Spoiler alert: if you googled this title for information about homosexuals in the military, you have come to the wrong place.
If, however, you are here to read what in the world I would possibly say that could be connected to this topic, then get comfy and read on…
As someone who has a blog because people once knew who I was, I am in a somewhat more awkward position than other bloggers. Not to seem like I am flattering myself, but whereas some bloggers are just personas in cyberspace, I am kind of “out” as who I really am. There is no hiding behind a blog identity. I’m not Julie Bass in real life and FatMama22 online. I’m not Blog-Chick-Blow-Your-Mind in cyberspace and then me at the grocery store. I’m me 24/7, which is cool with me cuz I’m a pretty what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of person.
Except that some of what I talk about involves my family. And some of what I talk about involves (I have been told) very private health stuff. Some of what I discuss here is cringe-y and some of it is controversial and some of it is borderline weird (depending on who you are, I guess).
So in an ideal world there should be a balancing act of some sort between what goes on in my life and what I write about on the blog. And in actual fact, there is plenty that for one reason or another I do not write about (although believe me, I chomp at the bit to write it!). The trick is in deciding how much I should disclose.
Now that I am kind of cascading into becoming a chronic illness blog (or a chronic complaining blog, depending on the day and on your point of view), this trick is even more tricky. Obviously (to anyone who really knows me at least, since they know I am a super prude) I am not going to discuss gross invasive tests or very intimate problems. But one girl’s interesting blog post is another person’s breaking point. What I think is thought-provoking is has actually provoked the thought that people can’t believe I said that in a public forum. And there is a fine line between pushing the envelope and pushing people over the edge (especially troubling when those people happen to be your loved ones).
What is head-spinning to me is that I really don’t try to be edgy. I write from my heart, and I say things for a purpose- either to process something I need clarity about or to try to help other people. I am not a shock-gets-readers kind of person, and it’s not like I’m using words that would turn up in a search if someone wanted shock value anyway.
Maybe I just have crazy strange boundaries, but it really doesn’t bother me if people know about my pain and how much time I spend in bed. When I wrote the post about suicide crossing my mind (not about being suicidal, just to clarify, so nobody needs to freak out again) I was sincere and not embarrassed- but was told repeatedly that I should have been and that I had no business at all posting something like that. It was suggested I was a bad mother for writing something that my kids could find online one day and I was ratted out to friends for being so unstable. When I explained repeatedly the reasons for the post, it fell on deaf ears and made me feel like maybe I really was crazy.
But I want to keep blogging and I want to keep being authentic.
I feel like this is one thing that I have done from the beginning on this blog. This is my voice, and whether I have been writing about the garden or our move to Seattle or about my health, I have always been real about it and that’s the bottom line. Sometimes I self-censor and sometimes maybe I say too much, but I am always struggling to get the balance right.
Going forward I will probably make more mistakes. Talking about my health is a dicey thing, and other people with chronic illness blogs struggle too with how much to disclose. Truthfully, this is all new territory for me, and since my life is not all illness all the time (thank goodness) I’m sure I will still prattle on about other stuff as well 🙂
Meanwhile, I hope you will all be patient with me as I figure out the right balance between what is compelling and what is just too much. I hope you will give me feedback on what you find interesting and what you find repetitive or just plain boring. I hope you will let me know if there is something you think I could be doing better- after all, I wouldn’t have a blog (okay, I wouldn’t have a cool blog) if it weren’t for all of you reading it…
Bottom line: I think I’m probably gonna keep on being me, so consider yourself duly warned. But I do hope you enjoy the ride 🙂