January 23rd, 2004



I've been thinking a lot about skeletons in the closet. Having an online journal, or I assume, ANY journal, makes you want to spill your guts about every aspect of your life, current and prior. Sometimes, it may be cathartic, but much of the time, I wonder if it's necessary. I think it IS necessary to the growth of friendship, to be allowed in, to learn the nooks and crannies and reasons for behavior a friend displays. Usually, it furthers understanding or at least promotes tolerance.

The person I am now is firmly rooted in the people I've been at various times in my life. I don't feel it necessary to hide or apologize for my particular skeletons, even if I don't feel the need to talk about them or bring them up at all. It's not because I'm ashamed of these things in my past, it's more that they aren't really relevant anymore. I know that they would add a new dimension to the picture of me that my friends have. Perhaps that's a good thing, perhaps not.

It's also different in this case because I don't know most of the people reading this in real life. And there are a lot of my real life friends and acquaintances reading this who never comment directly. Some of them know me better than others. I wonder if you would be surprised or dismayed to know that I've served jail time for theft. Or that I've been married 3 times. Or that I gave a baby away for adoption.* Or any of a million different things that could be my skeletons.

Finding out about things in a person's past does make you view them differently, for better or worse. I remember when I was 13, finding out that a girl 2 grades above me, who I sort of looked up to, smoked cigarettes. I was shocked, which may sound like I was very naive (and I was, but that's not the point). I actually wrote in my diary, "I didn't think Veronica was that kind of girl!" Smoking cigarettes may seem like a silly example, but my reaction, in many cases, would still be the same, and so might yours, upon finding out the things that I, or you, don't talk about to strangers or even to good friends.

To prove that I AM still the same person inside as I was when I was 13: when two good friends of mine unexpectedly lit up cigarettes when we were out having dinner last summer, I was equally as shocked as I was when Veronica Reese did it 26 years ago. :)

It's not because they're not good friends, but no one from my current circle of friends in Sweden knows about my skeletons. They rattle quietly in their closet once in awhile, but rarely come out to be introduced. That's just the way I like it.

*None of those applies to me. My skeletons are much tamer.
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