Blogging is personal. Well, I guess it doesn’t have to be. But all the blogs that I find engaging and worth going back to are personal. And whether I need to or not, I have tried to be personal here.
Living a public life can be complicated though. You’d think that after over a year and a half of blogging, I would have worked out all the “don’t publish that” kinks. But I haven’t. David, my husband, is a much more private person and it’s a constant give and take between us over what I can publish or not. Him, constantly feeling that I’m putting too much out there; me, constantly feeling like he’s trying to clip my wings. And then there’s me, sometimes realizing that he was right, and thinking too late that maybe I shouldn’t have shared after all.
Despite the fact that I have shared some of my most personal moments, there are other things I haven’t shared. I have written about my battle with depression, about my struggle to figure out what to do with my life, my failings as a mother, my self-doubt as a writer. You would be forgiven for thinking that I had shared everything. But you would be wrong.
I don’t write about my husband and our relationship because he’s just not comfortable with it, and I respect that. I don’t write about other people (e.g., friends) because I don’t know if they would be comfortable with it. I didn’t write about my recent decision to turn down a job (and all that that choice meant for us as a family) because it just seemed unprofessional and, again, because David didn’t want me to. I haven’t written much about my divorce – and the life-changing event that it was – because I’m apparently legally prohibited from doing so. And I don’t write about my parents because (hello!) they read my blog!
I write this blog as though I’m sharing my life with you and you might think you know all about me. But there’s context that you aren’t getting and, in a way, that’s not fair to you.
Just take my marriage as an example. One of the hardest parts of parenting is learning how to be a couple with this new person constantly getting in between you (both figuratively and literally). To the extent that I’ve tried to draw a realistic picture of what parenting is all about, I’ve failed miserably by not putting our struggles and victories out there.
Or consider writing. I’ve tried to talk openly and honestly about my journey to becoming a writer. But one of the biggest struggles has been what it means to give up a career as a lawyer and the paycheck that could bring (and how David feels about it: not great). So to the extent that I’ve left out the various ways that we’ve had to adjust and the setbacks we’ve had along the way, I might have made this writing thing seem easier than it is.
Life is complicated, complex, and messy. In this age of social media, everyone puts their life on display to some extent. We are all trying to figure out how much is too much. And we are all, also, trying to hide our flaws. I love this quote:
I have tried my best not to let this blog be a “highlight reel”. Please don’t think that just because I haven’t shared a particular struggle, that means I’m not dealing with it.