Saturday, January 2, 2010

Closets (and the exiting thereof)

A few years ago, a friend told me about a unique commemoration of the National Day of Silence that was held at her university. The idea was, instead of being silent, to say something of particular importance--to come out of the closet. They built a doorway in one of the central quads, and invited anyone who wanted to to walk through the doorway and say something--anything--that they had been keeping a secret. Everyone has things they don't share with others, whether out of legitimate fear of discrimination or just of looking silly or being embarrassed. Most people came out of pretty petty closets--that they harbored private adulation of Star Trek, that they still hated to eat their vegetables. But some people did come clean on bigger things, too.

I was a fascinated by the concept of openness, and the idea of celebrating the freedom of coming out of our self-imposed closets. Sometimes we put such weight on the things we keep secret--even on some big things it's often unwarranted. I've had one person come out of the closet with me--"the" closet, not the "I secretly love eating straight butter" closet--and while I respect how difficult it was for him to do so, you know what? For 95% of the people who know him, it not only didn't change our opinion but we already kinda knew anyway.

So I thought about what I would say if I walked through that doorway from nowhere into openness. What do most people not know about me that's intrinsic to who I am and how I function?

I write novels.

Yeah, they're not published. They might never be. But I write them and I'm working toward publication, so it's fair to say: I write novels.

And because this is something that's pretty important in my life right now, I'll be blogging about it more. For one, I could use the support and ya'll knowing what's going on. More so, writing helps me explore and process--so writing out some of my thoughts on, well, writing might just help out the bigger picture, too.

What would you say if you walked through that doorway? Something worth thinking about as a new year opens up in front of us!

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