I have watched seven episodes of The Office while writing this. I've scrolled through the entire dress section of the Topshop website, despite the fact that they are all severely overpriced. I have eaten two chocolate chip cookies along with a cup of milk, and suffice it to say, I have procrastinated writing at all costs.
I text my friend, "I am writing." I feel like if I text her this, the words will be forced to come quicker and I can go to bed. Also: accountability. Also: sometimes it's easier for me to talk about writing than to do the actual writing itself.
"What are you writing about?" She replies.
I sigh and look at the journal I haven't touched in weeks, then back at the blank screen with the agonizing, and frankly condescending, blinking cursor that mocks me. "I have no idea."
Why do we write -- to inspire people? to tell our truth the best way we know how? to escape from how we are feeling inside? Tonight I ask myself that same question over and over and over again: why do you write, Aliza?
To live an authentic life.
That, to me, is the truest answer right now. It varies from time to time, but for now that's why I write. I want to live an authentic life -- fearlessly authentic, if we're being truthful. I'm realizing that doesn't mean I'm not scared, because Lord knows there are so many days where I'm scared of so many things. Recently it's been the utterly terrifying thing called vulnerability. Which I think feels less like bravery and more like hurling myself off a ledge. Unfortunately in order to be authentic, you have to be vulnerable. It's a two-step process, and all the guac and chips in the world won't make it easier. (Although guac and chips do make some things easier.)
The problem with writing blog posts is that in order to live an authentic life, you have to practice what you write. Maybe that's why I haven't written much lately.
I was telling my friend this the other day, while driving under a mix of stars and city lights. It was late. Or maybe it was just really, really early. I can't remember. But I told him the same sentiment I wrote above. I said to him, "I have a serious problem. If I write something, that means I have to live it. I mean, I guess I don't have to, but I'd like to be as authentic as I can be. It's hard to write things only to have to live them out."
He laughed and said, "Maybe that's what you should write about then. How hard it is to be authentic, but how much you'd like to try."
So this is what I'd like to say: it's hard to be authentic, but I would very much like to try.
Flannery O'Connor said all the things best that I wish I had said: “If I ever do get to be a fine writer, it will not be because I am a fine writer but because God has given me credit for a few of the things He kindly wrote for me.”
That's authenticity, if you ask me.
So I think I'll be scared, and I think I'll keep feeling like I'm hurling myself off a ledge when I'm experimenting in vulnerability, but I'll try to be authentic all the ways I know how. And, to steal from Flannery, if I ever do get to be a fine writer, it will not be because I am a fine writer, but because God has given me credit for a few of the things he kindly wrote for me.