In the recent past, a friend of mine launched her own blog and subsequently shut it down. Why? “too personal”.
In the same period of time, one of my co-workers who I added on Facebook made a comment to me about how they’ve read my blog, no doubt seeing it as I have it set up to import all my entries into my Facebook account. Instantly, I searched my memory to think if there was anything incriminating posted, anything outrageous, anything impolite. I once had something I posted on here thrown back at me over the course of my hockey writing and it stung as embarrassing. It’s only going to continue to get worse as my work life and internet life continue to combine.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have my own struggles with self-censorship, feeling unable to say what I really mean to say, either by discretion on my part based on whose eyes might see (imagined or no) or just because writing some things down and posting them for the world to see at times feels like it cheapens something important. I hate the idea of not being able to clearly state that which I wish to state, but at times it is necessary. Aaron Karo, a comedian who I get his Ruminations column in my email every two weeks or so, went for a few months before admitting that his infamous (for the regular column readers at least) life as a bachelor was interrupted with the arrival of a lady. The subsequent end of that merited only the briefest mention. Just a matter of efficiently clearing the chest, but then again (to digress further…) that’s more of a male trait then anything else. To go on another side track, we find this study by the University of Missouri-Columbia, stating that girls who complain about their problems are at a greater risk of developing anxiety and depression. Basically, the act of talking about the problem doesn’t make it better, just instead continues to focus on said problem and then makes girls feel worse. Especially so with problems they can’t control. Whereas guys are more able to talk about it for a second and then move on. Curious. I’ll refrain from further commentary there.
So why do I continue to write here (keeping in mind that it’s interesting how my motivation to write ebbs and flows, especially when compared with other things going on in my life). Obviously, I have a desire to not only stay in touch with those around me (hence writing about what is going on and what I’m thinking about), but also to do so at a distant way that at least gives the illusion of being detached from it all. For the most part, after I hit Publish, I have little to no idea of who will see these words. Unfortunately, that anonymity and protection isn’t offered the other way. Sure I feel safe talking about Marian, my neighbour or Keith, the old guy who sits in the lobby (I just found out his name was Keith and I’m writing that here as much to provide that as information as to have a permanent record of it for my own shortcomings in memory). But it’s more then likely that they’ll never see these words. At least, I hope they don’t. No one likes to be talked about behind their back.
Often and especially when I’m stuck whining about work, or just giving dull play-by-plays of my weekly events, I wonder what the use of this is. It once struck me that people that write memoirs and biographies must be have great memories or be meticulous note takers. Lacking the former, I turned to the latter (this goes to my own belief that I am awesome and will one day turn out to be worthy of a memoir, or perhaps all these words will be used against me if I should ever fall under the gaze of the public eye). However, that idea is flawed for the sole reason of my own reluctance to self-expose.
There have been a number of things that have gone on, both involving me and those around me that has affected me since I started writing this (and further in the past during the days of futur.frandt.net, Frandt by the way has since gone bankrupt and closed shop, although before dying their CEO had some crazy ass comments about a conspiracy from Microsoft to shut him down….but I digress). The majority, I’ve either avoided or at the very least delayed commenting or talking about it, simply because I didn’t want to stand up and take any sort of responsibility for the words on a page. I suspect that will make it very hard for me to compile my memoirs.
My aforementioned friend’s blog was poetry. I suppose in addition to being artistic (and honestly quite good poetry) that was part of the protection. Able to hide your true feelings in a metaphore. I do the same, to some extent. Although for the most part it’s solely the titles of the entries being lyrics from a song. Of course, not always.
In any case, I have, between my notes, my half finished entries and emails to myself made during working hours, enough content to keep this whole thing going for another two years without directly revealing much more of myself. There’s really no goal behind it, just documenting me and my interactions with the world around me. The struggle is, how closely can I document it?