For the last few months I’ve been turning on my laptop, opening up Microsoft word and staring at a blank page. It’s not that I can’t write, or don’t want to write. It’s more like I’m scared that once I start typing, all the very private and personal events that have happened in the last few months will flood the pages in some weird written version of verbal diarrhea. Some things should just remain private, right?
I have that option.
I was thinking about this while watching Rihanna’s interview with Oprah. I was already a fan, but Oprah has this way of making people so relatable that I couldn’t help looking at her as if she was one of my friends (side note: Does anyone else feels Oprah’s sole mission on life is to make the viewer cry? And by “viewer” I mean me). It wasn’t the way her neighbors in Barbados referred to her easily as Robyn or the way she tearfully admitted to still loving Chris Brown. It was something as simple as her admitting she’s lonely sometimes and how hard it is to let someone go when you’ve made space for them in your heart.
The feelings are simple to identify but the hard part, the getting through it part, is a war between your head and your heart. I think we forget about that until the moment we go through it. A close friend going through a breakup once told me my straight forward no nonsense advice, while appreciated, came across as unsympathetic.
I know what it’s like to stand next to someone I love and feel like I’m the only person in the room. Or how difficult it is to let go of the good memories etched in a broken heart. For Rihanna getting through it publicly has to be incredibly difficult. But, I have to admit that sometimes letting things off your chest, whether it be to your friends, on tv or on a blog can be cathartic. It’s easy to have an opinion and tell someone to get from point A to point B forgetting the journey in between.
That’s how I felt every time someone would ask me to write something. Every time I received an email asking me if I’ve disappeared. It seemed it was as easy as opening to a blank page and letting the words flow. Except deciding how much I was willing to share stopped me cold. The easy option was deciding not to but if there’s one thing I’ve learned is that taking the easy way out doesn’t teach you anything. Doing something that makes you uncomfortable, that challenges you does.
Opening up about that uncomfortable incident in 2009 and how she still battles with her feelings made Rihanna just a 24-year-old woman not an international pop superstar to those watching. Actually typing on to a blank page made me start writing again. I still think that certain things should remain private but not at the cost of robbing me of something I love to do, like write (although I’m pretty sure no one visits my little corner of cyber space anymore). But like Rihanna sharing a little, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you, may not be so bad, everyone can use a little catharsis any way they can get it.