Wednesday, June 11, 2008

coming clean: back to the personal

I was talking to Erica the other night, and she asked me why I had hesitated to write about what's happening in my personal life on this blog. And really, who reads this who doesn't already know me? A few people on occasion perhaps, but even so, why does it matter? Either you know me well or you don't know me at all. I think my hesitation is based in a feeling that once I write about it, it will really be true and I can't take it back because my god, it's in cyberspace! Which is silly. So without further ado, I can write here that Tabitha and I are breaking up (or have already broken up, I suppose, although it's a blurry line right now), that she's already living at a friend's house and we're both apartment hunting and cleaning our place so that we can take pictures and find a subletter soon.
Which is all, in most ways, okay. This wasn't an angry breakup, one based in bad feelings or dislike or any sort of incident. In some ways, that's harder. It's much more difficult to let go of somebody that you still love. But we both basically decided that we were just hurting each other and that was never going to lead us to anywhere happy, so we decided to cut our losses and let each other recover. Very adult of us, but it's hard to ignore the heart and give priority to the brain.
Actually, instead of writing anymore about the actual things that are happening (which are almost certainly fairly boring to anybody but us), I'd like to go back to my hesitation. Why do I feel such a constriction to write about something that is so large in my life right now? Just because it deals with my emotions, my personal life, instead of a book or movie or concert? What I'd really like to know is whether this is something that is specific to me or something that other people feel as well. Just to clarify, I'm not talking about writing about something that could be harmful or painful to another reader; that is something that seems clearly off limits to me, and rarely have I seen someone do that in a blog. I'm talking about purely personal things that are going to be widely acknowledged by the rest of the world, things that there is really no point in concealing or ignoring or skirting around. I know I personally have a very hard time talking about my personal life even to close friends; I usually make it through five minutes of talking about myself before I start deflecting the conversation into what's happening to the other person. When Anna and I broke up, I had a series of coffee meet-ups with various friends where almost invariably after five minutes we would be talking about their personal life or childhood or even something completely unrelated like what movies they'd seen lately. I think that's part of why I hadn't written here about something I've known and that has essentially consumed my life for the last month.
So what to do? Should I write more about my personal life (when it's applicable)? Should I force my friends to talk about me instead of deflecting? I don't know how I feel about that, honestly. I think it's more interesting to write here about other things, and probably more interesting to people reading as well. Conversation is another thing, and probably I should try to learn to let other people talk about me a little bit more. So note to self: stop deflecting! But isn't it nice how I even deflected this entry into a reflection on personal discussion instead of what is happening?


Anonymous said...

You know, I think on my blogger (i.e, public blog), I tend to write personal things with a bit of distance and not very much detail. This is, I think, a bit like what you mean. Or is it? I could be reading this entirely wrong. But anyway, I don't know exactly know why I do it, either, except that I tend to worry about who might stumble upon it. People from my past who may get a laugh out of any small trace of misery in my existence, perhaps. Which is sort of nuts, because it's like you said: who cares? If someone out there does hold a grudge against me and finds happiness in anything that may be hurting me, what does that say about them? Or maybe because I am really not close enough to more that maybe two or three people in the universe to feel okay with them knowing me that candidly. Which is kind of depressing...

But anyway, this is all just to say that: (1) I know kind of what you mean - I'd like to be more frank on my blog, but I have a little trouble with doing so, and
(2) I am sorry to hear about everything going on with you and that you have been going through a rough time.

erica said...

lauren h-l wrote blogged a while ago about thematic vs. non-thematic blogs, which in a totally unemotional way is kind of what this is about, i think...i mean, having a blog that mostly focuses on reviews of books and movies is totally valid, and choosing not to write about your personal life there is kind of irrelevent...but if you want it to be a forum for personal musings, then i guess finding a tone that you feel comfortable with is important...but if this entry is actually about your difficulty in expressing your feelings to friends, then that's another issue altogether :P

ammie said...

Thanks Louise... I keep meaning to email you and being a slacker, but I will soon. Yeah, and I guess I feel a bit weird about people I know a little bit reading this, since it's linked in all my online profiles (the "Stumble-upon" factor). And Erica, that's a good point, and it does tie in to Lauren h-l's observations quite well. and as I've always viewed this as more of a personal musings type of blog, it seems okay to go either way with personal info. And yeah, it's probably more than a little about how I have a hard time talking about myself... Sigh :)