Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005 • 8 Comments on Hi! Um… Do I Know You?
As the days slip by and I realize how long it’s been since I wrote here, I start to feel guilty. Why? I don’t know. Guilty because I’m disappointing my few loyal readers? That seems terribly… self-absorbed. As if y’all are sitting there, hitting “refresh” and waiting breathlessly for my newest thoughts to magically appear on the screen. I know that’s ridiculous and yet I still feel guilty. I write for myself, but I appreciate all the comments and e-mails and suggestions and recommendations I get from people who read my ramblings, whether they’ve known me for years or just dropped in for the first time, looking for that infamous Ryan Reynolds picture I had to take down to keep from upsetting my hosting service. So even though I know no one is losing sleep wondering where I am and when I’ll write something new, I also realize this is an open exchange and if I want that feedback—and I do—I need to give you something to which you can respond.
I read other people’s blogs for years, even before they were called “blogs” (or “weblogs,” to be more exact), before I decided to write my own. Some of what I’ve read has influenced my own approach to blogging. I’ve agreed with Mary Anne’s thoughts on teaching and living transparently; I’ve applauded Heather’s desire to live authentically; and, most recently, I’ve considered Rachel’s problems with setting boundaries with her blog. It’s a strange thing to write like this, where anyone in the world can read my feelings and thoughts. I have found my own comfort zone here with what I share and what I keep to myself. I think I’ve only once taken down something I’ve written and that was because I revealed more information than I was comfortable with sharing—about someone else, not about myself.
I know there are people—people who know me—who read this blog and never tell me they’ve read it. That used to bother me, but I’ve made my peace with it. Still, it means they know more about me than I know about them. That’s true of every stranger who drops in, but in an entirely different way. The people closest to me probably aren’t often surprised by anything they read here because they know me and I’ve already shared my thoughts/experiences with them. However, if I’m not particularly close to you, if we are only casual acquaintances, you’re getting more of me than you would normally get. A larger slice of the pie, so to speak. More of my thoughts, more of my personality. More of me. That seems… unfair. A little like an invasion of privacy, though this is as public as it gets. The irony isn’t lost on me, believe me.
I don’t know what real fame is like, but I imagine it’s similar to the disconcerting feeling of having someone I don’t know very well ask me—or worse, ask someone close to me—about something I’ve written here. I try not to let it affect how and what I write, but still… it’s something that keeps me from being as transparent and authentic as I would like to be.