Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Connie, a fan letter
I have just finished catching up on the last year in the life of Connie, author of several awesome blogs including Naked Food Cafe, and founder and leader of the forum of the same name.
I have been a fan of Connie since way back, when she had blogs that may not even exist in cyberspace anymore... I remember the old Naked Food Cafe with high-fat raw recipes. I remember her blog after that with the blue background with psyfi graphics, although the name escapes me. I remember Banana Island and how upbeat and positive it was, with beautiful pictures and yummy recipes. I loved Connie's writing style; her intelligence, wit, curiousity and magical imagination. I never, ever was bored when I read her entries, and I often felt thoughtful, inspired, and uplifted for hours afterwards. And then of course, there was Connie's kindness, her openness and tolerance, and her interest in others. She always took the time to answer comments, and to read and comment on the blogs of others, including mine. When I moved, Connie sent me a simple hand-made housewarming gift, a gesture which I still treasure.
I always wondered, though, if a person could be "real" in a blog. Certainly in my own blog, I felt that there were times when I was only portraying a part of my feelings, or a fragment of my experience. When Connie abruptly posted that she was leaving Banana Island to follow the McDougall Diet in the interest of family harmony, I felt confused. Huh? What did I miss?
Imagine my delight to catch up Connies most recent blog entries and see a whole person revealed. When Connie shared her moments of fear walking in the park after a young girl in her town was killed, or her moments of shame when she found herself in a fast food drive-thru, in spite of her best intentions, her moments of frustration as she wrestled with her compulsion to battle with the number on the scale, and her triumph when she kicked that scale to the curb, suddenly I realized... Connie is showing me the way. It is safe and ok to live my life out loud in front of others.
In the last year, I have been to the abyss. When my husband and I broke up, I believed I didn't have a single friend to turn to... No one to give me a big hug and listen to me pour my heart out for hours. But the truth was, I probably could have reached out to a number of people. I could have blogged and gotten support and encouragement from those far away. I did not, because I was ashamed. I was ashamed to tell the truth about my feelings. I was afraid to appear vulnerable. I was ashamed to be honest about behavior that I regretted. Paradoxically, obeying my fears created the things I was most afraid of... loneliness, despair, loss. The more Connie shares about her struggles and her regrets, the more she seems to grow in confidence and radiance. Opening ourselves to truly experience our fears and sadness also opens ourselves to truly experience joy and true friendship.
So, a shout-out to Connie, for inspiring me yet again. I will now confess that I have a secret fantasy that I will show up on Connie's doorstep this winter to get a hug and a smoothie. Just not a grapefruit one, 'k? LOL! Love you!