R.S. Williams

All I want is to get the words right.

Page 3 of 53

Wednesday Photo: 7/26/17

“Still Life with Hash Browns”
Waffle House #646
LaGrange, Georgia – 1 July 2017

© R.S. Williams (all rights reserved)

 

An Awkward Blessing

Although it sometimes causes me heartache, I’m grateful to be shy, reserved, awkward, and worried. I’m grateful to be enthusiastic, creative, and a little strange. I’m grateful to be supportive, loyal, and encouraging in spite of the tremendous cynicism that surrounds us.

Plenty of people, of course, would find all this wrapped up in one person to be a tragedy—a cause for deep, enduring shame. For years, I did, too. But now, in my forties, I’m beginning to understand the blessings of my natural quirkiness.

Being me means being highly sensitive. As a writer, I recognize and value this gift: the ability and willingness to experience strong emotions, to be unafraid of my feelings, to identify deeply with others’ fears and hopes, joys and pains, wishes and failures. Even though my emotions sometimes overwhelm me, my closeness to them reminds me what it means to be human. . .what it means to be fully, completely alive.

I know many sophisticated, urbane people. I admire them. But I never have been—and never will be—one of them.

Not that I haven’t tried. For a long time, I hated myself for never fitting into that crowd. I hated myself for being essentially openhearted and goofy, for my comfort in showing and saying how I feel. Much later, I discovered that so many of those jaded, worldly people tremble with fear at the thought of genuine human connection.

Once, I envied these folks. Now, I feel awful for them. As I once did, they too hold themselves to a false standard of behavior that doesn’t match who they really are. They wear the mask of their inauthentic selves because they believe that’s what they have to do for others to accept them. On some level, most unconsciously recognize that this lie leaves them strangely empty and unsatisfied.

Everywhere I go, I meet them. I extend to them kindness and patience. And I say a little prayer that one day, they’ll shuck off those masks, allow themselves to feel, and finally start living.

But sometimes, despite all this, I’m still afraid to show others my true self. What if they don’t like me? What if they reject me? What if my contributions aren’t welcome? What if I’m weird, unacceptable, unworthy, unlovable?

No matter. I’ve learned (and relearn all the time) that everyone feels this way. We’re all terrified that others won’t love us as we are. In that spirit, holding back who I am helps no one. If others don’t care to include me in their circle, that’s all right.

I can’t control what other people think. I can control only myself. It hurts when I discover that others find me too unconventional for their tastes. But I’m willing to risk the hurt, to risk looking like a fool, because the rewards are priceless for every one of us.

I’m grateful not to have lost my emotional edge over the years. I’m grateful to be me—awkwardness, eagerness, and all.

Photo: Self-Portrait No. 2, 13 September 2016

© R.S. Williams (all rights reserved)

Note: First published on 11 April 2014, this post appears here with revisions.

 

Hillside Monday: 7/24/17

“For Wes, Part 2”
LaGrange, Georgia – 9 July 2017

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Friday Photo: 7/21/17

“TEST ONLY/Not For Art Work”
LaGrange, Georgia – 24 June 2017

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Wednesday Photo: 7/19/17

“Whitley, with Yellow Cherry Tomatoes”
Heard County, Georgia – 4 July 2017

© R. S. Williams (all rights reserved)

 

Hillside Monday: 7/17/17

“For Wes, Part 1”
LaGrange, Georgia – 9 July 2017

© R.S. Williams (all rights reserved)

 

Friday Photo: 7/14/17

“A Quiet Moment in KC”
Kansas City, Missouri – 13 June 2017

© R.S. Williams (all rights reserved)

 

Wednesday Photo: 7/12/17

“Waiting on a Train, Part 12”
Kansas City, Missouri – 13 June 2017

© R.S. Williams (all rights reserved)

 

Hillside Monday: 7/10/17

“Creeping Color”
LaGrange, Georgia – 24 October 2014

© R. S. Williams (all rights reserved)

Friday Photo: 7/7/17

“Self-Portrait with Porous Concrete”
Kansas City, Missouri – 16 June 2017

© R.S. Williams (all rights reserved)

 

Wednesday Photo: 7/5/17

“Peach Crush”
Kansas City, Missouri – 13 June 2017

© R.S. Williams (all rights reserved)

 

Hillside Monday: 7/3/17

“Back Yard, Monday, 11:25am”
LaGrange, Georgia – 13 July 2015

© R. S. Williams (all rights reserved)

 

New piece up at Madcap Review!

My latest piece, “First-Year Seminar,” is now out in Volume 6 of Madcap Review! Go read it!

Photo: Self-portrait at Cochran Gallery, LaGrange, Georgia – 20 January 2017

 

Friday Photo: 6/30/17

“Mosaic Bluebird, KCMO”
Kansas City, Missouri – 18 June 2017

© R. S. Williams (all rights reserved)

 

Wednesday Photo: 6/28/17

 

“Waiting on a Train, Part 11”
Kansas City, Missouri – 13 June 2017

© R. S. Williams (all rights reserved)

 

Hillside Monday: 6/26/17

“Asphalt, Trees, Power Lines, Puddle”
LaGrange, Georgia – 19 April 2015

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Friday Photo: 6/23/17

“Something (Not) Borrowed”
LaGrange, Georgia – 23 July 2015

© R. S. Williams (all rights reserved)

 

Wednesday Photo: 6/21/17

“Still Life, Wednesday Morning”
LaGrange, Georgia – 11 March 2015

© R. S. Williams (all rights reserved)

 

New piece up at Writing about Writing

My latest piece is now up at Writing about Writing! Check out “Feeling Stuck? Join the Club, and Try These Tips to Get Writing Again.” I’ve shared a long list of helpful things that can help you—yes, YOU!—break out of that painful writing slump. (And Lord knows we all have them.) The link is here.

Many, many thanks to Chris Brecheen at Writing about Writing for this guest blog opportunity! (Subscribe to his updates. His site is hilarious and helpful. Chris saves my authorial hide all the time.)

Photo: “Self-Portrait in Back Yard (9 September 2016)”

 

Hillside Monday: 6/19/17

“Detail, Restored Coca-Cola Mural, Doc Spier’s Place”
LaGrange, Georgia – 24 October 2014

© R. S. Williams (all rights reserved)

 

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