I came across a post on Facebook a couple of days ago and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. It was posted by another writer and I remember reading it and immediately thinking, I wish more people would get this.
The post was a quote and it read, “I wasn’t born to convince you to believe me. I choose to show up in this space for me and for the ones who find comfort in my art. I talk about the dark parts of my childhood because those stories are worth telling. It’s my way of giving a voice to my inner child. It is okay with me if my art doesn’t resonate with you. I didn’t create it for you.”
I think the reason those words are still with me is because I didn’t always think that way. As much as I agreed with these words, it forced me to think about the time in my life where I felt the complete opposite.
Are my words good enough?
Am I good enough?
This was a constant thought. I would hesitate to write anything in fear that my words and experiences wouldn’t be good enough for those who would actually take time and read it. It was exhausting quite honestly. I would analyze experiences that I went through trying to word in it ways that would satisfy OTHER PEOPLE. Crazy right?
I would become obsessed about who was reading my work, or if anybody was reading it all. I focused more on what others thought of my work instead of my actual work.
It wasn’t just in my writing either. I sought approval and acceptance in just about every aspect of my life. I needed to be loved. Loved by anyone and in any way just as long as I wasn’t alone. My mother had died, and my father had chosen not to be a part of my life. Can you imagine for a second what it is like hearing adults as a young child who just lost her mother conversing back and forth on who would be able to take in two kids that are now motherless. It isn’t what I would describe as comforting, lets just say that.
I grew up desperate for attention but was always too sad and ashamed to ask for it. It was a war I fought internally and alone. So I started to write. I wrote poems, I wrote stories, hell I wrote diary entries hoping an adult would go through it and find my cries for help. And when I didn’t get the response I thought I would, it sent me even deeper in the hole I dug for myself. It was a type of hell I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
If I’m being completely honest, it wasn’t until roughly two years ago that I truly saw how dependent I was on the approval and acceptance of others. I wanted to be loved so badly by others, I totally forgot about loving myself and knowing that loving myself can be enough. And I’m still a work in progress but it’s IN PROGRESS.
I’ve come a long way.
So when I saw that post it just made me think about how far I’ve come, and the roads I’ve traveled. Made me realize that I used to write to be right, and now I write because it’s simply what I love to do. I write for no one other than me. It’s how I express myself. It’s how I survive. To be able to write down and free the words and thoughts that have held me back for so long is a feeling I may never be able to describe but it is MY feeling.
I guess what I am trying to say simply put is that I used to force myself to color inside the lines because I thought it’s what everyone would like. I thought a perfect picture is what would make me worthy. And now? Well now, my focus isn’t staying inside the lines. I draw what I want and how I want. Some people love my artwork, and others don’t. And while it’s okay for people not to like my art, just keep in mind, I no longer draw for anyone but myself.
Isn’t it crazy what feelings can surface from things we see on social media?