On blogging

Ever since my son was very small, I noticed that he valued people and relationships over things. He could never just sit in the corner and play with a toy. He needed to be interacting with people.

It’s funny, though, that it took me fifteen more years before I realized the same thing about myself. Probably due to my upbringing I’m quite able to sit in a corner and spend time with a project, but I much prefer being around people. Not in a clingy way (heaven forbid!), but just quietly soaking up the energy that people provide.

I don’t write a good opinion column blog. I guess I don’t have long, strong, passionate opinions about very many subjects, and where I do, my opinion can be summed up in just a few paragraphs and then I’m done. I couldn’t keep a weekly column going about politics, theatre, bicycles, photography, anything. I just don’t have a repository of things to say about those subjects. My opinions may be passionate, but they’re succinct.

But what I DO enjoy writing about, and what I have an endless supply of, is analysis of myself and how I interact with other people. But that’s not really the realm of blogging. That kind of thing belongs more in a diary or journal. Not that it can’t be interesting to other people, it’s just that it’s so intimately private to me that I can’t share it with the world.

I have another blog that I write in occasionally … probably a little more often than I write in this one. At times I’m very active on that one, other times I ignore it for months. I keep it locked down and vaulted shut to the rest of the world though. It’s only accessible to me. If anyone ever stumbled across it I’d be mortified. But I think I keep it online for the thrill of just such a possibility. If I were writing in a paper diary that I kept under my mattress, I might feel that I had no purpose in writing it. The idea that there is a chance that someone else might see my other blog is exciting. And I’m really proud of that blog, at least the structure of it. It’s pretty, it’s got a really fun profile picture of, not me, but a symbol of me, and I begin every entry with song lyrics that in some way fit the subject of the post. Even the titles of the posts are cool. I really wish I could show it to people. But if I did, they would see into the depths of my heart and soul, and I absolutely could not handle them knowing that much about me.

Once upon a time I didn’t keep that blog locked down. I relied on the anonymity of the web to do the job for me. I figured if I didn’t talk about it to anyone, it would remain relatively private, only stumbled upon by strangers who couldn’t make the connection between it and me. I really couldn’t imagine that anyone cared enough to ever go looking.

But I underestimated the capacity of some people. At that time I was frequenting a certain forum online, and making some friendly connections with people there. Well, a woman on the boards, jealous of my relative popularity among the gals there, googled my nickname and found my blog and made the connection to me. She threw it in my face, posting on EVERY thread thereafter details of what she had read in my blog. She threatened me that if I ever published the children’s book I had written, that she would go public with what she had read, which was basically evidence that I was an adult. She had nothing on me, really, except those types of things that could rile up the most conservative of people who think everyone needs to fit into a nice, neat little box.

And so, I quit the boards, changed my nickname* (forever), and locked down the blog. Which kind of serves me well, because now I can write the most intimate of feelings and feel almost completely assured that nobody is going to read it, while still allowing me that creative outlet to write what I most love to write.

But it still makes me sad that I can’t share the beauty that is that blog.

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*funny story: soon after this incident, I joined a women’s health forum (where the members talk about sexual issues with a refreshing openness), using a completely new name unrelated to anything I’d ever used before. Within a month or so, a new member joined, using my old nickname. And she lived in my city! At first I thought it was PsychoWoman stalking me (she was VERY good at stalking), but over time I discovered that it really was just another woman who also uses my old nickname. I even met her and we became friends. It makes me laugh, though, to think of PsychoWoman coming across those boards and thinking that woman is me. Boy would she get an earful! Thinking I was having public sex on a picnic table down by the lake would probably make her head explode.

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