Since I last wrote…when was it, Sunday? Monday?Irrelevant, come to think of it.
I have had an OUTPOURING of messages from people.
Many on FB, comments here, emails, text messages and phone calls.
And the first realization was wow…people actually READ this thing.
And second, wow…people I like interact with every day READ this thing.
And third, shit..people I don’t know from Adam seem to care a whole lot about my life.
All very warm and fuzzy..and a bit crazy because I feel like this is a little place of reality in a world that I sometimes question the Reality of.
I guess it is more tangible, in some roundabout way, than life.
And as I responded to messages and emails and texts and all that good stuff, I realized how connected people are.
No matter how alone or lost or angry or whatever we feel, when we share our experiences and emotions, people respond. They share their experiences or cry out in relief knowing they “aren’t the only one” anymore.
A few of the messages I got from people really hit close to home. And they made me think about the value of all this personal writing shenanigans.
And that, in turn, made me think of a class I took over the summer about Historical Research.
And somehow, in some twisted way, everything all kinda fit together.
The class was somewhat random, and in a discussion with a peer who was also in the class, we realized that the main thing we really learned in the whole thing was the importance of sharing our history and valuing the people we interact with.
As we haphazardly went down the laundry list of what we learned, we realized that we learned virtually nothing about how to conduct historical research, but we learned the value of recognizing our responsibility in preserving our history and that of the people we surround ourselves with. Part of that learning was appreciating the people and the perspectives of those individuals in the creation of our personal history. And as we talked, the major things that we learned in that class was that one girl was stunningly gorgeous and off-the-rack smart, another had amazing arms we like to chalk up to her adventures in sweaty yoga and that the teacher was hilariously scary and that my “partner-in-crime” and I got to solidify probably one of the most important relationships either one of us might ever hope to have as we “grow-up.”
We learned that we changed each others future histories.
Which, is pretty damn cool when you stop and think about that.
And more importantly, we learned that how the class was structured…with a group of like 8 PhD students shooting the proverbial shit 4 hours a night, we were all changing each other’s future history.
And we were learning the value of telling stories.
And as I sifted through emails and other comments and messages I realized that through the telling of my story, I was not only preserving a “lived moment” in my life, I am able to help change the future history of people, too.
Both are powerful ideas, no?
We tend to live emotion without thinking about it.
We live emotion without deconstructing the implications or the consequences.
We just live them.
And as much as I like the idea of embracing the moment and the emotions that go with it, understanding what drives our emotions and what the actual lived experience of the emotion does to us is just as important.
It is a conscious process of self-analysis that helps us move forward.
You can’t move to Step B until you understand what it means to be at Step A.
I needed to reassess where my Step A was.
And my Step A wasn’t pretty…and it wasn’t comfortable.
But, nonetheless, it still existed and needed to be recognized.
And it helped me find a bit of Truth in who I am. It allowed to me take a bit more of an objective look at what I can define as my Personal Integrity and figure out how to move on.
Having access to our own history is vital. One of the greatest things I have gotten out of this blog, outside of making some pretty freaking amazing and supportive friends, is that I have learned how to consciously think about life and my place in it…something that is hard to do for about 6 million reasons.
but it is also a living picture of my evolution as a person.
Being able to go back and re-read what I wrote a year ago is uplifting and emotional. And reading the comments and the feedback from people is just as powerful.
So – long story somewhat shorter, the power of history is almost undefinable. It allows us to connect, relate and understand ourselves and the people who we interact with. It allows us perspective and understanding and creates human connection.
History is creating support and shared experiences.
History creates relationships.
History allows us to breathe in a moment of a past experience that will never be lived again.
And that is why I continue to write here.
It helps me move forward.
It helps other people do the same.
It creates community (albeit a small but growing one) and understanding.
It creates opportunity.
And for me personally, it creates clarity.
It allows me to clear the chaos in my tiny-little-brain and make room for less anxiety-driven thoughts that tend to be more destructive than distracting.
And I can move on.
Progress you ask?
Since my last “historical recording of a lived experience” and my unwillingness to cross the proverbial street into the unknown, I have made some written progress. I have turned in what I hope to be a final draft of the first two chapters of my dissertation, completed a presentation and the appropriate research and writing for a major higher education administrator’s conference I am presenting at next week, re-outlined and structured a book proposal (coming to you soon Miss Red!) and started anther tedious round of edits for Dissertation Chapter 3. Next on the list is applying for a scholarship to fund a weekend writer’s workshop and selling some fancy purses and designer jeans to fund another workshop that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg (hopefully only a Coach bag, wallet and a few pairs of Sevens ;-).
So – my history needed some attention and my brain needed clearing.
And now I’m back. Moving slowly with a tiny bit of trepidation…but moving nonetheless.
So, many thanks, warm hugs and buckets and buckets of gratitude.
I appreciate you all.
And thank you for letting me share my “history” in the making.