Friday, July 13, 2012

Why I’m Afraid of This Blog and/or Sorry, Did I Offend You?

I like to write. I have kept a journal since I was 11 years old. My first journal was bound by a lovely pink and green floral print cover emblazoned with a heart with my name on it and, most importantly, it had a gold lock. I could always assure that my carefully written thoughts remained private, secure, and protected (or so it felt at the time) by that 10-cent lock.

My lock got so much use, it eventually broke.
When I started reading other people’s blogs a few years ago, I felt like I had found my own tribe. Here were other people writing journal-like entries, sharing personal details of their lives, expressing emotions that resonated with my own. Although I had so much in common with what they wrote, I couldn’t imagine actually sharing these thoughts with the world. What good was my pretty gold lock if I was going to hit “publish” and let anyone who came along just pick up my “journal” and start reading?

My friend, Tara, helped to pry me out of my shell by proposing that three of us write a blog together, sharing the responsibility. Besides my fear of sharing too much, I also had to work through some other baggage to get to the point of writing this blog.

Some of my favorite journals

1. The Stalkers, Rapists, and Murderers who are lurking on the Internet waiting for their next prey. These fears were fostered at an early age, pre-Internet, by my mom who warned me not to give any information to strangers. The only way that anyone other than my parents was allowed to talk to me or pick me up from school was if they knew the super-secret password that my mom taught us (the name of our first pet). Do you know that secret password? If not, please stop reading here. :)

2. The Computer Nerds, Scam-artists, and other Tech-savvy ill-doers who might not only read this blog, but might also magically extrapolate my social security number, SAT scores, and personal bank account passwords from my posts. This fear was fostered by my super security-conscious husband who knows quite a bit about computers and is incredibly cautious about the digital footprint that one creates. He is skeptical, but supportive, as I start this endeavor.

3. My Fear of Offending You. My number one fear about writing for a blog is an emotional quirk all of my own creating. I am most worried about offending you. That’s right. I’m worried that your feelings may be hurt or perhaps you might think less of me after reading a post. I am not someone who likes to offend. I try very hard in life to keep the peace, find commonalities, make connections. If I’m talking to you, my lovely organic produce-eating, homemade almond milk-making friend, I might not bring up my love of salt and vinegar potato chips or the occasional bowl of mint oreo ice cream. I steer away from talking about food too much with you; instead, I keep the peace by talking about our shared love of our kids.

My very first journal entry
I once read that we are as many personalities as we have relationships, that what we share about ourselves molds and moves slightly for every single relationship that we have. So, if I have 67 friends, does that mean I have 67 slightly different selves? The idea seems a little extreme, but ultimately it makes a lot of sense to me that I’m perhaps slightly, almost imperceptibly, different in each relationship.

I don’t like to think that I am hiding who I am in certain relationships, but that when I am with you, talking to you, I am bringing up topics that are relevant to both of us. I am reading your emotional cues and responding accordingly with how much and what I share. With this blog, you are sitting at a computer somewhere perhaps very far away and I can’t see if your head is slowly moving up and down in an “Aaahh, yes, I agree with you nod” or if you’re rolling your eyes in annoyance about my latest proud mama moment describing Clara’s accomplishments in way too much detail.

So, ultimately, writing in this blog is taking a risk for me, stepping outside of my comfort zone, and confronting fears (some that go all the way back to childhood. Thanks, Mom!). It’s a step that I’m scared and happy to take. Most of all, I’m glad you’re coming along for the ride. Thanks for reading, and I hope to hear from you along this journey (whether you agree... or disagree) in the comment section.


1 comment:

  1. Oops! I didn't anticipate that the stranger-danger code word would inspire blogophobia. Sorry - it's all okay now - I love reading your blog. And if you offend anyone, despite good intentions, that's okay, too.

    Love, Mom