December 14, 2010

How Personal Should A Blog Be?

Almost four years ago I spent a few minutes writing the post below. It was about blogging and what sort of boundaries should or should not be included. I remember seriously considering hanging up my keyboard as I wasn't sure that I had anything left to say or share.
 
Obviously I didn't do that and am very pleased that I didn't. Some of the thoughts and issues still remain which I suppose begs the question of whether I "learned" anything from the initial run. Or maybe these are things that will always be of concern for me.
I sit here at a desk that has a couple of piles of papers on it. The stack on my left are bills that need to be paid and the stack on the right are those that need to be filed. To my left is a blue couch that beckons to me. I can hear its siren song gently urging me to collapse upon it in blissful couch potato land.

I refuse to give in. My mind is still too active to try and shut down so I choose to stay here where I can try and sort through the chaotic cacophony that lives inside my noggin. During my brief time blogging I have enjoyed using this as a therapeutic tool.

It is the place where I air out my thoughts and consider what my true feelings are. The name was intentional. I didn't want to pigeonhole myself into being one kind of blog. In the beginning I really didn't have any idea what this blog would mean to me and I certainly never expected that anyone would take the time to read the things I write.

In fact the lack of interaction in the beginning probably made it easier for me to really vent. I opened up and typed out things that were/are incredibly personal. In general I don't expose myself like this. It is not my thing.

But, I did. Not just once or twice but on many occasions. I wrote about crying, the death of a grandparent, a friend and some other personal events.

It felt good to get it out. It felt cathartic and I was glad to have the opportunity. And then things changed a bit.

I was outed. My blog was discovered and people tried to use it against me. They tried to use the things that I shared to hurt me. They read my words and looked to attack me where they saw my vulnerabilities.

It was an unpleasant experience. I am not the first blogger to have this experience nor will I be the last, but that doesn't change the bitter taste it left in my mouth. I felt violated. It may sound silly to you. This is a public place, but I chose anonymity intentionally. I had always wanted the choice over disclosing who I am.

And in the interest of full disclosure let me say that I have been participating in various online forums for a good nine or ten years now. It was my experience there that led me to choose anonymity.

I am not trying to paint myself to be a victim. I have always given as good I have gotten and in some cases I may have given more than my fair share of internet chatter.

All I know is that a while back something broke inside me. Some of my love for the medium was taken away. Some of my desire was destroyed and I am not sure if it will ever come back. Now I find myself checking myself. Now I notice that I censor things in a way that I never used to.

I suppose what I am really saying is that I miss the freedom of expression I used to feel. I miss that naive feeling I had. It is like Adam and Eve suddenly noticing their nakedness. I never used to notice it.

Now when I look back at some of the old stuff I cringe. I haven't removed any of it. I don't have any immediate plans to do so, but you never know what the future holds.

That is it for now. See you around.

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