Yesterday, as I reclined in my chaise lounge, cigar and whiskey in hand, accompanied only by the crackling fire, I felt a reflective mood come upon me. I scampered to my computer and began furiously typing. Reflection, sweet reflection, where to begin? Blogs, oh Blogs, how I have wronged you! I never cease to think of you. Many a restless night have I spent contemplating how I could have done better, spent more time and worried less so that I might have fully enjoyed writing you. When I think of the time I wasted, I could honestly cry. I wish I had made more of an effort, but fear, yes fear my dear Blogs, had the upper hand. Dread took over me and stole the time away. It led me to write complete rubbish that didn’t matter to me or anyone else. But my dear Blogs, the time to reflect is nigh, thus providing a catalyst for change which I long for.
I write to you so you might understand my apprehension. It was truly me, not you who is to blame. When registering for this class, I knew it would be difficult for me. I always loved English but never thought I was any good at it. I love to read, but I struggled with writing. It has always been a challenge for me to express my thoughts in an organized fashion. My nerves hit a high point when I read the syllabus and discovered that public blogging would be expected of me. I wanted to run for the metaphorical hills. I was scared of you Blogs. The idea of putting my thoughts out into the “cruel world” frightened me. I’ve never done anything like that before. I have never shared anything I have written with anyone except a teacher and perhaps my mother. I didn’t like the idea of my thoughts being posted for all eternity on the internet for me to regret forever. Deep down Blogs, we wanted the same things. I really did want to open up. Instead, I chugged safe, plugging my nose to mask its chalky taste. It didn’t taste good, but on the other hand, it didn’t kill me. I realize now that posting a blog wouldn’t kill me. It would only benefit me, but I couldn’t see that.
Please excuse me Blogs for saying this, I mean no offense, but at times I hated you. I resented the power you had over me. I thought of you all the time. I revered Jemisin’s novels and I wanted to express that through you. I had so much inspiration from these wonderful, complicated, allegorical books, I didn’t know where to begin. I was at a loss how to express all my thoughts with my lackluster vocabulary. Totally consumed, I edited and re-wrote draft after draft. I was obsessed. I felt nothing I wrote was good enough. So I ran from you Blogs. I couldn’t be with you when you were available to me. I felt petrified like Hoa encased in the garnet obelisk. Instead of Essun breaking Hoa free, I needed to break myself free.
I remember the first time posting. You were just Blog back then. It was a day I won’t soon forget, probably because of the immense panic that ran through my veins. I knew my words weren’t good enough, but back then, I had no clue what good writing was. I vividly remember closing my eyes, clicking publish, and watching the circle thing do a few spins. Eventually, it stopped. My words were out there for people to see. I was immediately filled with regret. I’m sorry to say that Blogs, I never meant to hurt you. I saw posting as a chance for failure, not growth. I now know I have to let go of the idea of perfection and be okay with misteaks. I could be brave by showing my faults.
I have not known true fear. I’ve never feared for my life or for a family member’s. However, throughout my life, I have observed two different types of fear. I have observed a fear that can motivate. It makes people so afraid of failure they do anything in their way to avoid it. The other fear petrifies. This fear can make people unwilling to try and unwilling to grow. I regret to inform you that I fall into the second category. I was terrified to try my absolute best and still fail. That truly stings. What I am most ashamed of and most apologetic for is the time I spent away from you. Forgive me, Blogs. I tried to write you, but I was stuck. There was nothing I felt passionate about. I would sit at my keyboard, and write meaningless fragments. Time passed, a whole book and a half went by. I had written nothing. Then I started more closely reading, annotating, and underlining. I would scrounge each page for you, Blogs. Eventually, I wrote blog number two. It was fine, and I was fine.
More time passed. Three weeks were left. Where did the time go? The pressure began to build and anxiety started to rise. I had trouble going to class because it only reminded me of you. What could I do Blogs? Write you? It couldn’t be that easy. I created a mountain full of regret built on promises to myself I didn’t keep. This mountain so high, it blocked all the sun and left me to shrivel up. Of course, there’s no one else to blame but myself, that’s why it was so overwhelming. When I thought of you, I only thought of my own failure.
However, after the Thanksgiving holiday, my fear of doing and consequently failing blossomed into the fear of plain old failure. I could no longer idly sit and contemplate- I had to do! It was a miraculous realization. And do I did. I wrote seven rusting blog posts in six days. That week was a different sort of hell, Instead of being engulfed in flames, I was engulfed by hot shame. Even so, I was proud of what I accomplished. I now had you, proof of my failures and triumphs. Those six days taught me that fear isn’t something to run from it is something to face. That sounds too heroic. I found when things are important, fear coexists. You were important to me.
With Deepest Regrets,
Brigid A Goodman
Thank you for reading this ridiculousness. I wanted to focus on the blog aspect of this course because, it was so intensely different than anything I have ever done before, and I dealt with it rather poorly. I used the age-old strategy of avoidance, which I would not recommend because it fittingly created a void in my life. I chose to personify “Blogs” in order to deal with my issues. It gave me enough distance to be completely honest without breaking my spirit. This technique helped me break free.