High school is probably the most awful place to try to be honest. I wish it wasn’t, but that’s a truth of my own experiences. There’s nothing worse than talking about something you love and being ignored. And mocked. And told to shut up.
Those sorts of experiences closed me off until I could develop a thick enough skin that I just stopped caring what those people said. Putting yourself out there and being wholly honest is a difficult thing to do, and it needs to be celebrated. If someone is speaking from the heart, they deserve to be treated with respect. So often this is not how people react, but people only act like that because they’re not putting themselves in your shoes. Treat others how you wish to be treated. We must uphold this ideal if we’re to encourage openness and warmth,
Having said that, there are occasional gems of luck. Being honest grants you the opportunity to find someone who’s just like you. You might not expect it, but they’re out there. The internet is a powerful equalizer and gives people a springboard to find communities they would otherwise never have encountered. And for all the ignorance and hate that exists in the world, I know there is also someone out there who will celebrate and support you for who you are. Seek, and you shall find. There is someone out there just like you.
Lots of love, people.
Today at work I spent a shameful amount of time sneaking looks at my phone to read blogs, reply to blogs and read replies to blogs. And reply to replies to blogs.
I had no idea communicating and socialising in this way could be so much fun! I’m not really a social person: I’m not outgoing, I don’t have lots of friends and I don’t really talk to people I don’t know. These facts do not just apply to real life, they also apply to facebook and internet forums. I actually used to find the virtual world more intimidating than the real one.
So what changed? I always loved reading, and I’ve been writing for a few years now. So like many aspiring writers (well, aspiring to make a living off it – I know I can put pen to paper) I began reading up on the liberation of self-publishing. The conclusion to the self-published world seemed to be: build an online presence. I cannot network or sell myself at all in the real world but blogging opened up a new avenue for me. I started to think about what I would like to blog, and I thought about what could help my writing. Book reviews were an obvious choice – I could talk about books I liked and explore why I like them, thus improving my own writing skills. But I had to do something else, didn’t I? So I set myself the challenge of writing short-and-sweet bit-sized stories that would fit a blog.
Suddenly this brainstorming session breached beyond the usual barrier that awaits any project I usually come up with. I was excited to blog. I was excited to challenge myself and invest myself into something new for me.
What I didn’t expect was how much I would love the other side of blogging: the community. You other bloggers out there don’t just share my interests, we also seem to share the same values. Many of you are kind and considerate and polite and just so welcoming! Far from the trolls that lurk in viciously opinionated forums and the people who I befriend on facebook because I think they’re nice, then turn around and start posting highly prejudiced rants and rape jokes on my news feed. That sort of stuff just keeps me away.
But in the short time since I made an account with wordpress, I found people who present consistently positive and engaging attitudes. I’m actually really shocked. There are people on the internet who are…. genuine?
I will be sure to meet more of you in the future, kind strangers.