The main reason why I decided a long time ago (nearly 18 years ago) that I wanted to be a writer derived from the fact that in an essence, a journalist is a teacher. We open doors and discuss topics that we think other people care about, and then provide the necessary information they need to move forward.
Writing isn’t so much about a personal success or getting my byline above the fold or in the front-of-the-book on the masthead, but about the opportunity to reach people. To touch hearts, to inspire change, to cultivate reactions, and spark conversations. To get people, especially women, thinking in a new way that motivates them to turn their lives around…or just their day.
And I believe with having the ability to string words together in an effective way – a writer feels a lot of responsibility. There is this weight on your shoulders that you don’t really want to remove because you picked this profession – but this pressure sometimes gets to you. It’s this anxiety that stems from wanting to do the right thing, write the most truthful (and thoughtful) information possible, and feel proud and accountable for what you put into the infinite universe – where it be in a mag or on the streaming web.
When it comes to this blog and to this journey, I’ve thought about how in a way, I’m exposing the men who come in and out of my life. While, of course, I’ll never use names and unless you’re a friend intricately involved in my life, you’d never know who these guys are – I am, after all, displaying parts of our intimate relationship for anyone who clicks on my URL.
Is it wrong for me to share secrets and these feelings with strangers? Does it discount the relationship I had and the love I share? Or does it give it the spotlight it so deserves?
Often times, when I’m on a date or hanging out with a male friend who happens to know about my journey and my blog, they will be telling a story or confiding in me, and almost out of reflex, they’ll spin around and say: “Linds, don’t put this on your blog, okay?”
Now, don’t get me wrong – there are certain parts of my life I’d never put out for the world to read (well, maybe, anyways), but do I have an obligation to share whatever happens that affects my journey? With or without the discretion or disclaimer from other people? Should I be able to shoot back at them with: “Anything and everything that affects my self-proclaimed love addiction is fair game. Proceed with caution.”
There seems to be this disconnect between my journalist integrity who wants to tell the whole-truth-and-nothing-but-the-truth and the other side of my morality who thinks, “maybe I should protect those dudes and respect their wishes.” I’m often torn between what’s affecting my journey, what makes good copy, and what’s a little of both. And when someone specifically asks you not to put something somewhere, so they don’t risk being exposed, it almost makes you want to do it that much more. If anything, it makes you want to cleverly write so that others can be tempted to read between the lines.
If I’m honest with myself and true to this blog – I think any relationship, non-relationship, courtship, or fling that makes me feel negatively, teaches me something new, or is flat-out entertaining deserves a credit in the path to self-love and space on this blog. Because of this, I can’t promise to keep everything on the DL that’s asked of me and I certainly can never go off the record (since the record is my life, after all) – but I can use kindness when describing peoples, places, and events.
As I’ve said before, I’m going to ask questions and I’m going to seek answers. It is my nature and it is part of what’s made me successful as a writer. If you never ask, you never know. If you never question, you remain stagnant. And I can’t live with immobile wonder – it just doesn’t mix well in my DNA.
When a man asks you not to share something with your friends (as Mr. Idea often did) or discredits your profession – there may be something to think about in terms of the relationship. Secrets that are sensitive and experiences that causes great emotional pain that are shared between two people should be kept that way – but if we’re never “allowed” to speak what we feel, regardless if we publish it or not, we will never learn from the past. And without educating ourselves, we will never move forward to the futures awaiting us.
So regardless if you write it down or let it slip in your next Yoga class – talk about what you’ve been through. Put it out in the open. Give it fresh air and face it head on. You will often see yourselves in the eyes of your best friends, or as in my case, in the words of my readers. Too often, women keep everything we’re concerned about or think is out of the norm (when it’s probably not) hidden and in that, we never are able to progress.
I would never threaten a guy with my writing and if he does feel under fire when we’re on a date or in a relationship – I doubt he’s the guy for me. I may come with a fully-loaded pen and keyboard, but my safety is always on.
At least for now, anyways.