What I Love Most About Poetry and Writing…

…is that you take from it what you need at the time you read it, and it changes as you mature and your experiences grow. For instance, the poem I posted yesterday received  a bit of attention and I was really surprised by the reactions. Going back and rereading it myself I could see how it reflected some of the views. This poem isn’t a literal death, by the way. It was entirely metaphorical. I haven’t lost a loved one and I wasn’t thinking of physical death at the time. But it reminded people of someone they’d lost. And instead of being painful, the memory was bittersweet. I was very humbled at being able to touch people in that manner.

I am always surprised at how my words touch others. And I don’t mean just my negative ones. It’s difficult wrapping my mind around the idea that I have inspired someone. (How did I do that? Are you sure? No, you must mean someone else, surely. It couldn’t have been me.) I can’t begin to tell you how many times people have told me in the last year that I am an amazing person. (Aww…thank you, that’s so sweet to hear. But really, I’m not. No, really, I’m not all that amazing. If you could just see me at home you’d know I’m not amazing.) The thing is, I don’t know what I’m doing that makes people think I’m THAT word. I’m just being me.

Whatever impression you get about me from here is what I allow you to see. That’s true of every social media site on the net. It’s true about celebrities and people whose faces we see in the media. We wear different masks around different people. In social media we get to hide behind the online persona we create; we’re safe, or at least we think we are. Poor celebrities…they have cameras waiting for them to screw up so the media can capture their fall from grace in full HD color complete in 3D formatting. It’s sad, really, that all of us, celebrities included, aren’t allowed to be true to ourselves, in all our make-up free, birth-day suit, naked-soul glory.

What if you allowed yourself to be who you really are? Just once? My friend, Lizzi, recently opened up about the fact that she has an eating disorder. She says she did it as another way to beat herself up but it still took courage to even put it out there knowing others might berate her for her honesty. I read the comments and I think she may have even been surprised at the outpouring of compassion she received from everyone. CJ, another friend, is very honest and open about being a fangirl despite some of the negative views about what that is and how fangirls act. I can tell you, CJ is not what I would consider a maniacal giggling mess of a fangirl. She admires the objects of her fangirling in a respectful manner. And she has fun with it. I recently opened up about how one person just makes me completely lose it. When I write on here I try to be as true to myself as possible because I don’t believe in hiding behind the anonymity blogging allows. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to be completely open and tell you everything about my life. (Geez, I’m naturally blonde but I’m not THAT gullible.)

I know the difference between conformity and being a maverick. It’s hard to stand alone and swim against the current, especially nowadays when it is so hard to fight against. More people are trying to not conform, to swim upstream, yet people can’t see that they are still going with the crowd. So, I’ve decided to not swim upstream. I’m also not going to follow the crowd. I am going to make my own path and swim across the stream to land. I am going to get out of the water, learn to walk on my own two feet, and breathe the air. I am going to look back and hope someone saw my efforts and challenges, and I’ll be waiting there at the edge of the water to give you a hand up, and teach you what I’ve learned.

To start, I am going to take off my masks. Care to join me?

xo Jesi