Well hello there. My name is Brittany. In case you’ve forgotten.
It’s been almost a year since I’ve written anything. “Why?” you might ask? Why indeed. A lot of it has to do with fear. Something I’m a little bit ashamed to say. Here I am preaching vulnerability, yet now I confess my fear of writing. Of making myself known.
Showing weakness is tough. Especially when you feel like you never show any strength. I wanted to be strong. I wanted to be optimistic. And I felt like it had been too long since hope had shown through my life. Shown through my blog. And who wants to read that kind of depressing crap. I didn’t want to be that person. So I just stopped.
I felt like…since I didn’t have anything uplifting to write about…I wouldn’t write anything at all. I felt like I had nothing to offer. I felt like my life was meaningless. That I lacked a purpose. That I was short on words. I used to love to write. And now I had nothing. No words. Nothing to offer. Who was I?
The blog has been on my mind more and more. The truth is I’m still feeling a tad bit directionless. I’m not sure where I’m heading. I have no idea what to write about. But at least I’ve wanted to write. And that’s more than I’ve had for a year now.
Still, something has stopped me. Until today. Obviously. Today something clicked. This weekend I heard a message relating to the idea of purpose. Of helping other people. It caused me a bit of soul searching. And I realize that I don’t. Help other people, that is. I don’t help other people. Which got me to thinking…what on earth do I even HAVE to help other people? What do I have to offer?
It’s an exhausting thought, mostly because I feel like I exist in a state of exhaustion. I am in a good place. I am stable. I am not depressed. I am eating. I am successful at work. I read to my daughter every night. I am a functioning human being. I am alive. Please know that I am alive and doing well. But it’s still exhausting. When you come from a place of near death, being alive takes your everything. Every day is a choice. You choose to either exist or live. The choice sounds simple, but it’s not. Living is hard work. Especially for someone who struggles with mental illness and an eating disorder. The most basic human needs take a conscious effort to fulfill. Living is a struggle. But I’d much rather struggle in pursuit of life than death. Of that I am quite certain. This struggle is something I treasure. Life is something I treasure. Maybe more than most. And in that way, my illness is a gift.
Anyway, back to making a difference. It’s hard to think about making a difference in others when living each day takes such hard work. But they say that helping others brings purpose to your life, which is one of the main things that makes you happy. And who doesn’t want to be happy?
So back to the drawing board. What gifts do I possess that can make a difference in the lives of others? Well there’s the million dollar question. If only I knew.
But what about this. What if…what if the things that–to me–are road blocks to making a difference are in actuality the very things that allow me to make a difference? What if my struggle to engage in life is something that can help others? What if what I was doing was actually fulfilling my purpose? What if my writing was making the kind of difference that others told me it was? What if my fear of being truly known has made me withdraw from the world? Has stolen away a gift? Not my personal gift, but my gift to the world? What if I’ve been selfish?
Now I’m not saying that my writing will save the world. But I can’t deny the fact that I have been told it makes a difference.
I’m not saying that my writing should replace acts of kindness. Of engaging in the community. Of contributing to the world around me. Of touching people’s lives. But what if it’s a start?
What if my writing allows me to connect with people in a way that makes it easier to physically engage in relationships? Wouldn’t that be a start?
So I’m still not 100% sure what I’ll be writing about. I do know that some of it will be happy, and some of it will be sad. Because that’s the fabric of life. My plan is for you to see pieces of both. That has always been–and will always be–my intention.
I’m still afraid. I’m afraid that I’ll publish this post, then clam up and not write again for another year. How embarrassing would that be? After all of this.
I’m afraid of who will read this and whether or not it will change the way they look at me. People from every area of my life read this blog. What will they say???? How careful will I have to be? Will they still want me around? Will they still respect me? Will they treat me differently?
But let me say it again. People from every area of my life read this blog. What kind of potential does that unlock for me to make a difference in even just one life? And who am I to deny that kind of an opportunity. Who am I?
That’s another good question. Who am I? The truth is that I’m not the person I’d like to be. I’d like to be part of something bigger than myself. And maybe–just maybe–this is a start. Or a re-start. Yes, it’s time to hit the reset button. Click.