I have two confessions to make about why I write:
1. I’m terrified of losing my memory. I’m not scared of dying, I usually carry spiders outdoors instead of killing them and I’ve rappelled off the top of a Chicago hotel… but losing my memory is my biggest fear in life. I feel like I could lose the ability to talk and communicate as long as I have my good memories intact. I feel like I have been fortunate with experiences, whether good or bad, so in a rather Nicholas Sparks kind of way, I write essays about my life so that they won’t be forgotten.
2. I would love to publish a book of essays one day. Not anytime soon… because I really hate when people are super young and publish a book about their life. There’s so much more to live, so why shortchange your audience?
So, with these in mind, I write a lot. While my blog serves as a platform to host my biased opinions and rants in an effort to be a preachy asshole, my laptop is filled with essays about my life that are for my eyes only. Sometimes they can cross over, but for the most part, I keep my essays private. Why?
Because everyone isn’t a hero in my essays. I write about people who hurt me and taught me how to be a better person through learning how horrid someone could be. And honestly, I like to keep that kind of stuff private. I’m not saying that I’m perfect and immune to gossip, but I prefer not to broadcast someone’s flaws. I’m sure there are plenty of people who don’t like me. When I was going through my dark period, I was selfish, overemotional and incredibly insecure. Depression does that to people… it changes them. So I don’t like to judge someone based off of how poorly they treated me because maybe I crossed their path during a dark period and maybe they changed too.
So I was battling this whole topic when I came across this quote…
And I was like… yeahhhhh.
It’s the truth. If people wanted you to say good things about them, they should treat you with kindness and respect. When I write, I make sure to write the truth, not just my distorted account of a situation. I write what I did wrong that could have provoked someone to lash out on me. Also, I’m not always the protagonist of my stories. Sometimes I write about how awful I was to someone. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not everyone’s favorite person.
This made me think of a Parks & Rec quote by Ron Swanson: “You know what makes a good person good? When a good person does something bad, they own up to it. They try to learn something from it and they move on.”
If someone is ultimately good, they’ll also own up to when they were mean and cruel. They’ll admit it and try to move forward. If someone I mistreated wrote a book where I did something awful to them, I’d admit it. As long as they wrote their story truthfully rather than subjectively, I’d respect the person writing it. I’d probably be upset… but at the end of the day I can only be upset with myself and my past actions. I wouldn’t deny the story – I’d apologize and move forward.
At the end of the day, take my grandma’s advice. She used to tell us to never do anything that could be used against your character. If you were to die today, there shouldn’t be anyone at your funeral who could speak against you. It’s stupid and pointless to be cruel… and in the end, it’ll only be used against you. There are ways to show authority or anger respectfully. Don’t hurt each other.
It’ll make you look like a dick. No one likes dicks.