It just happens to be the way I’m made. I have to write things down to feel I fully comprehend them. That’s Murakami, but also it’s me. All I know of myself — my formative moments, my views on The Issues, my coffee order — I learned by putting it in writing. Sometimes I say things and walk away knowing only that I disagree with them. I scribble my truth and make a retraction. Next time, I’m prepared to quote my most articulate self.
It’s sort of like my past is an unfinished painting, and as the artist of that painting, I must fill in all the ugly holes and make it beautiful again. That’s Lady Gaga, but also it’s me. And damn, does it get messy. My mind sketches in black and white. My soul insists on gray. My body lets loose an unfettered stream of color. We push and pull and pile it on until a blank canvas seems like the solution — but the war would start again there, leaving artless half-life in its wake. Better to chip away the paint to the intention and lay a dappled topcoat that transforms the old mistakes. I’m a perfectionist, uncomfortable with works in progress. But even I know progress kicks the other option’s ass.
All the power in the world comes from the words of those that lived before us. That’s Raymmar Tirado, who wrote a syndicated blog post called “7 Reasons Why You Will Never Do Anything Amazing With Your Life.” I’ve stashed that clickbait in a note on my phone for months. It lights a fire on days when I’m sad, soggy driftwood. Is that power? I’d say yes. That one’s not me, though — not lately. And that’s because I’ve opted out.
Words are my livelihood. I write about parties and peonies and 15 genius ways to use a fork. But when it comes to #realtalk, I don’t always have the right words. Or I do, but at the wrong time. Or I do, but choose to speak them once aloud and let them fade, or siphon them into heady stasis when what I need is a gut check. OMG, your navel looks like mine! I thought I was the only one! Or, Girl, get out of your navel and look at your choices. Both are useful. Both are welcome. Both turn an indulgence into an exchange.
So that’s a lofty way of saying that I’d like to hang out here again. Because I’d rather write the wrong words than no words at all. Because I want to know me, and I hope that my knowing me can mean that you know you. When I don’t have the words, I’ll borrow them and trust that they’ll embolden rather than eclipse me. Words, at their most powerful, don’t belong to anyone.
I love a manifesto. I had almost forgotten. Thank goodness I wrote it down.