Wednesday, January 17, 2007

You know what can be a pain in the ass about bearing it all in a public forum? The bearing it all in a public forum part.

Five and a half years, I have been blogging here, and I've had to learn hard lessons about what is and is not a wise thing to assign your name to on world wide web. Because it's called "world wide" for a reason.

In the past five years, in no particular order:

  • A post about suicide has landed me in a psych ward.
  • A handful of teachers in high school knew my every mood, from my burning teen angst to my raging hormonal urges. (The humilation over these being public, I've since learned, is very much worth it to actually have them.)
  • Friendships have been strained, or irrevocably broken. It was a post here that cemented Jeremey's anger for me (which originated from...a post on another blog.), the lack of recognition that has alienated close friends as well and friends who only felt that we were close, and my inability to hold back here that forever cast me as the in the irrational emo girl role. Though, to be fair, actually being an irrational emo girl didn't help that any.
  • A past boyfriend found out about a lie that I had kept from him for years.
  • A friend of Lucy's, with, from what I can assume, help from this blog, has cultivated a very negative opinion of me which I believe will result in the end of our relationship.
  • One of Zack's best friends from high school, and, according to my hit counter, a very regular reader, has become privy to every up and down of our relationship.
  • My father-in-law has taken Zack aside and let him know that he is aware that I'm bisexual. Glad I wasn't there for that conversation.
  • Most recently, I've found out that Zack's...other set of parents, his mom and step dad, have now become readers, gaining "both positive and negative insight to me as a person." Oh, goody.
  • The whole world has seen my most fundamental weakness, a challenge with shakes me to the core: Screwing up the use of homonyms like "there" and "their", or "write" and "right." This is not all write.
  • Perhaps the greatest insult to all the injury is the countless times I've had this gem thrown at me: "I only get to know you through your blog. It's as if you're closer to that website than you are to me!"

In this all-too frequent situation, where someone in my life comes to me indignant, angry, or hurt, looking me in the eye and slinging the accusation that I care more about words than I do about people, that I have a deeper connection with the hundreds of pages of babble I've spit out over the years than I do to a living, breathing human being, there is only one thing I can say to them: "Well, duh."

What is it exactly that people expect? Firstly, the way you open up to a real-world person, face to face, is a completely different process. There are different vulnerabilities, different consequences. As far as I'm concerned, as far as life has consistently taught me, you have to be much more discerning in these situations. It's so easy to be misrepresented in something you want desperately not to be misrepresented in when you have to deal with the exact implications of your words on a person-to-person level. It's so easy to connect, and then fear disconnection, rejection, a breach of security; heartbreak. And, more daunting than any of this is how easy it is to sound like a complete idiot when you aren't allowed to revise. The only saving grace, really, is that you won't know whether I've fucked up the homonyms when I'm talking to you. But this is easy cancelled out by having to put up to listening to your blah-blah-blah.

Perhaps less cynically is this argument: Here, we have five and a half years of my life, of my passion, of the one thing I have consistently wanted as long as I can remember: to write with relative eloquence, with makeshift insight and the dream of depth, and being accepted for it. Whatever I cannot say to a person in life, because of social constraint, awkwardness,, I can pour it out and tell you to take it or leave it. Here, I am the master of my domain, and I what I say goes. Resultingly, what we have here is not just hundreds of thoughts, thousands of words, millions of emotions. What we have here is five and a half year's worth of me, tangibly, undeniably. What you read here is five and a half year's worth of my growth as a person, the only thing in my life that I've cared enough about to master slowly, and the slowly ripening fruit of that long-winded labor. I am a girl who thinks in metaphors, and feels in adjectives (Or better yet, when available, particularly descriptive nouns.) I maintain that there is a healthy amount of caricature in my writing, but it's a carefully honed disguise, a process that I have decided on, and that is just as telling as every ounce of sincerity; more truthful than truth, as it were.

If what you endeavor to be is closer to me than me, well, hell, go for it, you crazy bastard. But take heed of these two, equally important warnings: 1) It's not fucking pretty in here, and 2) you'll have to learn to shut the hell up.

As far as all the consequences, all the awkwardness, all the seriously uncomfortable information that I've lavished on the unsuspecting reader, well, it's worth it, I guess. The idea of all three of my in-law's reading the ins and outs of my marriage with their son (more outs than ins, if you catch my drift) makes me, well, frankly, slightly nauseous. At least they know now that their assumptions of our overnight activities early on in our relationship (too early on for me to have considered that, for the record) were wrong; I've always felt the need to correct that: I don't exactly have that "European approach" to sex (Shudder). No, your son is not pussy-whipped; on the contrary, he's stuck by my side through over three years of hellishly celebate marriage based on something different entirely, something about me as a person. What that may be, I have no fucking clue, but I get the feeling that getting into long-winded conversations with various parents about the things they've learned about him through me, via a blog that he's never more than grudgingly consented to, is not exactly going to help things.

And while whether or not he is fair game is up for debate, there's an unspoken rule here that I'm afraid I feel the need to speak: The more delicate aspects of this writing isn't up for discussion between me and my in-laws. Period. (Thanks to Chuck for abiding by this for as long as he's been reading.)

Boy-howdy, was that a long-winded way of saying that. Well, you know me. A little too well, it seems.

On with it.