It's even hard to write anything in the "About" section of my blog. Forces me to commit to some statement of who I am, what I like, what I do, why I'm doing this. And evidently I have some conflict about stating those things. I hate it when something forces me to confront how ambivalent I am about myself, how hard it is to reveal certain parts of myself, even to myself. But pushing myself past the barriers to my self-expression is what this blog was partly about, so here's what I'm finding.
I came late to the blogging table. I'd heard about it, but I didn't actually go to a blog until I somehow heard about the Mason-Dixon Knitting blog (www.masondixonknitting.com). It was like crack--I was hooked right away by the combination of engaging writing, the window into their lives, their unselfconscious pursuit of their passions, and the great way that the photos were used as part of the story. I began checking out their favorite blogs, and then those people's favorite blogs and so on, until I'd surfed through the world of knitting blogs to crafting blogs to food blogs to mothering blogs, and all the multi-category blogs that include all of the above. The money shots of piles of yarn to be knit, the roving to be spun, the fabrics, the quilts, the shots of people's work spaces, their personal stories, were so satisfying.
I was moved by the richness and variety and intelligence and humor of these voices that were not those of professional writers or even people trying to be writers. At first it was humbling. Here I'd been, trying to be a good writer and all these people were good without trying, AND they were good at so many other things, too, such wonderful artists of whatever their passion was, and creating such beautiful blogs, too. Then it was just inspiring: no matter who you were it could be interesting to read what there was to say. So, perhaps there was hope for me, too.
But which category would I fit into? It felt familiar this feeling of Not Quite Fitting. Annoying to be feeling it. Didn't want to feel it, didn't want to admit it, didn't want to have to figure out what to do about it. But was the problem really a "couldn't" problem, as in, I couldn't just be one thing--a knitter, a quilter, a painter, a maker of cute bunnies, a mother, me? Or that I wouldn't, as in, I wouldn't let myself be whatever I was, make a new category, or see everyone else as less segmented than I was imagining. After all, once you put a life into a blog it seems to coalesce, to gain some kind of authority, an aura of solidity, as if it's all been planned out, as if it makes sense, all fits together. It becomes a whole, simply because it's held together in this layout, everything ordered on the page and in the files, everything pretty because the photos are, everything neatly boxed into its dated posts. I knew it was a mirage. So, another kick in the ass. Not a good enough reason not to do it. In fact, maybe my life could become a mirage of a kaleidoscopic whole, rather than feeling so fragmented. An analyst once said that all my parts were held together like a kaleidoscope, the organizing principle being: Me. Oh. Yeah. That sounds good. I can see how that makes sense. But feeling it is another story. Part of the blog allure is that I might see a version of myself in a nicely done blog. I wonder if its the same for others, too.
So, then, what to put on the blog and what not? What if my posts are all over the map? Will they still hold together? Who knows. We'll see. Get ready for a little of everything. Actually, a little of a few things, really. My life isn't that varied.
But the other issue is that when I read people's self-descriptions, or even their blog posts, I realize that I'm a little shy to admit that I like crafting, or doing projects with my kids, or to show my knitting. Sometimes I'm embarrassed because of some strange feeling that I'll be ridiculed, because I'm being too girly and not tough enough (surprised to find that in the hopper!) or that I'll be trying to be like the big kids, those great knitters with their great blogs. And then I'm just shocked at all the insecurity that's there. It's always so interesting to see how much just hides away out of awareness, no matter how aware one thinks one is--and what shrink doesn't think there at least a little aware of themselves?
I could keep this kind of stuff out of the blog, but I think it's gonna have to be at least partly a blog ABOUT all this stuff that comes up. It's just pretty inseparable for me, the living and the analyzing. I don't think I can separate it out. And now that I think about it more, I don't think I want to.