One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

May 19, 2010

For Real

I feel like I’m having another blog identity crisis. I dunno. I’m a hobby-blogger, not a serious blogger. I’m not going to pick a niche and write for my audience. I have lots of interests – feminism, parenting, belly dance, writing. But I’m not going to dedicate my blog to any one of those because then it would be one of those trying-to-be-a-serious-blogger-blogs. And that’s not me.

I am, at heart, a Diaryland blogger. Personal, off-the-cuff and varied in focus. Which leaves this blog strictly in the personal domain. The problem is that there isn’t any personal stuff I can discuss or have the will to discuss anymore.

Over the years, I’ve evolved into a “don’t talk about work” blogger. Partly that’s maturity. But partly it’s that I have learned that even if I’m saying things that I consider neutral in tone, it doesn’t take much for people to be offended when they feel like you’ve been talking behind their back.

And then I admire the feminist bloggers that I follow, but any time I actually engage in a feminist take-down of something that offends me, the resulting vitriol from men who are experts on What is Emphatically Not Sexism leaves me nauseous and sad.

There are personal life bloggers whom I admire too. People who attack the really visceral things in life and manage to address them with authenticity and candour and to pull enough of a grain of truth out of them that others with similar experiences are comforted by the amount of perspective and validation it gives them. But it is those painful topics that cause the most crisis around here. Scars and the patterns they create are the things I think about the most these days. But, you understand, I can’t talk about the things my ex-husband did because one day my children will be old enough to find these things on the internet. And for the same reason, I can’t talk about some of the more difficult aspects of mothering my children (Hi theoretical future reading children. I hope that doesn’t sound passive aggressive). I can’t talk about my childhood because my family reads this (Hi family. Also, not trying to be passive aggressive with you). I can’t talk about the frustration of trying to earn my way in a male-dominated field because the employers who created that workplace could feel like it was an indictment of the environment that they fostered.

I have some stories that I can draw from that didn’t involve my ex-husband, or my family, or my workplace but they would involve friends or ex-friends who know of the blog and a full exploring of these themes always circles back to other, forbidden topics. And then there are some stories that maybe could be explained without offending or seeming to confront any of the people whose peace of mind I am trying to safeguard. But then we come to just regular vulnerability. And I have coworkers who read this blog. The ones I know about are good friends, and would probably be fine – though maybe they would see me differently. But there are some coworkers with whom I feel it would be inadvisable to allow my vulnerabilities.

These are the things that occupy my mind when I sit down to (not) write. And I frequently think to myself what an interesting, useful and maybe even moving blog I could keep if one day I just sat down and began to tell all the stories I am not supposed to tell. If I were not always so scared of causing confrontation just by speaking honestly. I’m not talking of calling anyone out. I mean the confrontation you cause by speaking out against things and by admitting to anger or admitting to being damaged by something. There will always be people defensive about their part in those situations or those still holding their own silence ready to tell you that you are wrong for calling a situation wrong, worried that you are burning bridges that they like you to have or just anxious to defend the status quo, and anxious for you to go back to being someone who shuts up.

I am, truthfully, someone who shuts up. This is the real tentative, scared doe that I am. Sometimes I catch someone talking about me as if I am somehow strong, or principled or uncompromising. I don’t know how I put that image out there, but it’s not true. I am compromising in every move to dodge the confrontation I speculate may arise, second-guessing everything I have to say. And it’s led to silence. Or rather, it’s led to this. This obvious, vacuous blog of wedding prep and health complaints.

I tried to disagree with something Meredith said in her blog yesterday. But it was worse than disagreeing, because I knew I was taking it personally. And I have so many experiences where I try to say something totally off-hand like, “just need to say that this thing hurt my feelings. Okay, there. That’s all. No big.” And next thing I know somebody is full-on attacking me and telling me that I am impossible to please, trying to script their every move, do not get to dictate what they are and are no allowed to say, do not deserve any sympathy since I hurt their feelings in the way I brought it up, etc, etc.

So after emailing her, I then spent the whole day at work being all, “I am not checking my email. I am not checking my email. This is going to blow up and I don’t want to know until I am at least safely in my car driving home so I won’t cry at work.” But it didn’t blow up. Instead she said, “I love you and I didn’t mean it that way.” Shit. I just about threw up from relief.

That should be encouraging, but really? Imagine now if I actually tried to tell you all something that actually hurt me for real?

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3 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. still would love you forevs.

    it might be just private-blog time, so you could at least get at some of it?

    Reply
  2. Alison

     /  2010-05-20

    Hmmmm. I want to comment on your entry, but I’m not entirely sure what I want to say. I am 100% positive that all of the people who love you do not want you to just shut up and be silent. 100% sure.

    I can’t seem to articulate anything else that is in my head about this, so I’ll just leave it with: love you.

    Reply
  3. gish

     /  2010-05-22

    I agree with Meredith. Blog privately if you need to. But it looks like we all love you no matter what. 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Reply to gish