Sunday, November 02, 2014

History, Endings, and Pink Socks.

I'm reading a few posts on Emily's Wordpress blog. Emily's always been a good writer, but her entries lack any sense that they are about to end. It must be a really freeing way to write, actually: just talk about what you feel like talking about and then ending when you're no longer interested in saying it. But I would hate it: when I can't find a way to end my posts that feels at least slightly like closure from something earlier in the post, I find it utterly unsatisfying.

Emily is my best friend. When I started this blog, I defined my best friends as a group called "The Fab Five", which consisted of, I think, Emily, Jeremey, Jeff, Elorza and Andrew? Is that right?

Yes. That's right. I just confirmed by searching for posts that reference them, and found one where I introduced them by writing a no-holds-barred account of their flaws. This was one of the six posts I wrote on the first day of the blog (day meaning 24-hour-period, not the way I've been defining it for the purposes of my thirty-day-challenge.) The idea was that I had decided that "my new blog site MUST have Harriet-the-spy-like integrity!" and that anyone who was going to get offended should just "get out!"

What an interesting choice I made, so early on. To go after everything with this rapid integrity, despite all costs. It says a lot about me then, and it says a lot about me now. It also says a lot about why I stopped writing for so long: as an adult, it's not as easy to live your life hanging everything out in the open for anyone close to you to see. It got a little challenging when I heard that some of the staff of my high school was reading my blog, and a lot more challenging later, when my husband's mother started reading it.

I had a nightmare a few weeks ago wherein Dan had told his mother about the existence of my blog, and she started reading it the way Zelda had in the past. I remember feeling utterly betrayed, like I wasn't going to be able to talk about our relationship at all, or work through any of the things I wanted to work through.

Privacy has always been generational for me: I'm pretty open and honest with the people in my own generation, but not our parents, or people we perceive as authority figures. Of course, 13 years after the initial post, I am now an adult, and the generational lines are a lot more blurry.

If I had made the decision, that first day, to be a little more...political in my writing-- to use a pseudonym, as I do now, or not to go into the worst of the worst about my life and relationships, how different would everything have been? Certainly, my High School life would have been a great deal different, as certain run-ins with this blog created a great deal of upheaval in my life. My marriage might have been different had I not been airing mine and Zack's troubles for all the world to see. 

But different goes both ways. It's possible that being as honest and open as I was there, as I've always tried to maintain at least some semblance of, well, it's possible that, without it, I wouldn't have been able to cope with all of my feelings, or to process everything. To figure out as much about myself as I have.

Now that Dan and I have such a bad relationship-- something I say here, openly, because of the tradition of honesty in this blog-- I often wonder if he's actually in love with me now, or if he really only ever loved what it is he used to see in me, back when circumstances were very different. I often ask him exactly why he loves me, since he seems to be very insistent that he does. One thing he often lists are my metacognitive skills. Honestly, I didn't even know what that word meant before, but now I do: I understand myself, and the things I do, and the way I react, way better than most people. This is helpful, because even when I'm being freakishly awful, I can usually call myself on it.

That doesn't stop it, mind you, but I know what I'm doing. It comes in handier than you might think.

He's right to appreciate that about me, as it's something that I'm grateful for, in myself (I'm making an effort to use that word again. Making an effort, here and there, to practice the art of gratitude.) Would I have those skills if I hadn't made that choice, that first day? Would they have developed the way that they did?

As I've been writing this again, I've wondered when, along the way, I added my little closing phrase-- maybe it's the existence of that phrase that forces me to write differently than Emily, to wind things up neatly. I don't know.

Turns out, it was there from the very first post. I don't know if there were any along the way that didn't use it, but the first week of the blog, every post ends with "On with it." Initially-- and I had forgotten this-- the habit was to write something like "My name is Linda, and _______. On with it!"

Some examples from that first week:

"My name is Linda, and I am wearing pink socks. On with it."
"My name is Linda and I am a cosmo girl (when I'm not a Maxim Man!) On with it!"
"My fucking name is Linda, and I do not know, or believe in, anything. On with it."

As you can see, quite the range. I think I kept the "My name is Linda, and..." format for the first...six months to a year. But the "On with it", well...that's gone on for quite a while now.

My name is Linda, and I have no memory of those socks. Also, it's day 20. On with it.