Exploring the Neutrals

Well, I guess I’m blogging now.

I feel like I should clarify just in case anyone stumbles upon this blog in the hopes of finding opinions on great neutral eyeshadows or how to pair a neutral sweater with a different shade of neutral pants: sorry, you probably won’t find this to be much help (although I do love a good neutral eye palette and I essentially live in tan and gray).

In the spirit of full disclosure, no one asked for this. No one came to me and said, “Hey Brenda, you don’t talk enough as it is, maybe you should consider doing even more of that in a blog?”

And yet…

It all started when my professor had us write an op-ed for class. I’m not so sure why the assignment terrified me so much; I’m getting a Master’s degree in Mass Communication, so you would think I’d be chomping at the bit to spew out some opinions for a grade. But the thought of letting other people read my thoughts was not appealing.

And yet…

So I liked it. No, I loved it. Because really, I have always loved writing. I’ve never given much thought about whether I’m any good at it or if anyone even cares because it hasn’t ever really been for anyone else. I’ve just always found comfort in letting my thoughts become text. Seeing them on a page in front of me helps me to untangle the knots that cloud my head. But I didn’t expect to feel such gratification in taking the process that I have loved and quietly carried so close and making it public. I definitely felt exposed letting my classmates and professor see my stances and, even worse, give me feedback on them, but the whole process was ultimately, and surprisingly, quite rewarding.

And now, in an effort to expand on that process, to expand my experience, and to expand myself (to be very Lizzie McGuire about the whole thing), I’m taking a leap and doing… this. Again, in an attempt at being candid, I have to say that this is a big leap for me. I struggle with anxiety and I have this irrational fear of, well, people. I’m a creature of comfort. I keep people near me that I trust and talk (incessantly) to, but if you and I were to meet, you would probably think I’m standoffish or reserved. Truthfully, I’m just anxious. And the place where that fear dissipates for most people and is replaced with an emboldened sense of self, this Internet-land, actually scares me just as much. Because… trolls, man. The trolls are alive and thriving.

But in reality, the trolls would have to find this blog first for that to even be an issue.

So, back to the neutrals. Why “Every Shade of Neutral?” Well, I find myself in the middle a lot. I’m mixed, my mom is Latina and my dad is white, meaning I have always identified as simultaneously both and in-between. I’m also, like arguably a lot of other 20-somethings, still unsure of where I stand on a lot of hot-button issues. I instead remain quiet, feeling out-voiced. And then there’s the irony of my two conflicting traits; I’m an anxious introvert who has a lot to say but no courage to say any of it. So in many aspects of my life, I find myself in this middle that maybe isn’t really neutral, but sure does seem to pass for it.

I’m not exactly sure where this is headed, but I do know that there are quite a few shades of neutral to explore.


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