I have become connected with people around the world through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and this blog (I even have a Tumblr, somewhere out there). Each passing day gives me proof that there are people who can and do appreciate the pictures I paint with words, the feelings I wish to convey. There are real people who actually enjoy reading what I write and seeing what I see, and I am astonished and grateful, every day.
When I first began to dream of becoming a writer (a writer of poetry no less), I had never heard of blogs. Honestly, I don't think there was such a thing, or at least, they weren't commonplace in any way, shape, or form like they are now. There wasn't such a thing as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, for certain. I could not imagine how my aspirations would come to fruition, so I simply dreamt of it, for years and years, still not knowing what to do to make this dream reality.
But then, something happened. I woke up from a nightmare of a dream and began gathering the remnants of the person I once was, and began to build. I began building with tools of hope, vision, and determination, and I still put those tools to use as I continue on my journey of reaching my dreams, for I have many dreams which have been brought to life by freedom and confidence. I haven't always had confidence of my own though. The several people who reach out through these various venues lend me some of theirs whenever mine is waning. And they always come through. Always.
Some of you might be thinking to ask, "What about your family and (traditional) friends?" Well, I have to tell you something—I have amazing family and friends who love me, think I'm a brilliant writer, read my stuff, share it from time to time, and fuel my fire to keep reaching my dreams. However, I also have a great deal of "family and friends" who are quite oppositional, unfriendly, unkind, and flat out jerks to me because I am the way that I am.
By reading my blog you might have got the sense that I say things as I see them sans sugar coatings (with exception being made for my poetry of the sweet variety). You also might have gathered that I have strong opinions and feelings. All of these things are true about me. I step on toes because I haven't learnt to tip toe around sensitive people and topics just yet—though I am trying to learn. I also say things that are unpopular or abrasive because I have been a prisoner in many ways for much of my life and I will not go back to that. I will not be quiet. This causes me some scrapes and misunderstandings (I apologize a lot out of necessity). Yet, anyone who cares about me knows that if we can just talk it out long enough, you can get to the heart of it with me, and things are made right.
I learned about apologizing and talking things out from my dad. He wasn't well-educated, but his West Texas roots and upbringing taught him to make things right when things go wrong. He was a professional apologizer and good at helping you come around to seeing where his heart was in a situation. He gave me intangible tools for navigating my world. Sometimes I wonder if he knew I'd need his imperfect example from which to gain these tools . . .
And that brings me to where I am right now, today, in my journey to becoming who I am meant to become and the inspiration for me sharing some of my layers of individuation with you.
I have this friend, who I've never met but know what he looks like (thank you, Instagram) and have a sense of his sense of humor (thank you, Twitter), and he has made me smile, without ever having heard his voice or knowing where he lives, and he made a simple comment to me that I had missed—until yesterday. It is one sentence, but sometimes one sentence can be life-changing, especially when negativity gets force fed to you on a daily basis by the truckload. It showed me that I do make a difference—not only as a mother, sister, or daughter; not only in my neighborhood; not only at church; not only at school or even in person anywhere I may be—but I make a difference with people who I probably will never meet in any tangible way. I've been shown this before, but I needed to be reminded. I know I needed reaffirmation of this something that I hope to be true because I was feeling low and humiliated. I was feeling like I don't matter and that my goals are unachievable nonsense. Life has become a suffocating mess for me as of late, and this one sentence whispered encouragement into my heart to keep reaching.
I want you to know this is gold to me, treasure beyond price. Throughout my process of individuation, I have come to know that this is what I want out of life; to make a difference is my life's work. I hope that, as I move forward from this point, I will be able to keep this treasure in my pocket of remembrance. The so-called red but actually purple onion will stand as my reminder because no longer could it "just be an onion" again, thanks to my friend, "a Texas guy in Colorado . . . Lover of the Perfectly Flawed."