Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I'm Not Telling You What I'm Not Telling You ...

Blogs are illusions, really. You think you’re getting to know someone so well over the course of months or years because every day (or whenever they get around to it), they spell out so many details of their lives.

But we bloggers, behind our keyboards, are the gatekeepers of our stories. We post what we want you to know. And you have no way of knowing how much is being left unsaid.

Life changes happen every day. Some are big. Some are small. But they happen every day. One day, you wake up and find yourself in a different mental place and you think to yourself, a la David Byrne, “Well, how did I get here?”

I'm continually amazed to learn new details of the lives of others through their blogs. Of course, I don't really know them, but I feel like I know them and then they go and reveal something new.

Blogger pal Stacy was part of a panel at BlogHer about personal blogs. Which, really, is what this is. It's not a theme blog. It's not all about cooking or being a lawyer or being a waiter. It's about being a writer and a singer, but mostly a writer. And given that it's about being a writer, writing becomes the theme, not a given topic, so, by definition, anything I write about fits the theme of my blog, simply by virtue of the fact that it's written.

But what about all the things I don't write about? I'm under no obligation, of course, to tell you anything. When I was dating G, I didn't go into intimate details about our time together. You're smart people. I knew you could extrapolate.

On the other hand, the fact that I choose to continue writing this blog and you choose to continue reading this blog implies a relationship. And a relationship not built on honesty isn't much of a relationship. Not that I've ever lied to you, but I certainly withhold things from you. Some topics just aren't on the table.

Still, blogging is a process for us, our daily self-administered therapy. Stac says it well, as she always does, in this post: "We share our ups and downs, our in-betweens. We speak. We give ourselves to those who want to take us up on it and, in turn, we grow and learn about ourselves, we start to realize who we are ..."

And maybe we can realize who we are by what we don't say as well as by what we do.


Blogger Mercurie said...

How very true. My blog is not a personal blog, so I doubt people really find out anything about me from it other than general stuff such as my tastes in music, movies, et. al. But even if it was a personal blog, I doubt I would include everything in it. As you point out, we choose what to tell readers. That can leave an awful lot out.

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Ethan said...

Wow, you took the words right out of my mouth. I was just thinking about this sort of thing before I saw your post come over the wire. Oo wee oo.

So: What're you not telling us? :-)

11:03 PM  
Blogger under the Eagle's wings said...

that is so true. not that we're being mean and saying "gah! get out of my business" (though that would be a huge contradiction considering we discuss our lives on here every day) but you can't be entirely too open i think because we don't want our weaknesses to show. yea we might say "oh i had a crappy day today here's what happened..." but we don't put our true feelings out there for the world to gawk at...

and here i go, rambling haha.

keep posting!

God bless!!!

1:24 PM  

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