Letting Go of the Unnamed Others

It has been brought to my attention, albeit a bit rudely, that my family does not appreciate my writing about them. While the positive comments seem to elude them, the perceived "negative" ones have not. One of the Unnamed Younger Ones even went so far as to say in an email "You have an undeniable capacity for elevating a trivial issue to the top of a pedestal formed of your own stress."

This comment, along with four more paragraphs of comments arrived in response to an article I wrote last night about the attitudes of 18 year olds. In my defense, I might add that I wrote mostly about a friend of mine's daughter and my response to having an 18 year old who is about to leave me for the larger realm of "The World" and college.

This led to another family member saying I was "obsessed" with my blog, that I am unaware of how critical I am of them, and that "It's not writing. You don't get paid for it. I don't understand why people even do it!"

Sigh. Anyway, after all that feedback I took "The Dark Side of The Moon or I Have an 18 Year-Old With and Attitude" down.

I spent the rest of the morning wondering, why, as a writer, mom and human being on the planet, do I do write this blog?

When Dad was dying I wrote because I couldn't let my feelings out any other way. I couldn't trust my voice to work and I didn't want to lose my shit with my father or my family. I felt, rightly or wrongly, that I needed to be strong for them.

But I also write as a way of checking in on "Normal." I write to identify with other people who might be going through the same things, or have been in my shoes. I write to hear what you have to say. It's a way of connecting.

I write because, as I writer, I can't not write. I try out new ways of writing here and the feedback helps shape my next, money-making, writing gig.

I write because while my life is fairly ordinary, I think it's interesting and amazing and I want to share it. I write about the people who are important to me, the people I love; because they are the core and center of my world.

I write because before we can grow we to say goodbye to where we are now, and that poignancy is something I wish to share.

Frankly, I think I write a lot more about my own foibles and mistakes than I do anyone else's. I am far more critical of myself, I think, than I am of others.

But those "others" have rights as well. So, I will try not to mention Them anymore.

I felt very sad about choosing not to write about them. Those Unnamed Others have been such lynchpins in my existence. They matter and I am proud of them...but sometimes they also piss me off. It's all part and parcel of loving who they are.

I wondered what I would write about if I didn't write about Them, which led to realizing what important roles they play in my life and how hard it will be to let go of them. This led to the reality that soon my nest will be empty and the hole will need to be filled. I will need to find other interests, other people, other activities to fill up the spaces their day-to-day living up under my wings has filled.

This is not necessarily a bad thing.

I'll just be practicing letting go a bit ahead of schedule.

P.S. Just so you'll know in print, and in case you hadn't already gathered it from prior posts...The Unnamed Younger Ones are outstanding, brilliant, good people who, to quote directly from one of their emails "Don't do anything wrong." And the Unnamed Others? They are very good housekeepers. When I said I had a lot of catching up to do upon returning from New Bern, it was by no means intended to reflect upon their domestic skills. They were not expected to do the things I had left undone. They did a marvelous job of keeping my house and Unnamed Younger Ones together and I will always be indebted to Them. Their care for my Unnamed Younger Ones was what made it possible for me to stay with my Dad when he needed me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are a writer, and while I try to write, I am by far a better photographer. It is my opinion that 95% of all photographs are bad. Maybe the light was wrong, the framing was off, or my subject made a silly face. That said, I do not believe in deleting a single photo ever. Years from now I will be able to look at these 'bad' photos and maybe something in the background will catch my eye that I did not realize was there, and that in turn sparks a memory that would have gone otherwise forgotten. My wife and kids disagree with me, as do all of my other subjects in the 'bad' photos. I stand by my view though and with a little luck, I will be able to prove them wrong in a few years. Maybe your blog and my photos have something in common. They both just need to cure a little, then they will understand.