One of the things Amy told us at the start of Personal Essay was that the mark of a good personal piece is to speak to a larger audience than just your own eyes and ears. Humans share experiences, though sometimes we think we're alone in our emotions, and if you have the ability to articulate the feeling an event provides, then do it because it will undoubtedly speak to someone else.
That's the thing about things like moving across the country or being hurt by someone you loved: you're not alone in feeling lost, alone, scared, angry, hurt. And I hope that by reading about someone else's experiences, it can help to ease whatever anxiety or pain is bottled up inside the soul.
There may never be answers for some of the things that happen in life, but it doesn't mean we need to write it off as unimportant. As a new year approaches, I think it's important to start looking back and moving forward rather than looking back and staying put as I've done so often this year. It will be 2013 soon, and I want to continue to experience new sights and new people. I want to continue dreaming. I hope to look deeper beyond news flashes and learn more about the world. I think I need to reflect on the last three years I allowed myself to be used and discarded, and maybe I'll never understand why it all happened this way, but perhaps I can regain my strength to love someday.
There's a passage from Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking that sums it up best, and what I hope explains why I write and why I write so candidly and unafraid:
"This is my attempt to make sense of the period that followed, weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I had ever had about death, about illness, about probability and luck, about good fortune and bad, about marriage and children and memory, about grief, about the ways in which people do and do not deal with the fact that life ends, about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself. I have been a writer my entire life. As a writer, even as a child, long before what I wrote began to be published, I developed a sense that meaning itself was resident in the rhythms of words and sentences and paragraphs, a technique for withholding whatever it was I thought or believed behind an increasingly impenetrable polish. The way I write is who I am, or have become, yet this is a case in which I wish I had instead of words and their rhythms a cutting room, equipped with an Avid, a digital editing system on which I could touch a key and collapse the sequence of time, show you simultaneously all the frames of memory that come to me now, let you pick the takes, the marginally different expressions, the variant readings of the same lines. This is a case in which I need more than words to find the meaning. This is a case in which I need whatever it is I think or believe to be penetrable, if only for myself."Cheers to more words that mean more than empty promises.