I am to crave a Pepto binge in the after-post. I also told him that the things I have been the most terrified to write are always the ones that garner the most readers and the most positive feedback as though it's some kind of law of physics. Still, the bigger question remained unanswered:
Why the hell would I keep doing something so nauseating???
The answer is actually quite simple: Because I can't not. Literally, I can't. Things get much uglier when I stop writing. Making a solid investment in saltines and ginger ale is far less expensive than the emotional price I pay when I'm a silent writer. It's just that simple.
So I guess my hope is that the "vulnerability hangover" as Brené Brown so adequately puts it will dissipate as I write more and more and get more and more used to it. For now, I like to think of it as my writer's measuring cup: the bigger the hangover, the braver I probably was in writing whatever I wrote. I do believe that the nausea and the bravery are directly related to one another.
Needless to say that when I woke up with one of those hangovers this morning, I took to my computer to write this, and clear the air that any feelings of "why the hell did I write that???" which strike at first waking are positive reflections of a candid writer. If that's the case, which I believe it is, then I'll take a hangover any day.