I’ve got a motto. I didn’t write it myself, but it’s something that I read years ago and it stuck with me. It is, as this blog post is titled, Mitch Albom’s line: Nothing haunts us like the things we don’t say.
I think this line summarises my blog pretty well. Recently, prior to another exciting Beth/Lilly photoshoot (coming soon!), Beth Roach Photography and I discussed our blogs: what inspires us to write – and what we feel we should write about. I was explaining that I find myself on the fence between a blog that has always been quite personal and raw, and a life that has its private and personal elements, which I want to remain just that.
It’s a difficult balance to strike. I’m not sure I’ll ever completely know if I’m striking it correctly – if there is even such a thing as ‘correctly’ – but I do believe that it isn’t as black and white as ‘you share things online, or you don’t’. People who post every day may still have a private life that you are none the wiser about. People who post occasionally may be more open about what their life is like. (And I think I’m realising that there is, in my view, no right or wrong way to be).
About 6 or 7 months ago, I decided to make all of my social media accounts private. (And I’ve seen only two episodes of You so far but I already feel like that was a decent decision…) – as a blogger who wants to be *seen* and gain new readers whilst I share stories and details about my life, this felt like a risk. I told myself I’d switch it back after a few months, but as of yet the profiles are still hidden away. It’s not that I don’t want people to know about me, what I’m doing or what photos I’m posting on my Instagram (and these photos still show up on my blog anyway!), but I guess I have grown accustomed to that sense of privacy. I quite like it. I like knowing who is viewing the content I put out there and I like being able to decide if someone should have the right to see it. Obviously, with The Life of Lilly, I can’t do that. And I don’t want to do that. But I do find myself thinking more and more about what I want to say and who I want to say it to.
But with all that being said, I still feel myself being drawn back to my motto. Nothing haunts us like the things we don’t say. When I’ve got something to say, something that is itching to be out there, then I feel a responsibility to say it. Why? Because a) if I don’t, I’m not being true to myself and what this blog represents and b) because I like (read: try) to write words that matter. I like to write about things that resonate: they feel raw to read because it’s content that you can empathise with. So I talk about the whole host of emotions that float around in my world rather than letting them ‘haunt’ me. Not only is it cathartic, but it might just help somebody else figure their things out too.
And in another sense, this motto of mine is a message to anyone who needs the courage to speak up about things: whether that’s telling someone you have feelings for them, or voicing your concerns about something, or anything else that might have a positive impact on your life. The way I see it is: you have two choices. You either say the thing, or you spend the rest of your life wondering what would have happened had you said it. You’ll know if it’s the right decision, because you wouldn’t even be thinking about it if it wasn’t important.
And I wonder how much better life would be for us all if we said the thing.