Living Out Loud
“Is it too much?” I asked Sally. We were walking along the beach, heavy surf pounding and strong wind making it a bit difficult to talk.
“Is what too much?”
“The blog,” I said. “Is it too much?”
“Too much how?” asked Sally.
“I don’t know,” I said, shaking my head. “Too much. Too Aspie. Too emotional. Too revealing. Too scary. Too off-putting.” I sighed. “You know. Too much for people.”
Now it was time for Sally to shake her head. “I don’t think so, no,” she said. “Not judging from the comments you’ve been receiving. I think people need you to write how you do and say what you say. Natalie Goldberg says to ‘go for the jugular.’ I think people need you to do that. Maybe you could even turn it up a notch. Really let it out. Say the things that feel even scarier to say.”
The metaphor was appropriate, I thought. I wrote a post in my previous blog called “Blood on the Sidewalk,” about my tendency to expose my emotional life online.
“It’s how you live out loud,” Sally continued. “Just like the characters you love in movies and television: the ones who live out loud. They expose their inner lives. So you can understand them and relax a bit in their presence. There are other people who need that just like you need it.”
I thought about that. I don’t really want to write a blog that’s trying to achieve something. That has an aim to persuade or teach or convince or create change. I’m having fun writing a blog for the first time in my life, and it’s largely because I’m not trying to convince anybody of anything.
But maybe I can achieve apart from convincing and persuading. Maybe sharing my experience will just… help somehow. The thought of that frightens me for some reason. I do not know why.
I nodded. “It’s scary,” I said.
“Yeah,” said Sally. She squeezed my hand.
We kept walking.
The surf kept pounding.
The wind kept blowing.