Writing for me began as something I had to do at school in elementary years, that I didn't do very well. My papers would have red marks covering the pages, and without my awareness, those days heavily influenced present me. As the years went on, I didn't get that much better with writing until college. I went to a school that is often mistaken for, just another party state school, but it was so much more than that. Education went beyond the classroom sure, but the classrooms did matter. Teachers were holding us accountable, but also encouraging us.
So I began to slowly play catch up with writing. Started understanding punctuation a little bit, and even a little grammar. Why suddenly was I absorbing information after years of getting the papers full of red marks telling me how I should fix things? It's because instead of the red marks on the pages, it was teachers taking time out to sit and talk with me. To sit and tell me, hey Hope you're actually capable of this; but you're going to have to do the work.
Then comes grad school. I was so confident walking into my first day for my master's degree, and my confidence was beaten away little by little in 3 years. I couldn't understand why I had come from a school, that had high standards and where I was considered successful with my endeavors, and then I was suddenly back to being labeled as, "the dumb one." It almost stopped me in my tracks. I struggled through those 3 years within school life and my home life. If it wasn't for my internship that fell on my lap, I would have let grad school completely destroy me.
My boss at this internship said something to me after being his intern for 4 months, that shifted things for me back in the right direction. He said, "Hope, I need you to know something. If you were to let go of the inner chatter about you not being smart enough to do things, you would amaze yourself. You are more capable than some of those teachers tearing you down, to change this world. You have something inside of you, that triggers people; and it's not bad unless they make it bad. Listen to me, I'm out here in this world, and I see hundreds of people in and out of here a week; you're special. You have a story, and when you work through the fears of negative feedback, you'll find your place."
He and my other boss at this job were huge influences in my life, I went on to work with them for a few years after I graduated (which is also the job where I worked when I first met Steve the 5 years before we re meet; fun fact). It took me several years of running around from job to job and person to person, until I met Steve; that I decided to start blogging.
I had started doing what I often refer to as "the work" during my time working for my favorite 2 bosses, and haven't stopped since then. The work I am referring to is simple. I am looking inside to understand how I view the world. Why do things or people trigger me? Why does my brain work certain ways? What are my shadows? How can I face them? How can I work past them? What is my light? How do I shine it? Etc. Working on understanding myself has been the most important work I've done. So when I started blogging on it, it was new to share my inner thinking's.
All my sharing previous were for class or were client assessments, nothing personal to this point. I wrote my first poorly punctuated and grammatically incorrect blog, and I felt so proud for 5 minutes. Until a group of friends I had at that time began to make fun of it. Again I'm back to grad school feelings. I'm too dumb to write. Thankfully I had Steve at the time, that reminded me the message of my blog was heard by those who weren't the grammar police, and he offered to help me edit my writings.
Blogging was something I started to do simply to share Steve's and my story. It wasn't anything else than that for me, so I thought. However, as I would continue to write blogs, opening myself up and sharing very vulnerable places, it became clear to me; that me sharing pieces of my life, is what my boss was talking about. By writing through our trials, sharing feelings, revelations, intentions, experiences,etc and removing the negative voice; I've been able to help more people than I can comprehend begin to really face their lives.
So when I was talking to a friend recently about blogging, and since I've started to do it daily; I have something I want to encourage you all to do. Let go of those red marks on the pages, those people who told you, you weren't good enough, and share your life. Being vulnerable and sharing your process of working through life openly can help anyone reading your words. Vulnerability scares people still today, and it's a place where great change can happen. The more I share my vulnerable spaces, my human experiences, and my triumphs; the more it encourages others to go deep inside and do the same.
Right now our world is in some tumultuous times and there's a lot of fear and hatred surrounding us. I've been processing how I can play a role in being the change, and I thought about this very blog. I thought about how much I want to encourage us to do the work, and look inside ourselves. We can't control the world or people around us, but we can control ourselves. How many of us ever looked inside to fully understand why you fear certain people? How many ever looked inside to why you are feeling angry or hateful? We think it's all because of someone else; but it's not them at all. It's our reactions to them, and it's up to us to start understanding where it's coming from,
I don't have it all figured out, and I used to think that meant I shouldn't write about it; but now I understand, I must. Because if my vulnerability and openness can influence one person to start sharing their stories, and they influence someone; it's a great vulnerable domino effect we are starting. I'm still learning writing skills as I continue to write, but that's the beauty of it. I've removed the need to be perfect, and started to learn just by the very act of writing more. As I'm learning about myself and my art, I'm also helping others learn about theirs. It's a win win win. :)