(Disclaimer: I am aware that I am just a little blogger...a bitty drop in the bucket in comparison to giant, mega-bloggers with millions of views per day. But, I think in writing about our lives, we're all somewhat the same. So here it is.)
Blogging is sticky with a side of sweet.
When I started blogging two years ago, my voice was soft, quiet. Not yet comfortable with sharing the intimate struggles and joys of a girl in her twenties. In time, specifically within the last year, life became murky and I turned to my laptop, Chuck, to tap out phrases and thoughts which drifted into my head during precious moments of clarity. I progressed, letting down my hair and becoming less edited, discovering that vulnerability was magnetic...it draws more of you than you thought it would. A gentle, quiet freedom builds inside. And writing without a face becomes like a confessional. Veiled in a little anonymity, vulnerability comes much easier. When responses are warm and wise, honesty is nothing to fear. I understand Catholics a little better these days.
Over the past year, as I discovered more individuals than I originally thought were reading my words, I figured I should establish a standard for what I would and would not write. I now write with only two rules:
1. Write only what is true: true in the world, true in my mind or true in my heart.
2. Written words, even if they're true, should never hurt others. Soften anything unflattering, remove identifying details and when involving others, write about them as objectively as possible.
I've stuck to my rules, remaining a strong proponent for honesty and vulnerability. But, most recently, I've found myself at an impasse: when writing transparently, you begin to feel that your beeswax is no longer yours. You occasionally find yourself the target of unsolicited advice, or discover an inquisitive individual probing behind your back, questioning your decisions. As a girl who lives a pretty drama-free, mom-and-dad-approved life...that can be a smidge jarring. Years ago, my people-pleasing self would have been thrown into a nervous tizzy at the thought of someone questioning me. Now my initial instinct is a combination of, "Wow. You really have time for that?" and "Mind your own beeswax." But, I suppose when one posts her beeswax regularly, she puts it out there for others to mind. And, although most mind it nicely, its tough when those distantly removed take time to make things sticky. I've started to think: perhaps transparency, without context, can be slightly dangerous. Perhaps I share too much beeswax here.
But, on the sweet side, I've had such beautiful responses due to transparency: people I don't know, and some I do, letting me know that my silly little life and words have touched them, and brought them clarity or even inspired them. That is something I never expected, but is certainly rewarding. E-mails from women who've struggled as I have with food, their bodies and the desire to be loved...a few women thanking me for saying the words they couldn't find. Those emails and comments can make me cry, wanting to hug the faceless women who are so much like me.
It's sticky. And it's sweet. And I'm not sure what to do. I'll likely change nothing, but I'm pondering.
Dear blog readers...what are your thoughts on vulnerability in blogland? Bloggers, do you have personal boundaries for your own blogging,? Are there pieces of your life you're completely unwilling to share, in order to keep your sanity?