Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dear you,

Dear person reading my blog,

Hi. I see you there, in your old sweatpants and that T shirt with the hole in the armpit. I know you've been checking back to see if I've written a "good post" lately. You're checking my blog on your phone, during your lunch break, or on a window you'll minimize when your boss looks over your shoulder. I know it's late and you only have five minutes to check before one of the kids gets up. Or maybe you're sitting in a dorm room, trying to ignore your roommate's romantic interludes that are awkwardly too close to your personal space, and wondering how this person who taught you in high school is actually so damaged in real life. You're in Spain. And DC. And Panama. And Galt. Maybe you're like I was when I discovered blogs: clandestinely searching through every detail of someone's life, relieved and surprised at the familiarity you feel with a complete stranger. I see you all.

Well, I hope I do. So many bloggers perpetuate the "I only write for myself" mantra, but (maybe this is betraying one of my secrets, but) that's not all this is. I do, on occasion, write just for me. I use my blog like a personal bulletin board, bookmark, and journal. I'm willing to be transparent about things if I see a purpose in them. But I mostly write knowing that you, or at least my sense of who "you" is, will read this. I hope that you will. I put my thoughts out there to be analyzed, consumed, discussed. This is okay. I write for us both when I talk about how bad our marriage was--I never want you to feel as alone as I was in a troubled relationship. I write for you when I talk about how messed up it was to be separated--I don't want you to think something is wrong with you if you're alone. In some ways, I write so that there's proof I am a human being, though the nature of the teaching beast seems to be hell bent on proving otherwise. (Why, did I choose a profession that presupposes perfection? Ugh.) And honestly, I always write knowing that anything on here could come back to haunt me someday, should a malicious person find it and twist my words. I know I can't completely protect myself, but I try to consider everything that's posted here carefully. In the end, my test is always would I answer a question about that if they asked me personally, with an earnest spirit? If the answer is yes, and I'm not being mean-spirited, then I write it. If no, then I don't.

Occasionally I'll walk past someone in the grocery store, and I can tell instantly that they've seen my blog and they're wondering if they should say something to me. It might be some classmate from high school with whom I maintain a quiet Facebook friendship, or an acquaintance of my parents' (hi to you too!), and I can see on their furtive little glances that they don't know if it's okay to talk to me about this whole schmear I call a blog. They don't know if we should talk about it, if it's okay. They wonder how they would begin the conversation. So, um, I read your private diary... Or I get the kind of comments like "I read your blog--a little." I'll also get the occasional email from a former student (or someone who found me through a Google search for Retrouvaille) that says something to the effect of "I hope I'm not stalking you or that it's not an intrusion, but I read your whole blog from start to finish." I'm okay maintaining these quiet exchanges but it's also worth mentioning that I don't mind if people read any of this. In fact, I sort of want that. And I never mind talking to people about it, if they want to. I'm not going to bring it up all the time for fear of sounding ridiculous but it's no secret. It's on the INTERNET, folks. Go ahead and talk to me.

I started blogging out of despair, loneliness and confusion when E and I were separated. I'd worn out the ears of every friend I had and I still had 14 volumes of things to say. I blog because I will always have 14 volumes of things to say. I write posts in my head all day long. I relish strange and awkward experiences now, because I know I'll get the chance to explore them in writing. And I write for YOU. I write with you in mind. I write and I know that once I say something like hoo-hah or divorce, you'll know that about me. Forever. (ZOMG, she said hoo-hah?!?!)

It's freeing, though. For someone like me who has been so pent up by self-imposed rule following and good-girlishness, it's sooooo freeing.

The longer I do this, the more I realize how like each other we are. I realize that I'm surrounded by people (and have been, frankly, for some time) who have gone through many of the same things I do. Maybe we just don't talk about those things though, because it's hard. I have true, close, good friends with whom I know I can't ask them certain things--not because they wouldn't answer, but because I am too scared to ask. So I write those un-askables and put them out into the universe.  Always with a sense of my audience,and a little fear that they might judge.  (Audience, here, meaning those who read my blithering blabber, not like the kind who stands up and claps for something--ew.)

And honestly once I get it all out of me and written down here, it's not about me so much anymore. It's about what all writing is about, which is the life experience that every person brings to something when they read it. It's about finding something common, something universal. I'm not a believer that everything I do here is going to strike a chord, but maybe it might every once in a blue moon. That would be cool with me.

So thanks for lurking, for reading, for commenting, for whatever level of audience-participation reader you are. I'm grateful that you're here.


Prompt for this post courtesy of Travelin' Oma:

~Who are you writing for? Write a letter to them.


  1. I am grateful that you keep writing! That makes my day too. I check it whenever I am on FB and when I miss a blog I get excited to see that I missed it so I can read more!

  2. I found this post via Travelin' Oma and loved it! You are a gifted writer. I love what you have to say.

  3. I love your blog. I sorta wish I knew you in person too (hope that doesn't sound stalker-ish. I'm not. Ask your sister-in-law). I look forward to your posts. They're so honest and well written. Thanks for sharing your life with your readers.

  4. Reading your blog is like reading a book and discovering clues about your personality. I think it's a fascinating way to get to know somebody. I know more about my blog friends than I do most of my real friends, and I learn so much from blog friends. Thanks for your insights and honesty. You're a great writer.

  5. I have thought it for a long time and I need to say it. I just hate the way people text "lol" all the time. I don't believe it! They may have had a hmm or a small ha, but lols are rare! I bring this up for the purpose of letting you know that you give me frequent real "lol"s. These stress-reducing experiences stem from things in your blog I totally identify with and things I have never heard of. I particularly love the two-syllable first and four-syllable last name names that you assign to people - often yourself. They crack me up. (Couldn't find one to Ctl-C but I think you know what I mean.) Your writing is bursting with sounds and rhythm. And very deep thought. It is just always a treat! Thank you. And what the heck is sesquipedalian? I guess I will have to get my dictionary, but that's okay because I really like dictionaries.

  6. @Beck-- You mean like Grumpy McCrankypants? :)