The title of this post conjures up several images. Some of those images are quite flattering and sexy and others are the images that I wish I could wipe from my memory. Spoiler alert – this post has nothing to do with anything remotely related to nudity, apart from the flagrant display of flashing in the image below. (sorry)
When we are authentically naked, when we truly bare ourselves, we are baring our souls, not our bodies. We let others into our hearts, our minds and our dreams. All of the hypocrisy is stripped away and we are left naked with no false fronts to hide behind. We bare ourselves here on our blog sites, with our words, and we run naked through the blogosphere. We put more honesty and integrity into our words because, here, we feel comfortable in our skin. Here, we feel like we are representing our true selves. Here, we feel a kinship with like-minds and we feel a comfort level that truly allows us to just be who we are, stripped of any preconceived notions.
Our thoughts and prose give us permission to expose ourselves. The only shroud we hide behind is the blanket of our truth and our musings. We leave the most important part of ourselves open for all to read and, in that part, we find the inner strength to continue our journey. Our inhibitions are no longer stifling us from exposing our innermost thoughts and feelings. We feel accepted in our natural state.
We do ourselves a grave injustice and we add nothing to this world if we cloak ourselves in any cloth that hides who we truly are. To be completely ourselves, to be truly naked, we need to trust in the path we follow. We need to believe that the people who are near and dear to us know the true essence of what we represent, and we need to feel that the people meeting us here for the first time understand the inner workings of our brains.
Be honest in your writing, let it reflect who you are, and don’t deny your readers the opportunity to see you as you truly want to be seen. Let them into your mind. Let them see you naked.
It crashed. It simply crashed and, for a few panic-stricken moments, I didn’t know what to do. The internet went down at work yesterday afternoon and I felt like a Roombot slowly spinning in circles, bouncing off of walls and random pieces of furniture, lost in a world that was absent of instant communication.
I was moderately frightened for myself when I realized how much I have come to rely on technology. The increasing ease and speed at which we can sail through mundane tasks makes me forget my humble beginnings of pen-pals and library sessions with encyclopedias and the Dewey decimal system. I have become a member of a mutated generation that is driven by immediate knowledge and gratification.
I feel somewhat sad that my nephews, who are currently 15 and 12, and like-generations, will never understand what we had to endure to communicate with our friends. Gone are the days of writing letters in long hand (do kids today even know what that is??), putting those letters in envelopes, dropping them into a giant mail box and waiting weeks, maybe months, for a response. Making long distance phone calls to a town 15 minutes away is a thing of the past. And don’t even get me started on the friends who didn’t have answering machines. I’m sure I still have phone numbers burned into my finger tips from dialing them incessantly until somebody finally answered the phone.
Our society has gracefully surpassed hand written letters, DOS programming and the annoying pings and bleeps of the dial-up connection but throughout that process we seem to have lost a bit of our patience. If a text message is not responded to immediately, we think we are being ignored. If an email goes without a response for 24 hours, we question if we have offended the recipient in some way. And (God forbid) if the internet crashes, our world seems to crumble right alongside of it.
I am certainly not saying that technology and all of its advancements are not wonderful things. If that were the case, I would not be pontificating my polysyllabic profundities through this medium. I am simply stating that we are so anxious to feel instantaneously connected to everything and everyone that we forget how to merely connect to ourselves and slow down the pace of our lives, if only just for a moment.
I feel the need to purposely unplug for a day. No Kindle, no texting, no surfing the web. I want to put a touch of history into how I spend the hours of my day. I want to write a letter, a real hand-written letter, to the friend in Halifax who will only send letters this way. I want to hold a paperback novel in my hands and I want to be able to have my brain work the way it was trained to work and not just be distracted by the millions of images on the internet.
The internet may have changed how we communicate, how we learn and how we conduct business, but it should never have the power to change us or the things that make us infinitely human. Technology is just a tool. And although it can teach us many things, patience and a capacity for perseverance are not contained in its syllabus.
Blogging is a fickle mistress. Back when I started this journey I had no followers and no clue what I was doing. I just wanted to write.
With much persistence and an avid desire to keep writing, I did just that. Along the way, people began to read what I had to say and, not only that, took the time to make comments and leave their two cents about the words I had spent so many hours crafting into submission. Those were blissful times in my life and, as the momentum continued, I gained new followers and new friends throughout the process.
But as with all things that change, and contrary to the subjective saying, nothing every really stays the same. Life gets in the way and those little joys that were once so ingrained in our daily lives are shelved to make room for reality. During the last three summers, work has taken a front seat while my creativity has been stored in a tool box in the trunk of my life.
Every autumn, I find the key, open that trunk and hope my creativity has maintained some of its shape during the bumpy rides it has been made to withstand. Although the integrity of my imagination seems somewhat intact, the struggle to achieve the same level of contact with readers and followers seems to wane. It is the fault of no single circumstance and it simply means I have to delve back into the vigor of writing that I had when I began this wonderful pilgrimage through written expression.
I have sworn to be diligent, not only in my writing but, in my covenant to be a good follower of all the blogs I have chosen to support with my likes and comments. I have been inattentive, through no fault of my own, and have made a pact with myself to make up for my negligence and become more of a presence in this world of words, especially with those who have stuck by me on this ride.
Relationships of every kind take effort. I look forward to challenging myself to put forth my best effort to post things of meaning and to post them often. I look forward to mending fences, creating new connections and having my little typewriter appear in many areas of this blogosphere and throughout the other worlds of people who love to read.
Sometimes it feels like only your keyboard will listen to you, but if you keep at it your audience will grow and you will find your true voice. ~ SN
“Always remember, your focus determines your reality.” ~ George Lucas
I have been neglecting myself lately. And my 24-hour period of sleep last week was a glaring reminder that I must slow down and begin to put my needs ahead of everyone else’s needs. I am still fending off the same cold that knocked me down last week and I am hoping after two consecutive days off that my body will begin to heal itself.
My physical condition withstanding, I have also realized how many things I have put on the back burner over the last few months. My blog posts have been suffering. My blog reading has been non-existent. And the things I love doing, like making soup or reading a book, have been put on a shelf and left to collect dust.
But today, that momentum has shifted. I am making myself a “vision board” so I can focus on the things I want to do for myself. I have sketched and decided on a design that I am going to have tattooed on my wrist. I have been thinking about it for a while but have finally given myself permission to take that leap.
The infinity symbol is a message of empowerment – anything is possible. Carpe Diem is, not only my email address but, my mantra – seize the day, something I have been failing to do recently. The butterfly represents my mother and the owl represents my father. It is a perfect blend of all the things that have the most power over the person I am each day and the person I want to continue being.
On day one of my two days off, I currently have two different pots of soup simmering on the stove, the ingredients for a killer Chili in the fridge and my fingers are flying over the keyboard as I type this post. I feel like I am finding myself again. I feel happy knowing I have begun to assimilate to the creature I enjoy being. And I feel the most elation by knowing that I have retrained my focus and begun to put myself first.
It never ceases to amaze me – the amount of hours one works in the real world is directly proportionate to the eradication of the creative mind in the artistic world, especially following a long season of working in the hospitality business.
I remember my Physics teacher in Grade 11 throwing around words like ‘inertia’ and ‘for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’ but I don’t remember studying the direct correlation of physical exhaustion to prolific brain death. Sure, the basic functions in my body still happen – I breathe in and out, I walk and talk, but the rest of me seems to be on autopilot – like that object in motion that tends to stay in motion.
I want to be an object at rest and I want to remain at rest for at least 48 hours. I want to have my brain back – the brain that wakes me up at night, swirling words around in circles until I can grab them all from those cartoon word clouds above my head. I want the ability to form those words into whimsical, thoughtful or romantic lines and be able to feel that creative flow coursing through my veins.
I wonder what Newton’s theory would be on my chances of winning the lottery and being able to spend my precious moments writing a best-seller? Time + creativity = true bliss. Until that moment, I shall struggle through the hours required at my job and hope my brain can keep up the frantic pace until Thanksgiving comes and goes. Then, and only then, will I finally be able to strip myself of my frenzied schedule and bathe myself in lethargy.
There is a palpable energy in the air in my small town – a feeling only locals can understand when we are within arms’ reach of getting our town back. The Labor Day Long Weekend is upon us and, for those who are fortunate enough to have Monday off, that means a three-day weekend. The multiple-lane highways that once allowed travelers to reach our vacation destinations in Muskoka are already becoming congested in the Southbound lanes and the stress levels of those trapped in their cars in slow-moving traffic is escalating exponentially.
But as the tension increases in those turtle-paced vehicles leaving our little piece of paradise, the stress in the minds of the locals slowly abates. Faces that have not been seen during the summer daylight hours slowly peek out of their windows, tentatively gauging the right time to re-emerge from their summer hibernation and engage in the life we left behind a few months ago.
The summer is over. We have survived the tumultuous invasion of a population that we graciously accept for two months, although their civility leaves much to be desired. We have overcome the barbarity of those who demand instead of ask, of those who expect instead of request.
And along with the manners of our city guests, my writing brain and my spare time to read have been held hostage this summer but the window of those long-lost opportunities has finally been cracked. The breath of rekindling those passions has been blown into the stale air that I have been breathing the last few months and the breeze of creativity has begun to churn the dead leaves in the corners of my mind. There really is light at the end of the summer tourism tunnel.
I hope you all had a great summer and I look forward to greeting the many faces, and blogs, I have missed over the last couple of months!