I've been down in the dumps lately because I feel that my writing is getting nowhere, not being read, not affecting or inspiring anyone. I leathered my spirits and shrugged it all off; what does it even matter? I always fall back on existential views for comfort.
And so I stopped writing. Which, if any one of you dear, darling readers knows or feels, is like suppressing the need to cough or scream or cry. It is physically painful to not write.
I woke up to this morning to an email from the editor of Thought Catalog. It's just a little literary website where anyone can submit a piece, list, journal entry, etc. But the email was so touching. Lance, the editor, said that the article (a list of why being homeless was the best thing to happen to me) I submitted "was a great piece, you have an incredible story to tell, and you tell it quite well."
My heart shook a little.
Coming from a completely stranger, this was one of the most encouraging things I've heard. In the past, whenever I tell or explain to someone (friend, lover, teacher) about my life it usually ends up being used against me as criticism or they judge my family and our experience. I guess it's not too shocking to then say that I usually lie about my childhood, and it has only been this past year that I have been able to come to terms with it and look back at those times with a smile rather than a shrug.
This truly reinstalled my faith in kindness, something I'm always trying to spread. Even the comments below my piece on Thought Catalog were genuine compliments, no judgment, no criticism, just appreciation. People were thanking me for opening their eyes to my experience, which has always been my goal as a writer. I only know one side of the world, and that side is something not many have experienced and hopefully, to a certain extent, never will.
You can see the article in all its glory here: Thought Catalog Homeless Piece
Granted, the article is right up there with "7 Pokemon on being in a Pokeball" but the fact that a handful of people took the time to read, respond, and react to something so raw a personal is a true gift.
I am forever thankful of kindness
- The Diligent Gypsy