As I was considering my blog the other day, I wondered if there were things I wasn’t writing that I should be. Ultimately, this blog’s for me. To record thoughts and memories for later when I will forget. I forget lots of things. I don’t like forgetting. I don’t like the fuzzy edges that my memories get when I rely solely on my brain to store them.
When I started writing on the Internet, I didn’t really tell anyone. Eventually, I invited my friends to the site because it was easier than remembering to randomly send a mass email update, which was always a little impersonal and unsatisfying. This way, folks can stop by, catch up, see how things are going and maybe get a little insight into the way my mind works. I also figured that since I’m a writer, having a place to come and keep my linguistic muscles in shape when I’m not in school or working with words in some way would benefit me greatly. As it turns out, blogging and reading blogs has been very rewarding and satisfying for me, even though I don’t have a vast community of followers or any major revenue coming from the site.
When I decided to reveal my Internet presence to my family, I felt a little ambiguous about it. It’s not that I was afraid they’d be offended by anything I’ve written here, just that a lot of what I write reveals aspects of myself that might be different from what I have revealed in person or on the phone in the past. But I needn’t have worried. Because my parents tell me that the way I write here is a lot like hearing me talk in the regular old way. And as an added bonus, it helps us all feel closer while we’re living so far away.
But back to the other day. Or yesterday. Or today. Who knows when. Anyway, I was thinking about how there are always things going on in my life that I don’t write down. Things about which it might be beneficial to write my thoughts out in order to work through them. I don’t hold back a lot, obviously. I don’t in real life either, but sometimes, I find myself considering my audience more than I used to, back when I knew the possibility that my family would come across it was rare.
But why should that be? Why shouldn’t my blood be invited to share those naked, vulnerable parts of my life? Isn’t it kind of odd that I would feel more comfortable baring it all to a void filled with strangers? Either way, I guess finding balance when writing in public is something we should always consider.
I’ve also been thinking of the future. Of being a mom who won’t always be invited to share the details of my son’s life. He will grow up and away, which is exactly what he should do. Right now, I am his entire world, and even though it’s not always easy to be everything, I do love how well I know him. But in another ten and fifteen and twenty years (or sooner), he will start to close off more and more parts of himself to me. I just hope that he leaves enough open that I will still feel like I know him well. That I will still have something to offer him. That I will still play a role.
I know that as I grew up, I began to keep more to myself than what I shared with my family. Nothing major, nothing big. Most of it stupid or meaningless, but kept just because I started to realize that I didn’t have to reveal my whole self. That I could keep some things just for me. That even though I share blood, I am also on my own. And maybe that’s just called survival instinct. Because if people fail us, and if they’re human, there will probably come a time when they will, then all we have is the self to fall back on.
Maybe my point is that we can never reveal our whole selves, no matter how hard we try. And if we could, well, would we even want to because who would even be that interested? We are all self-centered because what else can we be? To know everything about even one other person would take an incredible amount of time and energy. But at least we can strive to be as open with each other as the circumstances warrant, and hope that our reach is met, that our love or respect is reciprocated. That we can forgive mistakes and be forgiven for our own.
I’m not really referencing any event or events in particular, but in reflecting on some of those fuzzy-edged memories, I began this line of thinking, and since I haven’t shared a lot of deep substantive thoughts here lately, nor have I even really had much time to devote to thinking them, I figured I’d lay it out there.