My last blog post is the first significant piece of writing I’ve made available for anybody to read in a long time. Of all my outlets, writing has always been the most personal and I’ve never felt compelled to share it with many beyond a few friends.
However, since posting a few insights around my experience of recovery and body image on Instagram got such incredible feedback from my outer community, I suddenly felt that keeping a blog was a natural next step.
So came about the creation of Off My Bench then the writing and publishing of my ‘’28 Thoughts’’. However, what followed was the crushing realisation that so much of what it means to have an effective presence on the Internet relies on heavily curating which parts of yourself you portray in the effort of winding up with a personal brand. It is definitely the easiest way to get your point across. But what to do when you don’t necessarily have a point?
Even for the essentially non-commercial act of sharing your art, there’s the understanding that your audience will grow to have expectations of your content (this dynamic has obviously been present since before the Internet, we are creatures of habit after all).
The weight of being a ‘’queer recovery blogger’’ began pressing too heavily for me to feel at ease toward writing anything authentically reflective of my process. The inevitable self-doubt that comes with making yourself vulnerable to external opinions and the echo of bitter baby-boomers muttering about ‘’kids nowadays’’ bounced through my head and began interrupting the activity of inspiration. I mean, does the Internet really need another 20-something running a blog? I don’t know and I’m learning not to really care. I am allowed to explore any and all avenues that lead me to feeling connected, accountable and more whole. If that means I keep a blog, than it is what it is.
It is clearly stated in my About section that the purpose of this blog is to chronicle my journey toward embracing my multidimensionality and making further discoveries of all the narratives that shape my existence as it hurtles along.
Carrying the weighty mindfuck that others might possibly judge things I haven’t even written yet, coupled with the hope that I would soon write The Best Thing I Have Ever Written is a poor excuse for not writing. So, enough of that.
Vulnerability expands so far beyond sharing your darkest struggles. It can be present when making jokes, when turning down social engagements, when having sex, when crying at Katy Perry lyrics (as I know from very personal experience). I have spent too much time letting shame get in my way.
I don’t want to pigeonhole myself as a queer blogger, a recovery blogger or even a ‘blogger’ necessarily. That term alone makes me think of writing solely to be read, writing as if I know things. I know what I know right now, what I know next week will surely be different. Writing is a way for me to place pieces of myself along the path as I walk it.
My goal is simply to write; for myself, for my survival and all I am unravelling to be. And for my community, for potential friends, for those seeking solidarity and those seeking a deeper understanding. The process of treading the balance between the two is one I am still learning. Doing myself justice and acknowledging the responsibility of what I put out there.
This blog will ebb from the serious and deeply personal and flow to the nonsensical, frustrated and ridiculous, as I do every day.
Onwards and upwards, pals!