Write what you know. That’s what I’ve always been told. But the question that always pops up in my mind at this sage advice is “What do I know?”
Sadly, being the overly insecure person, my initial answer to that question is usually not a good one, but I’m learning that my life, my experiences, though unique to me, are simultaneously universal.
We all have experienced fear, heartache, depression, elation, hope, tears, pain, hate, faith, disappointment, joy, restlessness ….you get the point. One of my goals for CoffeeDribble is to assure others that they are not alone. Though the situation may be different, somebody has gone through similar or felt what you are feeling and this is a platform where that can be shared, where we can vent, laugh, cry, and be united in trying to survive life.
I write nearly every day for this blog and yet I am lucky if I make two posts a month. Why? Because I fear that what I have to say isn’t good enough, or polished enough to share. But life isn’t perfect. I’m not perfect. And my writing certainly isn’t perfect. And it doesn’t have to be.
What do you know?
I know I hate the cold but love the beauty of a good snow day. I know my kids are my world and that my world is ever changing. I know I hate waking up, so much so that sometimes I cry, but I love the quiet of a world still sleeping as the sun slowly rises. I know I am complicated and that I have many thoughts but seldom know how to convey them. And I know I am not alone in any of this.
It is hard when we are at a low point to remember that we are not alone. There are friends, co-workers, family members, and even strangers that genuinely care about your well being and how you are doing. When I was going through some of my various hardships and hurts, being able to talk about it, even cry about it, was a relief but not always necessary; sometimes I just needed the distraction and being around someone else provided that temporary reprieve.
Do not assume what others may think or how they feel.
Working with the public in pharmacy, I am told many stories, sadly not always happy ones. I genuinely feel their pain, frustration, and fear as they relay news of a loved one having cancer, somebody passing, or the hardship of juggling finances. I don’t have to know these people to empathize with what they are going through, I just have to recognize them as a human being.
Perhaps that is one of the reasons why the world, particularly my country, is in the state that it is, because we forget to look at ALL people as human beings that are simply doing the best they can. Not all will make good choices, I know I’ve made plenty of mistakes and will continue to do so because I am human, but we can love and be kind despite the mistakes. Snow, so pure and white, gets dirty, but it is still snow nonetheless.
We are not alone with our feelings, imperfections, and struggles and that alone makes us all the same. Disease, love, hunger, hope, death….none of it distinguishes between religions, skin color, gender, education, jobs….and neither should we. See the human being who is simply living what they know.
As a new United States President is about to be sworn in, the victims of the pandemic continue to rise, and the world seems so chaotic, now, more than ever, we need to remember we are not alone. Smile with your eyes. Say a kind word. Be gentle. Be patient. Be empathetic. You don’t just have to write what you know, live what you know. Learn from your experiences and allow them to connect you to mankind. You never know who you could be helping when you share your story, often it is yourself.