I have always been afraid of writing. Not so much because I have difficulty with grammar, spelling, or even coming up short on ideas, but because I have an unbelievably difficult time focusing. I was diagnosed with ADHD sometime around when I was 6-years-old. Throughout elementary school I was, without fail, the last student to finish their essay. In attempt to help me focus I had a tutor that came to my house to walk me through speed writing exercises. During college I took the majority of my “in-class” essays in a Disability Resource Center that provided me time plus time and a half to write.
So, why am I starting a blog by writing about my fear of writing?
Here’s a quick story I heard from a psychology professor during Undergrad.
There once was a woman who went to her friend’s house for dinner. Upon arrival she noticed a dog whimpering in the corner. At first she pushed it out of mind, but it persisted throughout the evening. As her curiosity finally hit a breaking point she could no longer stand the poor dog’s quiet, but incessant whine. “Do you mind me asking what is wrong with your dog? It has been whimpering all night,” she inquired. The owner replied, “Oh, him? He is laying on a nail.” Astounded she exclaimed, “LAYING ON A NAIL?! Well, why hasn’t he moved?” Her friend answered, “He hasn’t moved because it doesn’t hurt bad enough yet.”
We often find that change happens when it is more painful to stay where we are at than it is to move forward. I would be willing to say that almost every form of therapy is revisiting and addressing some pain that an individual has intentionally/unintentionally closed off so that they might finally grow. Following a recent conversation about the art of telling stories with Film Maker, Pastor, and Public Speaker, Jared Callahan, I was left with a valuable lesson that builds upon that idea: “The treasure that you most deeply seek lies in the cave you are most afraid to enter.”
Although I began this blog entry by talking about fear, I am not particularly starting a blog to confront a fear of writing. I started this blog by talking about my fear of writing because a story that begins with honesty and vulnerability is much more compelling than just an explanation of why I am blogging. It also better provides me the ability to leave you all with a closing thought that sandwiches everything together (foreshadowing). Don't worry though, I will answer the question of "Why a Blog?"
I am starting a blog because I can only communicate so much in a 4-minute song. I am starting a blog because I am bursting at the seams with ideas. I am starting a blog to hopefully instill empathy in others. I am starting a blog to put the spotlight on friends and acquaintances whose voices have been historically shushed. I am starting a blog to connect with you and provide a space that allows us to interact. I am starting a blog because reading is good for the brain. I am starting a blog to pass along the information I have been privileged to learn during my Undergrad in psychology. I am starting a blog to continue to grow as a writer. I am starting a blog to do my best to highlight good stories, because I know that good stories change us.
A prime example of two people who are telling good stories that bring about change are my friends Ben and Levi Dulay. Following the unexpected death of their brother, Josiah, in April of 2012 Ben and Levi founded 777 Collective. A clothing line built upon the belief that “…everybody is a storyteller and that each story matters.” Ben recently gifted me a shirt with the words “Professional Storyteller” printed across the back in bold letters. The idea is simple: Each of us is the absolute best at telling our own story. To continue with writing references, I am constantly surprised with how frequently others author our stories. It is beautiful to me that Ben and Levi have literally built a company around supporting autonomy within our own stories and inviting us to gain a more holistic view of reality by weaving our stories together. I REALLY LIKE this goal. I truly believe that life is better when we do our best to integrate the experience of others into our scope of reality.
In the future, be prepared to read something between the waters of psychology, spirituality, sociology, neuroscience, art, philosophy, and practical application. Expect to hear from diverse voices on these topics. I “might” be repeating myself, but I truly believe that life is better when we do our best to integrate the experience of others into our scope of reality. Spoiler: I will guaranteed be writing more extensively about this in the future.
I would be elated to hear your thoughts. If you are ever reading and have insight, if something strikes a chord, if you have a suggestion, if you like or dislike what is said, anything really, do share in the comments below! In that same vein of thought, make sure to refer any friends that you think may enjoy the content. This blog is to be able to connect better with you. So, help me make that happen!
To say that I am looking forward to being in touch with you about these ideas is a drastic understatement. As a start to that process, what nails are you laying on? What caves are you afraid to enter? Don't just contemplate. When you are ready, tell someone. Easy enough for starters, right? Don’t forget to learn more about 777 Collective and Jared Callahan’s work. If you haven't already explored my website, scope out the content! Links provided below or scroll to the navigation bar at the top!
With Much Love,
Photo by Ben Dulay