I am participating in 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes 2018 (all of my submissions can be found here).
Today’s prompt is: TALK
I have seen numerous aerial views of the damage created by Hurricane Michael in the days since the storm hit. (I don’t have any I feel totally comfortable sharing due to crediting appropriately, etc., but there are several here.) The problem is — it’s really hard to tell what exactly has been damaged. It’s obvious that the area is devastated, but it’s impossible to get down to the granular level — living rooms where families laughed/cried talked together, decks from which seasons of sunsets and sunrises were enjoyed. There’s too much to take in, and not enough all at the same time.
This is a slightly awkward transition to make, but it’s bugging me so here goes.
A while back, I wrote a blog post about gender reveals and why, although I definitely feel “to each her own” on this, they make me uneasy. I stand behind every single word, and heck, a guy was fined $220,000 for accidentally causing a fire with gender-reveal incendiaries!
However, a Facebook “friend” shared the post in a group that was primarily geared toward women who have dealt with IVF issues, and they were NOT PLEASED.
***end of five minutes — oh well!***
I get it. They come at this entire experience of childbearing and pregnancy having walked a searingly difficult road. I tried to be civil, empathic, and courteous as my opinions and my writing were drug through the mud. Eventually, the woman who had shared it to the group unfriended me on Facebook.
Since she hasn’t blocked me (yet), I can still see how her much-wanted pregnancy is progressing. And I wish I could tell her how happy I am for her.
Here’s the thing about choosing to write, especially opinion pieces. We writers often don’t know who is reading our content. We can get a sense from our Google Analytics, but we never completely know. We’re high up in our opinion drone, not fully sure what the effects are on the ground.
I have to write what I believe, although I always try to do so respectfully and with sensitivity to all sides. If we weren’t true to ourselves, OUT LOUD (meaning on the screen or verbally), we really wouldn’t be creating any kind of image at all, aerial or on the ground. I don’t operate that way. I’ve said often I write as much to work things out for myself as I do to inform, entertain, advocate and educate, but it hits home when a “friendship” (such as it was) is lost.
I have a feeling a talk I’m never going to be able to have with that one person would be more effective than the multiple personal messages I sent empathizing and explaining that I was sensitive to her hurt feelings.
Sometimes the aerial view doesn’t cut it, whether it’s evaluating storm damage or navigating our personal relationships.