Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blogging and the lessons therein


I started this blog on a whim.
We had a private family blog, which the husband mostly (or rather, practically exclusively) maintains and I occasionally contributed to and then concurrently in 2010 two dear friends started their own blogs which, incidentally, I suggest you visit cause they’re awesome: Nuts about Food and The Nero Chronicles. Their blogs have a focus, a purpose, I had none, but I enjoy writing and I’m a “sharer” so through the power of imitation I started what pretty much amounts to a life blog.

I wanted this blog to be anonymous, but as I said, I’m a sharer, so almost as soon as I started it I shared it on facebook. Thus, though not popular by any stretch of the imagination, this blog became not anonymous and is read, in part, by people I know in “real life”. This has never really been a problem for me, until recently. Sure, at times I found I would inadvertently censor myself or I would think of a possible subject and then decide not to post it because it would infringe on someone’s privacy, but it happened rarely and once I decided not to write it I never gave it another thought.

I was always happy to hear of a friend or acquaintance that visited me here, I felt it was a way to connect (albeit one-sidedly) to people in my life I rarely get to see. And yet now, I sometimes feel restricted by this blog, I constantly wonder whether I’m offending (I’m sure I am, with my anti-Italy posts), whether I’m over-sharing, whether by talking candidly about my life I’m overstepping on the right to privacy of the people in my life.

And so I question whether it wouldn’t have been better to suffer the silence of blogging just for myself while slowly building readership and, more importantly, friendship in the blogging world keeping it separate from my “real” life, thus concurrently protecting my family and maintaining a space for myself, where I could just be myself, and write my thoughts as they exist in my head rather than the version of our thoughts we present to the world. Because despite how candid we think we are, how true to ourselves we want to be, we inevitably censor, tone down, or up, or otherwise modify our reactions, our words, our gestures and actions and expressions depending on who we’re interacting with. It’s human nature.

On the other hand, I wonder if blogging anonymously isn’t just hiding, isn’t being ashamed, isn’t not wanting to own up to who we are. Isn't short-changing the very real, and very important friends one makes on the internet just because one hasn't met them in the physical world. 

I’ve never really cared too much about what others think of me. Of course, I can’t say I don’t care at all, because that would be ridiculous, but I’m not overly concerned if someone doesn’t agree with something I write, in fact, it’s highly likely that someone won’t. But can I make that decision for the other people in my life?
Sometimes I wish that I had a specific theme to my blog, a food blog, a design blog, an arts and crafts blog (an impossibility, as I’m neither artsy nor craftsy) but this is a “me” blog and I don’t live in a bubble. Also, I’ve got that whole over-sharing thing going on.

I keep going in circles.

So the lesson I learned from blogging? There are limits in everything we do, limits imposed by society, limits imposed by our fears, limits imposed by our own good sense, and sometimes limits imposed in what we write, about ourselves and about our lives. 
Can I live with these limits? 
I’m not so sure anymore. So where does a blogger go from here?

7 comments:

  1. This is a tough one. Why do you blog? To vent, to share, to have a community of your own? Those are all good reasons, but are they enough to keep doing it. It's work isn't it? I hope you keep sharing and I can find you. Wherever you are. But I understand if you choose to stop. (But I'l miss you.)

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  2. Wow, first off, what a pleasing surprise for Nero to be mentioned in such a serious and sincere post -- most honored indeed, amica.
    And secondly, I think part of the beauty of Moomser has always been that it is sui generis to you and to your life as you've experienced it over the last few years. I've always considered it a very brave, soul-baring blog -- many of us would wish to be able to share even more of ourselves as you have done.
    Also, I would imagine that being able to vent your emotions would be an excellent form of self-expression and therapy. 
    So though we all ask ourselves questions about what we share, and though we all feel doubts or fears to some extent about wounding others or exposing ourselves to ridicule, I would advise you to remain true to yourself, as you've always done, and to continue doing just what you're doing here. 
    We love it and those who do know you in the flesh and who do care very much about the minute goings on of your days feel privileged to be privy to your world.
    It's like we get to live in your head...er, almost ;)...and it also makes us all feel a little less insane. 
    So carry on Moomser, please do. 
    Chau and baci, Alcira

    nerochronicles.com

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  3. NutsaboutfooditalyApril 13, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    That is a really tough one. I respect your decision, whatever it is. If blogging anonymously is what can give you total freedom, then you should, because you have a great, passionate blog and a true talent for writing and it would be sad for you to have to give it up (and the therapy you get from it). When you write about something, you make all of us stop and think a little more.
    I do however feel that you have managed pretty well up to now, without giving in to doubts and guilt and insecurity. Because that is who you are and you have remained true to yourself.
    So before changing, you have to figure out if you are really hurting people by writing the blog or just making some around you uncomfortable. I mean, you do write painful things about yourself that may not be pleasant to read for those who love you, because they love you, but how much are you truly hurting others? Maybe sharing personal news with those closest to you before "your" whole world reads it could be an option, just to prepare them, but in truth you are not writing about them. And let's be honest, over the months you have dropped a few bombs and how much has that truly changed your everyday life and relations with others? People talk and give their unwanted opinions whether you write things or not.
    I totally understand the responsibility of being a mother, a wife, a daughter and so on and so forth and I am the first to admit I don't have your guts. But your capability of sharing the good and bad, the gritty and the sometimes shameful is what makes you who you are and an honest, true writer.
    So friend, weigh out what is more important to you. If you give this up, do it because you feel it is the best choice for yourself and your conscience, because of how it affects you and your life, not others'.
    P.S. Thank you for the mention, I am honored

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  4. I blog for a bit of all three reasons that's my problem, I don't feel like I can really share, nor vent, nor, in fact, be fully myself right now. Will figure it out, there's always a solution!

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  5. Ha! Living in my head is not necessarily a position you want to be in! I'm considering a change of scenery, we'll see.

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  6. eh, you've hit the nail on the head... me or others... we shall see!

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  7. Good thoughts, all of them.  I admit I keep many things private because I am worried about who reads- it's just impossible to know!  Also I think I'd be embarrassed to share a lot of my inner thoughts, details about my life.  Not because they're embarrassing per se, but because people judge! I know- I used to judge a lot.  You will find what you are comfortable with and we will keep reading as long as there is something to read. 

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