Men + Myself + God

Tag: blogging

What We’ve Forgotten…

by P. Braithwaite

I’ve forgotten what it means to write for myself. So much of my writing journey has been about longing: longing for my father to respect my craft, yearning to be paid for my work, yearning for more readers and recognition. The longing was palpable, it would keep me up at night or force tears from my eyes, but the irony was that the longing was an incubator. The yearning was safer than the achievement of my goals. Though I wanted more (and still do), I was content being ignored. There is a freedom that comes with no one to disappoint.

There’s something pure about the ability to easily please yourself.

I’ve forgotten what it means to write for myself. I’ve forgotten that, at the core, I am a kid with a stutter who uses letters to articulate the sounds she can’t pronounce. I’ve forgotten that writing is my safe space, and if there is anything that life has taught me it’s that we must be fierce about protecting the places we feel safest.

The world is large and challenging. People are holograms disintegrating and reorganizing before our eyes. Our communities are unstable, and it’s not going to mellow out anytime soon. We must protect the ports we find within our storm. We must anchor ourselves to the things that help us through. We must never forget our own gratification because the paradox is this: the more we indulge ourselves, the more helpful we are in the world.

I don’t know if I believe in religion. I don’t know if I will ever find a path, but what I know is that if you have a pathway to your inner temple it’s time to make the pilgrimage, and if you know where the altar is: be it within yourself, your yoga mat, your journal or your blunt, kneel before it in supplication.

Reverence is never a bad thing. All things are spiritual and filled with joy making potential.

I’ve forgotten what it means to write for myself.

Luckily, I’m beginning to remember…

 

Where’s your safe space?

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Field-notes from Hiatus

by P. Braithwaite

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(I dedicate this blog post to my FIRST EVER blogging class students, who have inspired and challenged me to show up in class, in life…and on this blog.)

There are a million reasons I haven’t been blogging: laziness, busyness, preoccupation with binge-watching Downton Abbey. The idea that once you fall out of a routine, the hardest thing is getting back. Or the fleeting thought that I can’t write a blog and a book at the same time (I can). Writer’s block? Blogger’s blog? Beyoncé?

The truth is… Read the rest of this entry »

Learning to Swallow Fire (#31writenow, #nablopomo)

by P. Braithwaite

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As of today, I’ve blogged for 22 days straight.

For some unknown reason, I committed to blogging every day of August for Luvvie’s 31 day blogging challenge called #31writenow. And it’s also National Blog Posting Month. I didn’t realize how hard this would be.

I’m trying to write real posts.
No shortcuts.
No quotes.
As few quickies as possible.
Honest sh*t…every day.
By me.

In typical fashion, the Universe has used this opportunity to teach me some painful valuable life lessons lessons. I’m talking deep tears and upset stomach lessons. My blogs have made my mom upset. My posts resulted in a few hate emails. On the flip side, my blog has lead me to connect with new blog friends. And, early on in the challenge, the author of my favorite book tweeted that my blog was “wonderful.”

Moments of high praise and high blame.

And so, many nights of this challenge, I’ve gone to bed deeply questioning my motives — why do I write? What do I want to say? Who do I want to be? Do I need to change? Is what I do valuable? How does this compulsion ‘fit’ into my life? Am I hurting the people I love? What am I trying to accomplish?

Some of those questions are hard to answer.

And yet, because I’m committed, every day I published a new post (usually scheduled before bed). No matter what push back or challenge I’ve faced…I continue to live and speak my truth.

The challenge isn’t over but I’m proud…

More than that, I’m learning to be proud of small victories — writing when it’s hard, standing behind AND for myself, understanding the power and impact of my words, and forgiving myself when my words unintentionally hurt.

I’m learning to feel fear and…do it anyway.

I’m also learning to tango atop the line between what I share and what don’t. It’s a clumsy dance that I’m not really good at, but I will be…I’m sure of it.

These aren’t lessons specifically about blogging; these are milestones on the journey to owning and wielding personal power.

So today, I encourage you to be proud of your journey. Know that, no matter what mountain there is for you to climb, you are strong and powerful enough to scale it.

You are powerful. Every single moment provides a little bit more proof.

Celebrate small victories. Be proud of the steps you’re taking. Swallow fire, choke on it and feel the burn inside your belly…

Eventually, when it’s time, you’ll release it.

And so it is.