Happy New Year, my dear friends and readers! For those of you who loyally keep up with The Pages of Paige, I’m sure that you’ve noticed that I’ve been pretty quiet lately. If you had a chance to read my latest entry Speechless, you’ll remember that I was at a crossroads with a few things and needed some time to collect my thoughts.
I think I’m ready now. I’m feeling rejuvenated and electrified at the thought of a beautiful year ahead!
I’m sure that the writers, bloggers, and authors reading this understand that writing is a craft, often influenced by inspiration and emotion. I have no shame in admitting that I am an extremely emotional writer and each word that I publish is uniquely infused with passion and honesty. So when things in life interrupt that (as they often do), sometimes my mind gets a little dizzy.
After nearly a month and a half of blogging every day, I slammed on the breaks and hit a sudden halt — finally, I’m ready to tell you why.
I take great pride in being transparent in this space and sharing my experiences as they unfold. Unfortunately, not everyone in my life seems to agree. I’ll leave this person(s) unnamed, but their opinions on the blog and my candor, I feel, are less than encouraging.
This entry alone will probably add what feels like another scarlet letter to my chest.
So when I learned about this a few days before Christmas, it completely broke me down…and I haven’t been able to articulate my feelings about the situation since. I’m going to try to get it all down so please, bear with me.
I was stunned, dazed, and frozen with fear in learning this.
For the first time, I was afraid to post. I was afraid that my honesty was something that was being taken away from me. Suddenly I felt as if my feelings weren’t enough; that my stories that I hold so dearly, were the center of attention — in a less than positive way. I was nervous to publish my raw emotion because I feared that someone’s feelings would be hurt or I’d be the talk of the town. Until that moment, it had never occurred to me that I should “filter” my feelings.
Every day since this conversation, I’ve opened the blog and stared at my blinking cursor, wondering how in the world I was going to share how I felt. I was so concerned with how others would feel about what I said and how I said it.
So instead, I hid.
I just couldn’t face the blog. An outlet that has always brought me so much joy now felt that it was covered in blood. All because of the opinion of someone else. So I’ve spent the last few days distracting myself with the holidays. I’ve also found comfort in watching a few episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. For whatever reason, the show always seems to bring me back to my senses (maybe it’s because dark and twisty Merideth reminds me that my life could always be a little worse). But during one particular episode, I heard this powerful message.
“Don’t let fear keep you quiet. You have a voice. So use it. Speak up. Raise your hands. Shout your answers. Make yourself heard. Whatever it takes. Just find your voice and when you do, fill the damn silence.”
Just take that in for a moment. Forget about the fact that it’s from a television program and really let it sink in. For me, it hit me like a brick wall.
I couldn’t believe that I was actually allowing someone else’s opinion of something I’ve worked so hard for, stand in the way of my craft. I’m ashamed that I allowed my fear to silence my voice and the power of my story.
So here I am. Unapologetically sharing that my feelings were hurt and I felt that my writing was criticized. Vulnerably telling you that this person’s words gave me a sense of doubt about myself and the potential of this blog.
However, I had to remember one simple thing — I started this blog for one person. Me.
This blog and the community that surround it have saved my life in many ways. How dare I allow something to steer me away from my voice. Oh no. Not anymore.
Also, allow me to point out that the amount of courage that it takes for me to finally publish this, is something that you can only imagine. But it is something that I plan to continue well beyond 2018.
Today is the first day of a new year. A year full of possibilities and opportunity for me and a blog that I wholeheartedly believe in. So no, I am not going to stop writing. I am not going to keep quiet simply because others don’t feel that its what they want.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, just remember this: Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.
So I have to tip my hat to you, my friends and followers. Thank you for allowing me to be authentic, vulnerable, honest, and human as I share my life with you. I’m back, and with a vengeance. Cheers to the new year and the incredible things to come! Stay tuned ❤