Article for the June edition of Mornington Peninsula newspapers.
Since I first discovered forums and blogging as a teenager, I have always done a lot of writing not only online but offline as well. I have always considered myself to be a writer (and an author) in some way, shape or form for most of my life. And yet, I write these articles and write for my websites all the while holding the ‘default’ assumption that no one actually reads what I write, let alone that I could write something that inspires someone to feel something.
It’s a rather strange assumption for a writer, but there it is. However, life doesn’t ever let me get away with that kind of thinking for long. I get reminders, wonderful reminders, that people do read.
Jumping back to my last article, my best friend from childhood, Alexis, decided – once and for all, as far as I’m concerned – that I am no longer to be a part of her life. While it feels cliché to say that I wish her well, I truly do. She seems to be at an uneasy place in her life, and I know what that’s like. I hope she finds peace.
That being said, I don’t so much forgive her for the emotional and mental turmoil she has put me through, but I do accept it. Even more so now.
Not long after my article about Alexis went out, I received a letter (via the paper) from someone who was moved by what I had written.
I have noticed that people who hate something are ten times more likely to say something about it than someone who loves something else is likely to speak up about that. Positive feedback has become a rare thing. So to say I was shocked to receive the letter would be a bit of an understatement. The word ‘gobsmacked’ comes to mind.
It’s always been my philosophy that the goal of any piece is to create a feeling within the reader. It’s not always accomplished, but when you do, you know you have created a real piece of writing. While I had been writing from pure emotion in the last article, I still didn’t expect any sort of response. And what a lovely response it was.
To receive a letter from someone who not only understood what I felt as a person who left what I knew but who added new perspective to an emotional (for me) situation was beautiful. So often it is easy to be unsure of how you feel, of whether or not you are right in your view of something. This letter not only provided that validation, it made me feel a lot less alone in regards to knowing what it’s like to leave your home.
After reading the letter, a sort of peace came over me. If a complete stranger could see what I saw in the situation with Alexis, then I couldn’t be completely wrong about her, could I?
I’m reminded of something I was told in childhood and have always taken to heart: Never let one bad apple spoil the batch. What I mean to say is that this letter reminded me that it takes all types. For every one person who abuses you, breaks your trust or breaks your heart, there is one person out there who understands. Don’t let one person spoil it all for you.
If I had done that so long ago, I wouldn’t have gotten close to my new, beautiful best friends. I would think every mother was horrible, every father is distant, every man will eventually hurt me and that getting stomped on is just what people do to each other in life.
But I don’t. I look forward to being a mother, learning from the wonderful mothers I know. I know my husband will be an amazing, albeit with a strange sense of humour, father. I look forward to meeting even more interesting, amazing people.
Most of all, I look forward to more of those little reminders that I’m not alone.
Truly, to all the people who take their time to read what I have to say, thank you. I appreciate it more than words enable me to express. It’s wonderful to know that, occasionally, when I prattle on, people stop to listen. And to the person who went to the trouble of writing me a letter, a heartfelt thank you to you, too.
Until next time…