Sunday, October 16, 2011

I've missed this.

I'm thinking about blogging again. I haven't done that in a while. Or whatever it's called. Journaling? Keeping a diary? I never was a fan of calling it a diary. As much as diaryland meant to me at one time, I was never thrilled with the name. Also, I was constantly typing dairyland instead, which spellcheck wants to change to fairyland.

Before the internet, or I should say: last century, before blogging was all the rage or even a medium I had heard of, I diligently kept a paper journal. I wish I could remember what lead me to first keep a diary back in the 4th grade. Although that was a very hard year for me, I was not self aware enough to be able to record my thoughts on what was hard for me at the time. I merely kept a record of what I ate, how I managed to stay up a half hour past bedtime, what games I played with what friends, etc.

I think I started recording thoughts as well as actions a couple years later. There was nothing that deep, though, until high school. And then I went to town in journals. Poems and stories in which terrible or wonderful things would happen to a protagonist not so loosely based on me.

In my late teens and early 20s my journals were everything to me, as was writing letters to my friends (and receiving ones back). I would write to work through my emotions, okay let's face it: mainly about men. But still, this was immensely helpful and for some crazy reason I all but stopped.

Oh wait, not some crazy reason: the Internet. I was 25 for the millennial celebration and a month before that I started a blog. Most people I knew in real life had never heard of blogs. I myself can't remember where I first encountered one, but I can say with certainty that it stirred something in me and I knew I needed one right away.

Blogging was like writing in a paper journal, except with feedback! And praise! And encouragement! I was in a shitty relationship at the time and I needed all of that so very much. But there was also judgement and competition and secrets and inside jokes and cool kids and for the love of god, there were actually awards. I am writing this in the past tense as if this is all in the past. It is for me, but as far as I know it still goes on out there.

And I want nothing to do with any of that. Those things I listed have no place being linked with journaling. I wish blogging was not considered synonymous with journaling. To me journaling is a solitary pursuit and blogging is the public version of that. Not the same at all. I also believe that anyone who claims they blog as openly as they would journal in a private paper book is lying. I have not heard anyone say that lately. I'm just saying.

So anyway. I think I'm going to start using this space again for thoughts, not just as a travelogue. I have come full circle about permanence. I don't really care about keeping these entries as a record of my thoughts at a point in time. I have my paper journals for that. This is a public place and I will not be talking about anything that would make my grandma uncomfortable (in theory. She's not online.), which leaves a lot of room since for a 101-year-old, she's fairly open-minded.

That was an awfully long prologue. Here is the entry itself:

I'm practicing saying no more, or rather not being afraid to say it when it needs to be said. So far, this is going better than I expected. Related: I'm working on telling the truth about why I'm saying no (as long as it's appropriate). I vow to not be vague in this here blog, so here's an example: I have had a very emotionally intense weekend... oh crap, vagueness is creeping in. Okay: I went on a retreat this weekend that was very emotionally taxing (in a good way). More about the retreat in the future. I'm not ready to talk about it yet. On Friday I planned a happy hour this evening with 2 coworkers who live near me. I realized earlier this afternoon that what my soul really needs this evening is to go home and make apple squash soup and be alone (Jeff is away). I was avoiding letting the coworker know that I am bailing because I don't want her to judge me, be mad at me, think I'm a chronic bailer, etc. And guess what: she was totally understanding when I told her the truth. And we made plans to do another happy hour in 2 weeks. How easy was that! Whew. Anyway, I typed this on my phone on a bouncy bus so I'm feeling cross-eyed and woozy now. Over and out.


bluesleepy said...

I'm impressed with your ability to type such a long post on your phone. I can barely stand to write an email on such a small screen.

You make excellent pints here. Also it's a whole 'nother world for blogging than when we started. It seems like now the goal is to become famous, like Dooce or Julie Powell (of Julie & Julia fame) or The Pioneer Woman. I admit I miss the old days.

Carrie said...

Honesty can be difficult, but most people are grateful when you tell them something authentic: I'm just too tired and need to just be solitary. Who hasn't felt that way? Most people are afraid to say it. I hope you enjoyed your apple squash soup. Learning to say no and that it's ok to say no is something you get better at as you get older. I'm way better at it now than I was five years ago and even three years ago. And welcome back to blog-o-journaling--or whatever you want to call it. :)