a little east of reality

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

me and the blog

I've been asked before why I blog. It's a good question, but one that is hard to answer. I like to write, but there's a difference between writing for fun or relaxation or to comment on political or social issues or just life, and writing as a craft. I might work for weeks on a 400-word story or a poem, but that isn't going to happen with a blog post. And it shouldn't. It's more natural to just write and only edit for correctness. It's like the difference between snapshots and paintings, and the blog is more like a photo album than an art gallery.

Because of this, I sometimes worry that what I write on the blog is largely superficial. That isn't to say that I don't ever write about issues that are meaningful to me, but most of the time they are issues that are out there in the world and not about me personally and my own life. Some of the reason for that is that the most personal things (worth writing about) are hard things and it's difficult to open yourself to the vulnerability writing about them entails.

I don't write very often about things like the deep lonliness I sometimes feel, or how frustrating it is to feel like I have this immense capacity for loving that I never get to express (at least haven't for a long time). I haven't been in that many serious relationships, but those few were pretty good. I was good at loving them (obscure Christian Slater movie reference anyone?) I hope I get that chance again with someone I like and respect.

I've spent my whole adult life caring for, teaching, supporting and generally emotionally investing in other people's children and it's painful to realise that I may never get the chance to raise kids that I get to keep instead of give back. To be honest I've never even really cared whether or not I gave birth - I hate it when people say you have to bear a child to be a mother, because it isn't true. But the difference is that when you do give birth, you really have to screw up for someone to take that child away. When you don't, you have to wait for someone to allow you the privilege of raising a child, and that's rare. A couple of years ago a close friend of mine and her partner were basically just given a baby. I wish it were that easy for me. If someone dropped a child off on my doorstep, I'd have to change my entire life to accomodate them, yet it would be an easy decision to make.

These are the things that I don't often say, because they are ever-present and if I blogged about them all the time it would be a very angsty blog indeed. Generally speaking, my life isn't so angsty. It's busy and challenging and sometimes lovely. And sometimes not.

The other reason I don't blog about personal things a lot is that I'm (perhaps too) aware of my audience ~ both the known and the unknown. In my life offline I have a few friends that I talk to about pretty much anything, but only a few. I've connected with some awesome people through the blogosphere, some of them people I think I could be friends with for real if we lived close enough to each other for that to be viable. So part of me wants to just be one of those bloggers who writes without concern for who reads, because I've had good experiences with people who read and comment.

But the internet is a weird place and I find it more sensible to assume that everyone I know reads the blog, because then hopefully I won't write anything that hurts someone, or that exposes me or someone I know to stupid gossip, or reveal even good things that they regard as too personal for the internet. One of my closest friends found and read the blog for a while before telling me that they were doing so. What they thought they might read while I was unaware I do not know. But it's one of the things that makes me cautious, because this is a person who probably knows anything I'm likely to write here anyway. I don't know if it's truly possible to be anonymous on the net, and I'm not even sure I want to be completely so ~ but if not, then what I write will always be tempered by an imagined audience. It's just the way it is.

Anyway, the point of this post is really that I hope I can open up a bit more in the future about myself, even if there will always be a line that I don't want to cross. During my short break I read some of my earlier posts and it felt like I had more to say. I still have things to say. I hope some of you will stick around to read them.

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