A year ago, I started this blog as my 2012 resolution to simply write more. I started writing at a young age and it soon became my primary outlet for expression. It’s true what they say about middle children – we are creepily quiet and should be kept at arm’s length. We can be found befriending house plants, peering out behind pillars, being left behind at the airport while our families board airplanes. We sulk for attention but once we get it, we want nothing more than to run from it.
Sandwiched between a very extroverted older brother and a younger sister who practically tap danced her way out of the womb and into the spotlight, I have always dodged attention, perhaps both intentionally and not. As a result, I have always had the tendency to keep my thoughts to myself. I’m not sure if this a middle child thing or just an Erin thing, but I would rather do anything else besides express how I feel. Like, I would rather lose friends than tell them I miss them; sit through a hundred miserable first dates with boys I’m not interested in than tell one boy that I like him; wear head-to-toe beige for an entire year than let someone know they’ve hurt me.
For the longest time, writing was the only way I felt comfortable expressing myself. You know how we wrote 5 paragraph essays in school? The little nerd I was did that in real life situations. In the 5th grade, I wrote a 5 paragraph essay to my principal about how my bus driver was very rude and drove like a maniac and then I got my friends to co-sign it. I handed it to the principal, precautioned, “Please read this when I am out the door,” then hightailed it out of there. I may have been severely shy but I still had a voice to be heard, dammit! and I was willing to write hundreds of 5 paragraph essays if that’s what it took!
And in a more recent time, I was upset over some guy and instead of talking to him, I turned to tumblr and wrote a very angry letter. We are friends now, but have never discussed the matter – or that very public blog post– to this day.
My problem with writing is that I’ve long used it as a crutch. I can put down all my thoughts, hand you the letter and run away so I don’t have to deal with the aftermath. I can vent out my frustrations in my diary and it will be almost as good as doing it in person. I can share the mundane details of my life on my blog without having to gauge if you’re bored and want me to shut up.
The thing I’ve realized is that the shy girl in 5th grade who worried about what others thought really needed to write in order for her voice to be heard. But the me of 2013 has outgrown the reliance of cryptic song lyrics in an away message to convey thoughts. And so, in the spirit of the whole “new year, new me,” I am going to commit to a resolution. It’s not enough just to write more this year, but to say more this year. Although I can’t promise that l won’t still use twitter to secretly profess my love for cute hipsters who make eye contact with me at the kale aisle of Whole Foods.