A brand spanking new blog. A blog to end all (my previous) blogs. A blog that says: HELLO. THIS IS WHO I AM. LET ME SHARE IT WITH YOU.
Except there’s one problem. I’m scared.
All my life, I have never feared being creative. Words have sprung from my fingers like Peter Parker’s shimmering spiderwebs, all power and heroism. My ideas have been neatly organised in pretty little notebooks, scribbled in an array of different coloured inks, each more vibrant than the last. I was the girl who enjoyed being creative, who needed it to stay sane.
I’m still that girl. But the enjoyment? It’s hibernating.
Any blog, I am convinced, is an act of bravery.
I think the problem started when I began to want to write about my chronic illness. You see, the chronic pain I deal with isn’t the easiest of subjects to broach. Its location is taboo. Its existence is questioned by archaic health professionals and Twitter trolls alike. I dabbled with the idea of an anonymous blog, a site where I could vocalise the intimate thoughts of my sometimes-harrowing realities without fear of being recognised or lampooned. Unfortunately, I am the “basic bitch” of philosophical existentialism; I value genuineness and authenticity above all else. I wish it weren’t so; it makes me feel very much less British, and every time I read the phrase “authentic self,” I always hear it in a SoCal/Valley Girl drawl. To write under a pseudonym was taking all the power from my prose. It stopped feeling cathartic. It felt hollow and glib.
Aside from my embarrassing existentialist high ideals, I like to think there’s a noble side to wanting to step forward, too. After all, for a while now, I have felt drawn to advocacy. As a woman and now as a resigned member of the disabled community, I am passionate about rights, and standing up for those to weak to fight for them. Sadly, in recent years I have joined their number – after so many months of fighting just to make it through a day without contorting into the foetal position, I have become too tired to feel in any way effective.
But damn it, even in the foetal position, I can still write. (Well, technically I suppose I would have to dictate, or my handwriting’s legibility would suffer greatly. But it wouldn’t be comfortable to be in the foetal position all day, so ultimately I reckon I could settle for cross-legged in bed. I do hate a misleading metaphor.)
So here it is. Here I am. A blog.
A spitting of recycled concerns into the void. A purging of conscience for all and no one to see. A place where I can collect creativity like I collected the ‘fairy dust’ my Mum left on my pillow the nights I hid my baby teeth for collection. I will keep this creative fairy dust here: safe, accessible, where I can look at it from time to time, and calmly consider how precious it is. But more than all of this: any blog, I am convinced, is an act of bravery. A rather castrated form of bravery, perhaps, but everyone has to start somewhere. And I have to tell my over-cautious inner adversary that there is no place for fear. To be vulnerable is to be courageous, and to be truly alive. Some would say ‘authentic’. But frankly, I wouldn’t trust anyone who adopts that kind of saccharine vocabulary.