Sunday, December 30, 2018

Be Impeccable With Your Word

Well, hello there. It's been a moment, hasn't it?

I loved blogging when I started way back nearly 15 years ago. But like most first adopters, I've ridden the wave of oversharing, over-connecting, and the inevitable digital hibernation that followed. I've curated, edited, followed, unfollowed, subtweeted, pseudotweeted, unplugged,  and otherwise engaged with social media in the stereotypical fashion.

This blog was a huge part of my life for many years, but I put it in a box with mothballs when I felt like I needed to be serious and credible. I was growing my career and didn't feel like product reviews or personal revelations correlated with my path. And in some ways, I was right. However, with wisdom and age, I realize that blogging can still have relevancy, even for people seeking a little self preservation.

This form of writing - or reporting, as I started this as a journalist wanting to tell stories in the infancy of blogging - is certainly more casual, and often more personal. I like those qualities. Casual writing gives us wordsmiths an opportunity to play and self-indulge - two things that I support. And personal stories - well, I prescribe to the tenet of gonzo journalism that says you can't write about things you don't know.

This is the point in the blog post where I would normally start with a non sequitur about my being the village idiot who learned a few things along the way. But one thing I learned over the years is to not degrade my self-worth. Self deprecation is one of my coping mechanisms, and people say it is endearing. However, too many cutting quips can create a reality that doesn't exist. So, I am going to say I can be clever on occasion. That's threading the needle, Isn't it?

I do miss writing about things I like and care about. Maybe it's a thing discovered on a trip, or maybe a thing discovered in myself. The human experience is great topic for storytelling, because sharing it has the potential to create bonds and establish connections that otherwise would go undiscovered. As a child I was taught that it was rude to ask personal questions - any personal questions - and so I overcompensated by oversharing; I deeply hoped a wisp of any of my stories would resonate with the person I sought to know.

Instead, it was often regarded as narcissism. It still is.

2019 brings with it new opportunities and goals, and one of mine is to read more books. I consume a lot of news online daily, but struggle keeping pace with my New York Times subscription; I have many electronic and printed books left unread. I've resolved to read more original content and my first goal is to read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz the end of New Year's Day. I'm already a quarter of the way finished.

The book offers four pearls of wisdom that intend to make life simpler and more peaceful. The First Agreement is "Be Impeccable With Your Word." A strong correlation with the sentiments of the fifth paragraph above.

The other agreements are wise, too (Don't Take Anything Personally, Don't Make Assumptions, Always Do Your Best), and promise transformation and a life in the direction of truth and love.

This year, I am working on wordsmithing the hell out of what I say - to both others and myself.

I hope this new year brings you peace, opportunity, and adventure.

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