Getting Dressed

This week, I did something I haven’t done before. I removed two blog posts. They were public for about 24 hours, and then I took them down. I’m still not sure whether it was the right decision.

I love this blog. I love recording bits and pieces of our life. I’ve also loved talking more about my writing life; that’s been really good for my psyche, I think, and has allowed me to “come out” as a writer–to myself, as much as to anyone else. Writing about it, not in a journal, but online, somehow changed how I saw my own identity. I used to hate to identify as a writer (and I’m talking about AFTER I published a book, not before). I never knew what to say when someone complimented me or wanted to talk about writing. If I’m to analyze it (and how could I possibly stop myself from doing that!), I would say that I was afraid. I was afraid of public failure, as much as anything, because the writing life is nothing if not loaded with criticism, judgement, and rejection. Which feeds doubt. And any success was never quite enough to counter that. I felt like I was the embodiment of an elaborate ruse, or dressed in someone else’s clothes, or wearing a mask. I don’t feel like that anymore. You know …. so be it. I’m a writer. It’s not a big deal. It’s just what I do. And I honestly think that blogging about it helped get me to that point–over the mountain of fear, into a pleasant valley of normalcy. If you give me a compliment now, I’ll just say “Thank you.”
Which brings me to the blog posts that I removed. Both were confessions, of a sort. Confessions of failure and doubt. Something about them–their confessional nature? their tone? their introspection? (yes, more than usual)–made me feel naked. Not naked in body, but naked in spirit. I do question, like a lot of bloggers do, why I am doing this. Why not a journal beside my bed? I’m very comfortable, now, thinking of my blog as a family scrapbook, as a record of our mundane ordinary every days which would otherwise blur together and be lost in memory. I’m even comfortable thinking of my blog in a professional sense as an extension of my work, and a place where I can talk about my writing life. But am I comfortable getting spiritually naked online? Does it serve any purpose? What am I looking for?
I question my motivation. And I question it enough to remove those posts permanently. There are a (very) few people in my life with whom I’m most intimate, and with whom I might naturally share the progressions and failures of my spiritual life. Does sharing it in a somewhat anonymous way online bring me closer to people I might not otherwise connect with or get to know? I consider that. But it’s (mostly) a one-sided relationship, online. It’s like undressing in front of a window at night; seeing your own reflection and not seeing who might be walking by the street below. You can see how my thinking loops round and round on this point. I don’t think I’ve nailed the right answer, it’s more that I don’t want to do something that makes me feel this uncomfortable.
So, for now. I’m staying (mostly) clothed. In spirit. You know what I mean.
:::
Yesterday’s yoga class was wonderful. Following the difficult class on Monday, it was also a relief. My brilliant thought-of-yesterday’s-class was: My body is my emotional barometer. It’s taken me 35 years to figure that out. And yoga is like taking a stress-test. It’s an instant read thermometer. I know almost immediately whether my mind is calm or stirred, whether I am comfortable with the choices I’ve made that day, or whether I have some work to do. And sometimes the work gets done right there in class, and I emerge at the end with an unexpected thought or perspective, more open to the world. And that’s when I’m most likely to come home and write a blog that the next day makes me ask: should I close the curtains?
Hair Hat Reviews
Break-Through Family Meeting!

2 Comments

  1. wow. this is exactly how it feels (undressing in front of a window). i can so relate to this wondering if i’m disclosing too much that is personal/private about my life. in some ways, it began as a catharsis and a journal when my marriage ended and finding myself childless, relationship-less and 40. nowadays, i want it to be more a discipline where i try to write more and more often so i can “practice” my writing skills, editing, honing. sometimes my posts are just lazy and not about writing in any way. but i have found it’s been a key to unlock something in myself and to heal from the dissolution of my ‘marriage’ and move on, move forward and finding other like-souls out there who encourage that sometimes fearful, many times exhilarating journey i’ve been taking since my marriage ended and i feel I, ME, I finally began again. the person i truly am…thanks for sharing your own insights, Carrie. you put them so wonderfully.

    Reply
  2. I love sorting out my thoughts in writing and getting feedback and other perspectives on situations and concepts. But my private thoughts are by invite only and are never read by anybody I know. I completely understand the naked feeling, and I won’t go there all the way. I felt I had to choose between writing fully openly or letting people I know read my deepest darkest thoughts.

    I also am working on a book – on the second draft which is very exciting – but it’s under an alias. I debated that long and hard, then my editor suggested I shouldn’t even disclose that I’m a teacher because of my alternative views on life and such. (And that’s about the most I’ve told anybody!)

    So I publicly blog about the environment – even there I sometimes get personal. It’s hard to keep it all separated!

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *