I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog. About the blog I used to have before I started this one (and the one before that!). I know some of you followed me here from there, and I imagine there are a lot of differences. For one, I nO loNGer TypE liKe thIs. The backgrounds are not blinding pink, the writing not cursive. Those things are inevitable when you begin blogging when the internet is born, because if you’re my age you were a teenager when that happened.
But there were other things there, too. Real names, pictures with heads and faces. I miss those things.
I debate switching over again. Unlike some people, though, I’ve never been a blog hopper. I’ve been attracted to the idea to starting many blogs, and may have started the odd one or two that fell to the wayside while the number of entries was still in the single digits. The exception to this was a nice little babywearing blog…..which, of course, has now joined all the others on the scrap heap.
I remember feeling confused when I realised many people classed blogging as their job. Some were mothers who needed to still feel like they had a piece of themselves, something to contribute, as they (like me) were trapped in the mindless, wonderful world of childrearing. For a handful, they made a lot of money from blogging.
For me, well, it’s not for me. Not at a place where I want to just have a dumping ground, an old fashioned diary, a place to record some memories or work out some of my mental bullshit. I don’t want to have to write on a timetable, with sanitized topics, to hunt for sponsors. I don’t want the joy of being me to become an obligation. I’m not sure it would, but for now, this is my place. My Place.
And I’m not an anonymous sort of person.
I know a lot of bloggers are witty and fabulous and funny and smart – and I’m always confused when they say how painfully shy they are in real life. Don’t get me wrong. I know the pure pleasure of being truly yourself – which is something the internet does afford those of us who choose to use it in that way. In the 1990s I regularly used primative chatrooms called Talkers. These were places for the geeks, for the misfits, for the wonderful few who knew how to literally teleport into little black screens, adopt a name befitting your personality, and make genuine friends. Perhaps fall in love.
I did a little of both.
But I’m not that blogger. While I may feel insecure and cautious with the best of them, I am really comfortable talking. If I’m somewhere and a new person shows up who looks a bit left out, I always make a point to reach out to that person. It’s how I met Aussie, actually. I love telling stories, I love making people laugh, I become bigger and more grandiose and shinier when I am with other people. When I am with MY people.
And I’ve always been painfully honest online, in whatever form ‘online’ has been. My online persona matches my ‘real’ persona, or at least I think it’s a pretty damn close representation. I talk about poop in real life. I dance in my underwear with (my!) children. I overshare, etc etc.
As a counsellor, I’m also a pretty good listener. And that counselling bit? Well, that’s the reason this blog started. Simply because my other blog was so big, so public, that I was very easy to find online. And I wanted to talk about therapy, oh, I did. It was my love. I still love it. Except I’m not practicing as a therapist at the minute – though perhaps that will come back into my life as I more fully integrate motherhood into my roles – and that makes it difficult to remember why I wanted to be anonymous online.
I’m friends with many people from here and twitter on facebook. I’m shit at replying to emails, I fully recognize and admit that – and apologize to those of you who have waited weeks or months to hear from me. I have trouble leaving comments on other blogs from my phone. But I am here. Many of you have seen my face, know my children’s real names, and two of you have MET my children!
One of you named her child after me. More of you have sent amazing and thoughtful gifts for my children or myself.
The thing is, you know me. So what do I do? Somehow reread and erase past entries about therapy? I think it’d be impossible for anyone who has read any part of this – well, pre-pregnancy, at least – to not understand that I work with other people for a living. With their pains and fears and hopes and pasts and presents. I like it. It’s part of who I am.
So do I acknowledge that and be more me anyway? I don’t know. I feel like going more public is a choice that accompanies a decision to not work as a therapist. Though I also have deep mixed feelings about how much ‘self’ to share with clients – would the world really collapse if they had outside proof I was really human? Of course not.
So, for now, we stick to headless pictures and cute pseudonyms. I don’t link to my blog on facebook, family and old friends don’t know I’m here, I’ve carved this space for myself. I don’t quite know how to integrate the spaces, but I suspect that’s because I don’t quite know how I’m going to move forward in life.
And I’m mostly okay with that.