Saturday, November 14, 2009

a lesson on letting go


I thought long and hard about writing my last post. I debated, rolling the words over and over on my tongue, before taking the plunge. But finally courage won out and before I knew it, the story was written and the post button had been pushed with a quivering finger.

You see, part of me likes going through the motions of everyday life, knowing that most people I interact with haven’t a clue what’s going on behind the scenes of my life. It’s liberating - a contradiction, I know.

I find that I sometimes I write differently knowing that certain people read or have read my blog. Sometimes I am more open, sometimes less. Sometimes I edit myself for the fear that my words will be interpreted in a certain way, misunderstood, other times I bare my soul, letting readers into hidden secrets, giving thoughts where thoughts weren’t solicited.

When I first found out my mother-in-law was reading my blog, I’ll be honest, it was a bit unsettling. She would compliment my way with words, tell me that she had dreamt that I was writing a book. They were all nice sentiments, but to be honest, it made me self-conscious. I found myself writing a little differently then, self-consciously, I found myself choosing different subject matter, writing with a different tone. I felt like she was looking over my shoulder, checking up on me, on us, and our marriage {all of which she wasn't doing at all, she was just being supportive and interested in me}. I think she stopped reading months ago.

Then my dad started reading. He is an open kind of guy, in touch with his emotional side. He tells me when a post makes him cry, leaves me messages on facebook about how much he likes my blog. Mentions stuff I have written about, in conversation. Even checks it when I’m over his house, to see if I’ve written anything new. Yes, it’s awkward, and I get embarrassed, but in the end, I have to remember that he reads because he cares. And I’m glad he does, that she does. I’m glad that those who visit this small space regularly, find something to keep coming back for.

So when I realized that I had suddenly spilled the beans about my blog yesterday at a work lunch, I was suddenly struck with the knowledge that I cannot control who reads this thing. And to be quite honest, that is part of the fun of it, isn’t it? Writing to an unknown readership…sending words into the internet abyss. It’s comforting. It’s exciting, but it’s also kind of scary.

There is a part of me, however, that has a deep-seated fear of letting the various corners of my life intersect - and I’m not exactly sure why that is, or where it stems from.

I am an introvert, and I am shy, yes, but I am not painfully private {I wouldn’t be writing a blog if I was}. I enjoy the idea of people being able to read what I write and have a glimpse into my life. Friends and strangers alike. It is a lesson on letting go – of giving up control and the worries that come with caring too much about what others may think.

It’s strange to be talking to someone and they mention something that they could have only known from reading my blog. It feels like a breach of privacy, but of course it is not. It is awkward, but I’m not sure why. But isn’t the goal of writing, to be read?

So today, as I think and write, and become self-conscious and try to brush it off, I am remembering that this little blog of mine started off just for me. No one read it and that was okay. I wrote for myself and that was enough.

So today, I remember a promise I made to myself, long ago, before people ever cared what I had to say – Whatever I write, I will always, first, write for myself.

"No man is an island," said John Donne. I feel we are all islands - in a common sea."

-Anne Morrow Lindbergh, from A Gift from the Sea


Quiet Oasis said...

These are MY total sentiments on blogging as well. I soooo understand this.

(and I am wishing I could block a few folks, but I also don't want all the other people to have to sign in..... but its annoying me lately that certain people know about my blog. lol.)

Jess said...

it's a fine line, but i've gotten to the point where i'd rather air on the side of openness then not...

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