Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about transparency. Having just finished reading Unfiltered, Lily Collins’s newly released memoir, I must admit that even in the days following its conclusion, the words have continued to resonate within me. Not only was I consistently captivated by her various stories, but often found myself identifying with many of her experiences. Like other books that I hold dear, I’ve discovered parts of it still lingering in my mind, influencing my thoughts and my words.
As a writer, I’ve always done my best to uphold a certain level of transparency. I strongly believe that the best things in life are created out of sincerity and passion. It is for this same reason that I often draw from my personal experiences when writing. And although transparency is something I value and try to maintain, admittedly, this virtue seems to stifle outside of a creative atmosphere. Anyone who knows me can confirm that the paper-me is much more open than the real-me. Perhaps it is both a blessing and a curse, but often times I am far more able (and far more willing) to depict my thoughts on paper than in person.
At first, I thought this was okay. I thought distancing myself was okay because my thoughts were still able to manifest through my writing. After reading Unfiltered, I’ve learned the importance of speaking up, not just in print, but through my actual voice. It taught me the significance of being honest, and how simply sharing a thought, whether deep or seemingly trivial, can impact myself and others. It taught me that a verbal discussion, no matter how difficult, is necessary for meaningful change. Above all, it taught me that speaking to others in an honest and genuine manner is essential to our journey, both individual and collective.
And I realize that achieving this will take time- especially for someone like me who is so used to hiding the deepest parts of herself in the corners of her stories. It may be difficult at first, perhaps even uncomfortable, but I often find that anything worthwhile comes at a cost. In the words of Lily Collins, “The time to be unfiltered is now. No shame, no regrets, just me.”