Friday, September 25, 2009
Hello, old friend. Ah, the blog. I've neglected you for almost a year. Awhile back I joined Facebook, which has been a great venue for updating on family happenings and the occasional thought. But I have found, especially over this last year, that I have a great deal of trouble expressing my thoughts and feelings. In the back of my head there's a little voice that says, "No one really cares how you're doing, just as long as you're there for them, and help them in their need." It speaks to the higher value placed on doing vs. being. An old curse I've battled from a young age. Growing up as the younger sister of a handicapped child, I struggled expressing inner turmoil to people because I was always aware that there are others worse off than me. There is always a family with a more handicapped child, less food, more trials, less money, etc. And from a very young age I learned how to invalidate myself. Even if I feel bad, my main response to people when they ask me how I am is, "I'm fine. How are you." Which is technically true, I am fine. I'm standing here talking to you. I'm not dead or sick in bed. The situation could be worse! But inside I can be heartbroken. Worried. Angry. It's a hard habit to break. Because I've learned to be a good listener and how to be solicitous, I often times get people talking and sharing. I have a compassionate side. People feel cared for. But inside I'm not really sure people want to know how I'm doing.
That's why Facebook has been good and bad. I feel safer putting out there, "Hey, I'm having a crappy day." And there are generally kind, encouraging responses. I was hurt when sitting with a group of non-Facebook/blog people who were critiquing FB. They referred to it as "virtual friendships." The people on FB are my friends. At widely varying levels. But the interactions are real, often sharing my real life in real time, without the month or two lag that we have before we get a chance to sit and catch up. (Often times, I'm the one sitting there, listening to you catch me up.) But blogging has always forced me to formulate and present complete thoughts of my very own. Good and bad. I am vulnerable in a deeper sense. I expose my heart without waiting to be asked. Yes, it's a carefully edited version , but it's a start.
So, if you want to know what's happening with me, meet me on FB. If you want to know what I think and feel, meet me here. And to my anti-computer communicating friends, writing and FBing is very much a real expression of a person. It's just a much more practical venue for those of us who aren't sure anyone really wants to know anyway. :)