I mostly write glimpses here: snippets out of context, strobe-light moments.
They are my version of the truth, but they are incomplete, of course, so the impression they leave is imperfect.
I curate carefully for many reasons, some of which I have talked about before.
My rules for writing about people are:
- No surprises (well, sweet surprises are okay)
- No hurt
And that’s limiting enough because most people who I write about know my blog, probably read it (or could), and there is a ton of stuff in my head that might be surprising or hurtful, and which I have zero interest in discussing with the person involved. And many are momentary thoughts like ‘wow, you pissed me off’ that pass quickly, but which would be given a power and longevity that they don’t deserve when they are recorded in black and white on the page. So instead I bang them out in my private writing, maybe in an email to a friend, maybe in my journal that quietly keeps my secrets.
But that’s not all that constrains me here.
Some things make me feel vulnerable, and I hate that, so I am reluctant to share them. In theory that’s okay because obviously I don’t HAVE to share everything (goodness, how unfathomably dull), but I’m very aware that I’m presenting a very skewed view of me, my life, and what is going on with me.
My last post was true. And I know it sounds hot and sweet (which it is), but put into its full context, it’s also at least equal parts messy and selfish.
In context, it makes me feel vulnerable, but I want to write about it because it’s part of my history, and it’s still swimming around in my head in different ways.
But the full story is not owned just by me, and while we own our lives and our history, the line where it overlaps with someone else’s (because it must) becomes problematic when as well as exposing my life and vulnerabilities, I am exposing theirs (even if nobody knows who they are, THEY know, and words have the power to wound).
I keep thinking of a quote from Bird by Bird:
You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.
― Anne Lamott
It makes me laugh every time I read it. But for my own well being, I’m waiting for him to let me know if he wants to read what I write before I post it so that it doesn’t leave him feeling exposed.
Edited to add: I realise on re-reading that the quote implied that I wanted to write about someone who had behaved badly: that’s not the case. Well, fine, sometimes it is, but not this time… *smile*.