I am unusually good at becoming fond of people who write personally.*
Bear in mind, a passionate editorial in the school newspaper can be personal. But more so when people go into long-winded soliloquies about their lives, usually through the platform of rhetoric.
In these moments, when I click and read what the author has to say, I see them differently. I feel as if I’m walking past their room in a house, and have happened to eavesdrop on a conversation they’re having with themselves.
In these one-on-self exchanges, a variety of emotions I may have never imagined them capable of having play over their faces. In those emotions, I see myself. I nod as they convey each thought, shake my head vigorously in empathy as they express a feeling we, as young adults, have all shared.
It’s not intimate, because it’s not an exclusive exchange, and yet it is intimate. It’s intimate because when you write on a blog, or a Facebook note, or some public platform like that, you’re trying to get a universal reaction. In that moment, your own vulnerability is showing. Because you see, when you talk personally like that, it’s between you and the world.
And maybe even more so than ‘seeking approval’ or ‘seeking to improve’, I seek to participate in this exchange. If we use the metaphor of me walking past you by yourself in your room, talking to yourself, then the way I respond and bring myself into the conversation is by writing, too.
When I blog here, I let people know that I also have a voice that I want heard. The things this voice says, however, are provoked by what others say. I want you to know that you have a meaningful part to contribute, cause when we talk/blog back and forth like this, we don’t even ever have to talk directly to one another.
By writing, we are digging deep into our hearts, visceral reactions stirred by others. So it’s not so much the content of both that forms a direct dialogue; it’s the fact that stuff is being put out there that ties me to you.
I, the person walking by, see you and also see myself. When you write, I love you more, because I see that you are also making the effort to think critically. You push past appearances and remind me of how we are all tied together. We have the same DNA, we have similar emotions, but the fact that we have different thoughts that can be digested differently by one another is what makes us all love one another.
Sometimes it’s enough to read quietly what you chose to broadcast so publicly, and in that moment feel less alone with my own thoughts.
On occasion, I may walk on my way past your room, but maybe on other occasions, I’ll stop, knock gently on the door, and creak it open a bit more.
Then we’ll sit face to face and talk about what I heard, and a true marriage of ideas will take place.
I love it.
*This was originally meant to be a Free Write Friday, but it changed into something more. Oh well.