When I started this blog I promised myself and my readers to write with sincerity and honesty, even if the feelings my writing evoked were not always comfortable and pleasant. I made this promise with the idea that while each person's experience is unique, someone might find a piece of themselves in what I had to say. I see this as a rational for publishing personal observations, if only in blog form.
Today I was gratified to discover a reflection of my ideas in an essay by Jane Tompkins called "Me and My Shadow." While Tompkins danced around this issue in her own way, I still found several mirrors to my own thinking in her words. She called the language of "Western epistemology" a male language. Perhaps that is true, but I tend to just look at it as the language in which we are taught to write, the rhetorical style of writing used in our education system. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but it is far from personal. If we look for ourselves in such writing, we are unlikely to find much of genuine human experience. That can only be found in unfettered, brutally honest, naked and personal writing. That is what I want my blog to be.
It can be hard to write so honestly. Tompkins mentions how the inner critic quickly arises for her when she writes this way. It's not comfortable. There is no road map for how it "should" sound. I can relate. There are many times I have written half a page on my blog, only to delete it before publication because I felt it didn't "sound good." Even now, I find myself putting this entry through the editing lens of my own educational background, but I long to write from my heart, my experiences and to be comfortable with what comes out.
I go through obsessive stages of seeking my "true self", but I suspect that self is always there. It is the inner critic, the ego, that keeps me from comfort with who I really am. Everything I say, everything I do filters through how I believe others will perceive it. It is only when I do things without such a filter, that I can say I am truly being me.
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