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  • Writer's pictureBeth Pandolpho

Trying to Let the Good Be Good Enough

I haven’t posted to my blog in months.

I both have a lot of good reasons for this, and also do not.

The first reason was because I was busy writing a second book. My plan was that after our manuscript was completed and out for review, I would return to my blog.

Yet, as life often has other plans, my dad suffered what I will call a series of very unfortunate events which inevitably led to his death.

I could say, for the benefit of those to whom that seems glib, that he passed away. But “passed away” seems too light and airy for what happened to him, to our family, and to me. So I’m choosing to say that my dad died because that represents more accurately how it feels - raw and shocking, and still so devastatingly final. Also, I’m not sure it’s really my responsibility to make anyone else feel better about it, maybe with the exception of my mom, my brother, and my kids.

Another reason it has been (and continues to be) difficult to post to my blog is because I’m very hard on myself. I always have this looming fear that a particular post is somehow not ready or not quite good enough. (Which I know is absurd because IT’S A FREAKING BLOG!)

The irony here is that I am quite generous with other's imperfections; I'm a literal fountain of quotes about how we shouldn’t let “perfect be the enemy of the good” and that “we don’t have to get it together before we show up”, and that one about the man in the arena, and daring greatly and all that. And I know these to be true, but I’m am much better at offering that advice to other people rather than to myself. I did attempt to mitigate this obstacle by reducing the frequency of my posts. I thought, perhaps, I could then hold myself to my unreasonably high standards under less of a time constraint. But alas, it didn’t work.

As I’m trying to think through the obstacles that have inhibited me from writing, there is yet another reason that I haven’t written a post. You see, I both have things to say, and at the same time, I have an urgent need to keep things private. I can’t exactly seem to find a balance here. Keeping a journal seems self-indulgent and not sufficiently cathartic, and yet my blog somehow feels too revealing.

I actually find it funny when web developers reach out to me offering to help increase traffic to my website, because I’m not really looking for traffic. I'm just seeking maybe a few, kind passersby who want to come for coffee, sit awhile, and maybe share a story of their own.

Which leads me to my final problem. Although I generally set out to write about other people’s work, like what I’m reading and listening to, inevitably, my personal business keeps leaking out into my writing. I try to shove it back down, and yet there it is. I’ll admit that more than once I’ve clicked publish, only to wake up in the middle of the night to open the app on my phone to click “unpublish”.

So all of this is to say that I don’t actually have an answer. What I have are questions: Is there a way to feel heard without feeling vulnerable? Is there a way to release what’s on my mind and get some relief without feeling completely exposed? Can I write what I think without being judged or criticized? The answers, I know, are “no” , “no”, and “no”.

What I do know is this: What is the point of writing if you can’t express what is true for you?

I will click publish for this post, and hopefully muster up the courage to begin posting on some kind of regular basis very, very soon.

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