The following is an excerpt of an email I received from a fellow open-saloner. Following the snipit is my response to its author. I felt the need to post this because I figured that I am not the only one who has experienced situations like this. I hope someone else can learn from this as I have.
“That's the way I used to be able to write - once - now I just cant anymore - the mind is numbed and the spirit feels bogged down with murk. I wish someone here would write something that would stir the soul and lift the spirit and we can all be in flight again and range the skies like we used to
but now its all depressing posts about addiction and sickness and mom bashing and Sheen bashing and alchoholics struggles and death and you know, things that pull you down into a hole instead of pulling you out into the open
you are twenty something - you work hard - you are a survivor - heres hoping you can show us a world that only twenty somethings can know about - write about music and big dreams and about your twenty something mind and heart which you would lose in another eight years - you are already growing too fast because of all that's happening to you –“
I've been stewing on this email for a few days now and after re-reading it feel poised to make a response. I was a bit turned off at first, to be honest. The sort of jumping back and forth you do between what seems like praising me for my youthful zest and cautioning me of the inevitable plight of adulthood makes me question your true message here. I can't say that I understand your skepticism. As you said, I am only twenty-something (23 to be exact). But saying that I am "already growing too fast because of all that is happening" to me was a statement that I feel crossed the line.
I respect the fact that I know little to nothing about you. I can tell through your sentiment that things aren't going great (or at least weren't at the time you wrote this). That hardly gives you the right to pass judgment on my growth. I don't know how much of my writing you have read, or scanned over, but I can assure you that while my worldview may come across naively optimistic, it is because over the last year and a half I have been battling some of the darkest demons of my life, and to quote the great Charlie Sheen…”I’m WINNING!”
I know…that was a bit shameless.
I totally understand that by putting myself out there on the World Wide Web I am vulnerable to such criticism. I get it. In fact, _____, I would like to thank you for binging this to my attention. I can only hope that you get to a point in your life where you can see the world through those same 20-something goggles that used to look so good on you! I may be 23, but I am certain that my happiness is not contingent upon how long ago I got my belly button, it revolves around how I choose to enter the world each and every day.