Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? I can’t remember the last time I made one. Every year, I have vague ideas about what I’d like to do differently, but I never put anything concrete down into words because I don’t trust myself to see them through. I have project-specific commitment-phobia. I might stick with something for a few weeks, but struggle just as things are starting to pick up. I don’t lose interest so much as I lose faith in my abilities, completely selling myself on the idea that I’m “not good enough” to go after something I want, which is becoming a tired insecurity. I’m only “not good enough” when I don’t put forth a substantial effort. People tend to put more emphasis on being rather doing, when doing is what will determine your state of being.
And the worst thing you can do after deciding on a thing is to overthink it, as the plight of the overthinker is that it’s easier not to do something than to think about doing it and how you’re doing it and whether or not you’re doing it well or right. My cousin, Emily (pictured above), once said something to me that I still haven’t been able to accomplish but that is a resolution in itself: “Decide on what you’re going to do, but first decide on its consequences.” Bad planning is refusing to see potential obstacles. This past year has shown me just how easily I’ve let obstacles stand in my way. Yes, they can be debilitating, but they don’t have to overpower you.
For instance, I woke up this morning with every intention of going to the gym when I realized a sharp pain in my neck would not allow me to do so. But while I wouldn’t be physically capable of lifting weights over my head or even accomplishing some of my regular yoga poses later that night, I could walk the stairs in my office throughout the day. No, it’s not exactly circuit training, but it’s something I could do to counteract the obstacle. There have also been nights where I only managed ten minutes of yoga or just stretched in bed because I couldn’t work in a lengthy practice. Don’t focus on not getting something done to the level you originally planned, but on not letting the obstacle defeat you. Push back however hard you can, in whatever way you can.
One of the biggest challenges I face when creating new habits is consistency. I used to make it really hard on myself. I’d plan out these intense and intricate schedules and routines, and if I slipped somewhere it would nip away at my confidence, my level of dedication, my resolve. My mind would immediately jump to quitting because obviously I couldn’t hack the workload. But then I learned I wasn’t creating a workload, I was creating a habit, and if these habits felt like work then I would inevitably fail.
It’s not that forming good habits doesn’t take a certain amount of work. Of course it does. But it has to be manageable in a way that allows your growth process to develop naturally, so that you’re not forcing your body into a foreign practice. I honestly believe that my body was at war with me sometimes when I first started working out, because I didn’t properly prepare it for the level of sophistication I wanted it to achieve. The same goes for my writing practice or my yoga practice or even something as domestic as meal prepping. They say “baby steps” for a reason. You have to build knowledge around what you’re doing before you can move forward.
So, for 2019, instead of making a handful of resolutions, I’m going to focus on two things: pace and response. I know I want to reinvigorate practices in writing, yoga, training, and meal preparation, but they all have to be in service to one another and they all have to be manageable habits. I usually don’t discuss things I want to do with other people because I’m afraid they’ll ask me about it and I’ll have to tell them that I flaked, so then I end up keeping it to myself and I flake anyway. The great thing about being open with others, especially people who inhabit your daily life, is that by doing so you create a support system.
Ideally, the people you open up with about these things will encourage you in your aspirations, but you also shouldn’t strive to make everyone happy. Of course, sacrificing your time to develop these practices for someone in need will be your call. You certainly don’t want to risk neglecting anyone you care about. And sometimes inviting someone who is in an emotional rut to partake in, say, a yoga class with you (or offering to do something within their interests) can not only be a way to sustain your own practices but to also be there for someone who needs you. You don’t want to be so strict with yourself that you develop no tolerance for leniency. Special circumstances are allowed.
What I try to avoid, though, is treating everything like a special circumstance. Sometimes, we come dangerously close to using non-urgent situations as an excuse not to do something. In that case, you are not sustaining a lifestyle, belief system, or habit, but saying that you never took yourself seriously in the first place. This is only negative because you lose your integrity this way. It’s like telling yourself, yet again, that you’re “not good enough” or worth putting in an effort for. If you don’t want to live the kind of life you’ve created for yourself, just remember to consider the consequences of disabling that life before you decide to change it. Will you be okay with that reality? I never was. 2018 taught me what I need in my life in order to thrive. It taught me what my weaknesses are. Most importantly, it taught me how to resolve them.
How do you design a life? I’ve been obsessed by this question lately, wondering exactly what it is I have to do or not do so that my mind can rest, so that I’m satisfied. On the one hand, people will tell you not to let yourself become complacent, but then when you’re not content with your circumstances that’s bad too. I feel sucked dry creatively. For years now, I haven’t been able to find a peaceful rhythm in my writing. My life has grown quiet, stagnant. I don’t mind the quietness exactly. Actually, I prefer it. But the stagnancy can be so anxiety-inducing as to become unbearable. I find myself creating projects I know I won’t stick with because I’m looking for a distraction from the things I want to do, but of which I feel impotent.
Saturday morning I stood at the stove cooking breakfast in silence. Usually, I put on a podcast or an audiobook, but I didn’t have the mental energy to follow along with anything. As I worked, I pained over the problem of my failing creative life. Why couldn’t I write? What was this block? Where had my spirit gone? When I was done, I placed the dirtied frying pan and spatula into the sink and a question sprang into my mind as audibly as if someone had been standing behind me. What interests you? it said. I stared down into the sink, at the plates stacked atop each other, several wine glasses circling them in tribute to a life just as neglected and chaotic. These dishes, I thought, these dishes interest me.
But every time I sit down to write I am haunted by the thought that no one will find what I have to say very worthwhile. It is the same agony I’ve picked at now for years, like a fiery scab. Last night, I was sitting up in bed playing a word game with my mom on my phone, and I had a thought that cracked the thin veneer of apathy I’ve been knitting together for the past year: “God may as well let you die, you’re not doing anything.” What shocked me was not how cruel it had sounded, but how fervently I believed it. I don’t consider myself to be a suicidal person, but the hatred I felt at my own mind was piercing. But then I wondered, how am I to know any better? We are not raised in this world to be kind, we are raised in this world to survive. When a horse is lame, for instance, or a dog has gone mad, you might issue a mercy killing. In that moment, I had failed myself completely, because I thought it would be easier to give up, to be put out of my misery.
I don’t write any of this lightly, but I don’t write it gravely either. I still have a sense of myself that is bright with future and longing. However, I don’t want to skirt past my weaknesses. I believe that in exposing vulnerability we build knowledge and authority—knowledge and authority for others to use as stepping stones, that is, not to dominate or belittle. It does not escape me that perhaps I struggle to write anything solid because I haven’t been completely honest with myself, so that when I write it is like a child who says what they think they’re supposed to say rather than what they truly believe or know. And maybe that’s the problem. I’ve distanced myself from God for reasons I’m not even entirely conscious of, and in so doing have robbed myself of any chance at growth.
I jump to him because he is the source of every ailment and happiness. If he created good, he also created the possibility for evil, and so I’ve come to understand that it is not my responsibility to prevent suffering but to design a life that behaves as an antidote to it. I will continue to be knocked down, but I certainly don’t have to stay there, and yet, I don’t have to push myself back up either. Usually, we have to sit with our suffering to build strength, and everybody sits differently. Writing is my antidote, writing is what I do when I sit and suffer. So many times I have built myself back up this way, and so many times I have fallen back down again, and so many times I have crouched in pain as though there is nothing I can do to help myself, until I realize that there is.
My point is that it’s okay to be wounded, it’s okay to need time, but don’t let yourself believe you are beyond hope, without tools, undeserving of compassion, especially your own. Christian teachings love to make us feel that we’re unworthy of God. But God is who made us, and “in his image,” after all. If we are not worthy of him, then what is?
Guilt is productive only as far as it connects us to our humility, but beyond that it is crippling and serves no one, a passive emotion that leads only to self-pity. There are things that are your fault and there are things of which you are innocent, and sopping guilt hinders our ability to deal with either. It did not occur to me until now that I struggle to write because I feel guilty about something, and until I figure out what that is and why that is–in essence, until I write my way into this discovery, until I acknowledge that writing is how I deal with this, how to heal myself–then my suffering will be wasteful, useless pain.
“Be ready. Be seated. See what courage sounds like. See how brave it is to reveal yourself in this way. But above all, see what it is to still live, to profoundly influence the lives of others after you are gone, by your words.”
–Abraham Verghese, When Breath Becomes Air
Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air had been on my radar since its posthumous publication in 2016. A reader of the lifestyle blog, Cup of Jo, for many years, I knew bits and pieces of the Kalanithi’s story, Paul’s struggle with lung cancer, and the Pulitzer Prize nominated memoir that followed his death several years ago. Finally, in Birmingham, AL attending a training program for work, I bought my very own copy of his book.
The afternoon of my arrival, I decided to stroll downtown Homewood to avoid staying cooped up in my hotel room for my entire stay, and found Little Professor Book Center completely by accident. I’d walked into a boutique across the street initially, and when I left with a pair of earrings to gift to my cousin for her upcoming birthday, I looked up and saw the word “books,” which settled the question of my next destination. After much browsing and deliberation, I eventually left with Paul’s memoir, not knowing exactly what I would be getting myself into when I finally decided to read it seven months later.
I cannot say what exactly drew me to read this book when I pulled it from its perch on my bookshelf a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps my grandfather’s own battle with cancer steered my wandering hand as it lingered over the staggered spines of my books. Perhaps I was feeling lonely and craved the conversational tone of the memoir. Perhaps it was both of these things. What I can say is that no book has affected me quite as intensely and emotionally as Kalanithi’s in a very long time.
If you’re not already familiar with Paul’s story, he was diagnosed with lung cancer in May of 2013 at the age of 36. This is also where he introduces himself at the beginning of the book, sitting on a hospital bed with his wife, Lucy, as they grapple with their oncoming reality. However, in order for us to ascertain exactly how poignant his diagnosis is to him as a person, Kalanithi takes us back to his formative years, the years that led him on his path to neuroscience and neurosurgery.
As a child, his mother, fearing for the quality of his education in Kingman, AZ, where “the high school dropout rate was somewhere north of 30 percent,” instilled in him a love for literature by unearthing a college prep reading list from some unknown location and giving it to her son as literary guidance. At only ten years old, she had him read George Orwell’s 1984, which he wrote, “instilled in me a deep love of, and care for, language.” It was this book, in fact, that sent him on a reading frenzy, in which “books became [his] closest confidants, finely ground lenses providing new views of the world.” However, it was a former girlfriend’s suggestion to read Satan: His Psychotherapy and Cure by the Unfortunate Dr. Kassler, J.S.P.S. by Jeremy Leven that got Kalanithi thinking differently about the relationship between the brain and the mind. “Literature provided a rich account of human meaning;” he writes, “the brain, then, was the machinery that somehow enabled it.”
Throughout his years at Standford, Kalanithi would work toward “a deeper understanding of a life of the mind.” He completed degrees in both English literature and human biology, and in his senior year of college, applied for a master’s in English literature to continue his work of marrying the literary with the molecular: “There must be a way, I thought, that the language of life as experienced—of passion, of hunger, of love—bore some relationship, however convoluted, to the language of neurons, digestive tracts, and heartbeats.” But even after completing his thesis, he felt that an English department could only take him so far in a specific direction. He needed to be free to plunder all directions, most notably the ones that allowed him to locate the intersection of biology, morality, literature, and philosophy. So he found himself applying for med school following a stint at Cambridge to study the history of medicine.
Studying medicine provided Kalanithi an access to reality that literature had failed to offer. When I was studying English in college at the University of South Carolina, one of my favorite professors wrote to me in an email that it’s almost better for writers to study something other than literature and writing if they can catch themselves before it’s too late. The marriage of a person’s proclivity for language with their chosen speciality can breed astounding insights into the human condition, and Kalanithi’s writing is nothing if not a testimony to that very notion. “Reading books and answering multiple-choice questions bore little resemblance to taking action, with its concomitant responsibility,” he writes. If his literary years allowed him to cultivate ideologies, his years studying medicine would “allow [him] a chance to find answers that are not in books, to find a different sort of sublime, to forge relationships with the suffering, and to keep following the question of what makes human life meaningful, even in the face of death and decay.”
What makes a meaningful life in the wake of inevitable, if not immediate, death becomes Kalanithi’s specialty. This is the concern, he believes, from which good doctors are made. And the neurosurgeon, further still, “work[s] in the crucible of identity.” As he surmises:
“Because the brain mediates our experience of the world, any neurosurgical problem forces a patient and family, ideally with a doctor as a guide, to answer this question: What makes life meaningful enough to go on living?”
This question becomes the basis on which Kalanithi stakes his claim in the world of medicine, neurosurgery being the most attractive field of study for its “direct confrontation with meaning, identity, and death.” And, of course, when he returns to Stanford for his residency, neurosurgery is the superior speciality, and neurosurgeons the elite of the hospital. But Kalanithi grazes over this with a few paragraphs before, one by one, leaning into the cases that molded him, not just as a neurosurgeon, but as a physician. And while he confronts falling prey to moments of fatigue and impatience, blockading his ability to connect with his patients at their most vulnerable, it is through this struggle to remain human in the wake of their illnesses that drove him in his practice. “Openness to human relationality,” he writes, “does not mean revealing grand truths from the apse; it means meeting patients where they are, in the narthex or nave, and bringing them as far as you can.”
Perhaps the most illustrative quote of this image he held as being the ideal doctor: “Had I been more religious in my youth, I might have become a pastor, for it was the pastoral role I’d sought.”
In a specialization that prides itself on perfection, the place of failure on and off the operating table was notably agonizing to Kalanithi. But that he gleaned one of the most poignant passages in the book from these experiences is a testimony in itself to the kind of doctor he was becoming:
“Being with patients in these moments certainly had its emotional cost, but it also had its rewards. I don’t think I ever spent a minute of any day wondering why I did this work, or whether it was worth it. The call to protect life—and not merely life but another’s identity; it is perhaps not too much to say another’s soul—was obvious in its sacredness.
Before operating on a patient’s brain, I realized, I must first understand his mind: his identity, his values, what makes his life worth living, and what devastation makes it reasonable to let that life end. The cost of my dedication to succeed was high, and the ineluctable failures brought me nearly unbearable guilt. Those burdens are what make medicine holy and wholly impossible: in taking another’s cross, one must sometimes get crushed by the weight.”
This passage is especially gratifying during the second installment of the book in which the narrative surrounds his diagnosis. He is struck by this sudden lack of life his future self was once able to enjoy. But as is common when the word CANCER appears in the headline of one’s life, the ways in which that life must stop being lived are prominent in the mind of the cancer stricken. So Kalanithi is surprised when his own doctor opens the discussion for him to continue his life as he lived it before. He can go back to work, he can have children. “The fact of death is unsettling,” he writes, “yet there is no other way to live.”
So live he does. He and his wife, Lucy, visit a sperm bank, and in time he goes back to work. Pain wracks his days, not just physically but mentally, as he comes to terms with the unknowable time left to him and his family. But keeping his life moving in a forward direction consumes him. “Maybe,” he writes, “in the absence of any certainty, we should just assume that we’re going to live a long time. Maybe that’s the only way forward.”
Just before his graduation, Kalanithi flies to Wisconsin for a job interview. Though he loses a professorship at Stanford, the chairman of this department, unnamed, excites him with possibilities. They know the time he has left is uncertain, and still they woo him with compelling offerings that make Kalanithi think it just may work, this life he’s been working so hard for, even in the face of his imminent demise. But then the reality of the situation hits him as he and the chairman are overlooking a frozen lake after dinner one night. “It was like a fantasy,” he says. There was no reasonable solution in which his dreams and goals reached fruition. In realizing this, he spends a lot of time wondering what he should do, where his focus should lie, what his values are, as his oncologist steadfastly reminds him. Who does he want to be now? In all of this searching, he comes to realize:
“…the physician’s duty is not to stave off death or return patients to their old lives, but to take into our arms a patient and family whose lives have disintegrated and work until they can stand back up and face, and make sense of, their own existence.”
Kalanithi’s life continues in waves of physical chaos and stabilization. So he focuses on keeping his body strong. When his daughter is born, he finds in her “a blank page on which [he] could go on.” From here, he shifts his narrative from past to present. In her, he sees only future, and so he spends the remaining chapter in a kind of ode to her becoming. The reader may feel anxious, anticipating what is to happen. But even as his words near their end, as that final paragraph looms over an empty margin, Kalanithi, ever the physician, is there to ease our pain over a death that isn’t even ours with a message not intended for us, yet prescribing the very practice we should all make a habit of while there’s still time for ourselves and our loved ones. “That message is simple,” he writes:
“When you come to one of the many moments in life where you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.”
Through this book, Kalanithi became a steward for death, a philosopher on meaningful living, and a testimony to how a person dies manifesting in the quality of his life. For Kalanithi is not remembered by his cancer, but the substance of what his cancer brought out of him. As his wife, Lucy, gorgeously writes in the epilogue: “Writing the book was a chance for this courageous seer to be a sayer, to teach us to face death with integrity.” And thus, our lives, which are certainly better for having read his story.
“Just remember: If one bird carried every grain of sand, grain by grain, across the ocean, by the time he got them all on the other side, that would only be the beginning of eternity.”
On November 16th, 1959, Truman Capote, a hopeful up-and-coming member of the literati elite, skimmed an article in The New York Times reporting on the deaths of one Kansas farmer and his three family members. By January of the following year, he was on his way back to New York after visiting Holcomb, KS during a grisly Christmas season to delve into what would become his most prized work. In Cold Bloodbecame both a household name, catapulting Capote to international fame, and also the extension of a nightmarish incident for the townspeople of Holcomb County who knew the family subjected to Capote’s aggressive enthusiasm.
They were the Clutter family: Herb, the father, Bonnie, the mother, and their two children, Nancy and Kenyon. What exactly struck Capote’s interest in the brief detailing of this family’s deaths is uncertain, but what he awoke in audiences through this meticulously researched and detailed mass of narrative reportage was something both awe-striking and sinister. What emerged from Capote’s pilgrimage to Kansas was not the righteous recognition of one family’s tragic end but the morbid curiosity of how it came to be in the first place. With an intimate eye on the killers responsible for the Clutters’ murders, Capote exposed a weakness in America’s 1950s class system that nauseated the American Dream and unveiled a fascination with its demise.
The townspeople of Holcomb, KS were notably incensed by Capote’s portrayal of the Clutter family, which lasts only long enough for him to steer the focus onto how they came to die—through brutal shotgun shootings carried out by Richard Hickock and Perry Smith. The languid early narrative of the family’s daily routines, their warm and pristine standing within their community, fades quietly and is replaced with an FBI investigation and disorganized criminal evasion.
Capote trims the various layers of his characters’ involvement into a synchronized scope that was at times fictional, but gorgeously written. Which becomes so obviously the point he tried to maintain amid Holcomb’s dissatisfaction with his portrayal of events. They wanted to read a literary monument to their fellow townspeople, where Capote wanted to disassemble their assailants. He didn’t want to write an elegy, he wanted to experiment with form, to push the boundaries of narrative nonfiction, and to strip people down to their bones—essentially, the elements of a person or character’s humanity that make for a good story.
In order to unveil that story, Capote had to go beyond the Clutter family into the minds of the murderers, to a place where these men were as human as the ones they’d killed. He followed them all the way to their executions in 1965, showing an evident preference for Smith, whose background is more delicately honed, and whose demeanor he offers a considerable amount of empathy in contrast to Hickock’s. Being the first of its kind, In Cold Blood reads both like a novel and news report. It was serialized in The New Yorker before being published in full by Random House in 1966.
Most notable of its fame is the part To Kill a Mockingbird author, Harper Lee, played in the interviewing and research. Whether or not she did any of the writing is still a point of contention, but she is reported as having an immediate role in greasing the townspeople for information more easily than Capote. Less well-known is his fact-checking aid from The New Yorker, Sandy Campbell, and the questionable part he played in verifying the information that Capote collected for the project. It is where the book takes on its fictional qualities—or unverifiable facts—that the reader may see where exactly Capote’s reporting had to end and his imagination take over. It was that imaginative thinking that generated the intense marketing campaign he had already begun to build through The New Yorker that is reported to have been the reason why Hickock’s own memoir was squelched. Capote had much more at stake, and couldn’t have one of the actual murderers counteracting his portrayal of events.
This is how the family and townspeople came to abhor his handling of the Clutter’s story, and how literary reportage as we know it today still wrestles with the question of narrative in a nonfiction setting. Especially considering the differences in how one obtains facts and how that information is reviewed being much different now than it was in the 1960s. As he writes in describing a robbery of the Holcomb postmistress, “Imagination, of course, can open any door—turn the key and let terror walk right in.” Perhaps, to the townspeople of Holcomb, terror came in the form of not only Smith and Hickock, but Capote himself.
Part of the reason I can’t give up blogging is because I need a space to write. This much I’ve known. Since I don’t keep a regular journal anymore I need a place that’s as easily accessible as a notebook where I can sort out my thoughts. (But even if I did keep a regular journal, the idea of blogging would still appeal to me as a writer, because readers…but I’ll get to that in a minute.) The problem I continuously run into is when I see other bloggers doing certain things that I want to try more than I want to spend time figuring out what’s best for me, which inevitably causes me to lose interest in the blog because it’s not what I really want to be doing.
Then part of the reason I do keep deleting blog posts and restarting blogging projects is because blogging feels more and more irrelevant with each passing year, and I’m not sure anyone cares to read them anymore. I know I shouldn’t worry so much about that part if I’m going to be writing at all, but the natural desire of a writer is to attract readers, to start conversation, to create community. But having those things is also what’s scary about writing. It’s what’s scary about sharing yourself, in general. On the one hand, people are enthused with social media because it opens up copious opportunities for connection, but that can also be what makes social media so painful and draining. I don’t know that balance exists on the internet. We mostly have to determine best practices for dealing with the shitty areas so that it doesn’t overwhelm the lives we live offline.
Social networks like Instagram have changed the way people approach blogging. Some people consider their Instagram accounts to be personal blogs, even though I’m a cyber naturalist and disagree with any Instagram account that makes that claim. A personal blog for me exists solely on a blogging platform, such as WordPress. In my opinion, if the platform limits your word count to anything less than 5,000 words, then that’s not a proper blogging platform. And a proper blogging platform doesn’t limit your text content to a brief caption. Since blogs can host images with captions and also include a major body of text, then that’s what stipulates a personal blog. Everything else are social media components. And that’s why, even though I’ve considered it, I can’t rest easy knowing that my Instagram account is synonymous with my blog. They just aren’t the same things to me. But that may also be the difference between an elderly millennial and a millennial youth.
The biggest issue I run into with blogging is audience. I didn’t start blogging to connect with people I already knew. I started blogging to connect with people I didn’t know, which makes the concept of someone I do know coming across my blog anxiety-inducing. On the one hand, if they connect with something I write that does make me happy, especially if it’s someone from your past you didn’t imagine ever connecting with (at least if the response to your writing is a good one). On the other hand, if someone you know is reading your writing but not commenting about it—either on the blog, across social media, or to your face—then it gives a stronger impression that you’re being judged or, worst-case scenario, stalked. No one wants to be trolled. The idea of writing publicly is to engage your audience, so someone visiting your space, hanging around for a long time, but not engaging in what you’ve said isn’t so much disheartening as it unnerving. The disheartening scenario would be someone clicking through your blog for less than a minute and then disappearing. (Was it something I said?)
Another aspect of my dilemma has been in comparing the life I have (corporate cog, homebody, introvert) with the one I want (financially self-sustaining writer, traveler, I’ll keep the introvert part). Sometimes it’s easy to convince myself that I want the one and not the other, but very rarely can I hold both versions of myself in the same thought. I’ll think that I either need to pursue a corporate career or writing, but not both, as they might become tangled in a never-ending battle for my attention. (But wouldn’t that just be life?)
I’m also going through a phase where I’m either tired of trying to explain myself or I simply don’t want others to know what I think, which is a strange sensation for someone who generally loves dumping her thoughts and feelings into a public platform for external perusal. Roxane Gay said something resonant about this in her Skillshare class on writing the personal essay, stating, “You can write personally and hold things back for yourself,” which completely re-framed my perspective and spoke to something in myself I was already growing into. It’s not that I don’t want to write, I just don’t want to write frivolously. When I come to my writing space, I want to do so with a clear message in mind and I don’t want to worry so much with visual details, which is what generally ups a writer’s blogging game, but which causes me to fret more over aesthetic when I should be focusing on context. And if I’m worrying about someone I know nitpicking over that, then maybe my blog just isn’t their space. I have to get over this idea that by not writing when I want to write because what I write might upset someone is ever going to serve me in a healthy way. It simply won’t.
Especially when the ultimate reason I keep coming back to blogging is because, despite how withdrawn and reserved I tend to get through deeply introverted behavior patterns, I know that at the end of the day I’m still going to light up when someone reaches out to me with an understanding voice. It’s that voice I want to write for, it’s that voice I want in my community, and it’s that voice that’s going to keep me coming back. It’s the hope that when I do put something out there it will be met with empathy rather than antagonism, curiosity rather than confusion. If the person who finds my blog reads what I have to say and doesn’t understand why I need to be here, then they are simply not my person, and I am not theirs.