Words from my heart
Kennedy Fraser is an essayist and fashion writer. I had never heard of her until last week. The textbook for my journalism class referenced Fraser for honest, vulnerable writing—writing that “seizes” attention. Her courage came from other women writers, like Virginia Woolf, who used their journals, diaries, and letters to share intimate true-life stories. Those stories pulled Fraser through lonely times, reassuring her she wasn’t alone.
That’s why I read—to not be alone. I knew this long before I came across C.S. Lewis’ famous quote, “We read to know we’re not alone.” And I write to pass on the message—you are not alone.
So—encouraged by Fraser and Woolf—I offer you one of my journal entries from this past summer. Nothing shocking, but a step toward being a little more vulnerable.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 – 8:11 P.M.
Last day of the month—feeling DOOOWWWNNN. What a roller coaster, even with taking antidepressants. Geez! The MLS all-star game is on—recording it for Jaime. I think they’re playing Romania and losing 3-0.
Anyway . . .
I recently found two websites that turn text into nifty-looking quotes. Ideal for Pinterest. Yesterday, I spent hours transferring my quote collection into pin-able little ditties. So much fun! A great diversion from bills and dishes and laundry. And please, somebody tell me why in the world I can’t get my white towels white! Maddening!
As I pinned my inspired little heart out with quality quotes, Ralph Waldo Emerson whispered in my ear: “Stay at home in your mind. Don’t recite other people’s opinions. I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
Uh-oh. I confess I’m better at reiterating what other people have said. I’m constantly saying, “In a book I read once . . ..” Or, “An author I read said . . ..” I hesitate to voice my opinions with confidence, especially when I’m talking with Jaime. Why is that? He’s so sure about what he thinks.
When I try to express how I feel or what I believe, I feel like I have to convince him. I shouldn’t have to convince anyone.
On the other hand, now that I’m in back in college, I’m being reminded that arguments are a good thing: “ . . . making an argument—expressing a point of view on a subject and supporting it with evidence—is often the aim of academic writing. Your instructors may assume that you know this and thus may not explain the importance of arguments in class.”
Aha! Being married to Jaime is actually good training ground for my writing. Maybe I need to listen to Emerson and let go of my quote collection, and instead dive deeper into my discussions with Jaime, even to the point of being frustrated. A little fire in my belly wouldn’t hurt. Sounds like the perfect strategy to discover how I REALLY feel about things.
Jaime just got home, and I’m going to tell him what I’m writing. Maybe it will spark an argument.