a safe place to be

When it comes to writing, where’s the line between honesty and self-absorption? Between oversharing and sincerity? I don’t think highly enough of myself to believe that everything that happens to me is interesting (it’s not), but also, I’ve learned a few things through my experiences, and I’d like to think they might be valuable to someone else.

The writers that I cannot get enough of are heartbreakingly, stunningly honest. They pour out the rawest parts of themselves on the page for a stranger like me to read, and I don’t know that I trust people enough for that. I don’t know that I trust myself to be strong enough, to not let it break me. Where does that leave me?

Maybe that’s what I’m trying to carve out here: a safer place (at least the illusion of it—it is still the internet) to experiment and explore and be a little more vulnerable than I can be on social media. Maybe not the inner workings of my heart, soul, and journal entries, but still, something deeper and quieter than the never-ending feeds and breaking news and scroll, scroll, scroll.

I’m just tired. Tired of the noise, of the constant extremes. It’s as if the internet has divided into two camps: one that only wants to be happy, “follow your bliss” 24/7, and another that believes if you’re not constantly devolving into cycles of burning rage, you aren’t doing it right (looking at you, Twitter). Can we just be okay with the fact that humans cannot permanently live in either of these emotional states? To recognize that, collectively, 2017 was an awful year, but also, it’s okay to acknowledge that your personal life went pretty well? We can experience more than one or two emotions. It’s okay to hold a whole lot of feelings about a whole lot of things in tension.

A few things to help guide this space:

  1. This is for writing, not for marketing. Honest writing is the goal here, not making money.
  2. Along the same lines: I’m not interested in adding to the noise or creating content for the sake of clicks. I’ll share when I have something worthwhile to share (even if I sometimes think it’s only worthwhile for me).
  3. I don't have answers, only stories. I’ll probably write more about myself than I feel comfortable doing because, well, that’s all I’ve got.
  4. If you aren’t interested, that’s okay; just keep moving along. (Pro tip: don’t hate-read. It does literally no one any good, especially you.)
  5. The comments will mostly stay closed, but please feel free to send me an email anytime. I’d love to connect, and will do my best to respond in a timely manner (but be forewarned that I am the worst with email, and if I take awhile, it’s not personal)

I hope to show up here a whole lot more in 2018. The more I write, the more I realize just how much I need to. Even if that’s all I get out of this, maybe that’s enough.

Brittany Stoess