May 19th, 2006



My friend Marilyn over at California Fever, wrote a very insightful post today about why people blog, how blogging affects the people who do it, and how the blogosphere has changed in the past few years, both for the better and for the worse.

I found myself nodding along with her assessments, for the most part. There seems to be a lot of reflection going on out there among my virtual friends these days and many of us have experienced the cyclical ups and downs of online writing, online journaling, online blogging, or whatever the hell you want to call it.

I was never one of the cool kids, not in high school, not in college and not now, at work or in "real life." I seem to have established a pattern early in life that has stood me in good stead: having friends in every group but not really belonging to any of them. The circle of people that I surround myself with both inside and outside this computer screen are the ones that I consider to be the cool kids. YOU are the ones I want to hang out with, you are the people I want to tell things to.

Like my husband, my family, my best and oldest friend Becky, like the handful of girlfriends that passed time with me in various places of the world and various stages of my life, YOU are the ones I want to share with now, the ones I want to laugh with and cry with and learn and grow with. Anders is probably the only person who knows the most of me, besides myself, but even he thinks I share more here than I do with him. He's wrong, though. There is so much more in my head, in my heart, and in my mouth that I keep clamped inside. Things I never allow myself to say, no matter how much I think about them. There is a very lively and private part of me that only gets screentime behind my eyes.

There's never been any real desire on my part to let my hair down completely here or anywhere else. I have never felt the compulsion to share all or tell all with the world in general, and I am usually a little boggled by those who do. That is, when I'm not busy being awestruck by the brutal honesty and forthrightness which some people manage. For the most part, I admire people who can put it all out there, but I will never be one of them.

The thing is, I want to talk here. I want to write here, about my life and my feelings, and the things that have happened to me. And I do, but only to a certain extent. Does that make me a liar? Does that call my commitment to the truth or to the self I reveal here into question? Am I just being ridiculous and pretentiously navel-gazing about a subject which is, ultimately, only interesting to me? The subject, of course, BEING me.

I've been told many times that I write well, and feel free to tell me again! I never get tired of hearing it. I am, however, well aware that in the celebrity-blog world, I am a tiny, tiny ickle fish in an unfathomably large pond. There are people out there whose words bring me up short and gasping with recognition, with amazement, with a huge blast of laughter, people who are CONSISTENTLY good at this public sharing, and this self-revelation. Most of them will never read my little green journal and that's fine, but some of them do, and I am thrilled and honored each time. Not because they are cool kids or celebrity bloggers or even just really great writers out there right now, but because they have crossed over some weird line and become friends.

Tomorrow I'm meeting someone for the first time that I hugely admire, based solely on what she puts out there with a frankness and a bravery that is searing. She is coming all the way to Sweden just to meet ME and another friend of mine (who started out as an online friend, and then crossed that weird line into real-life). The 3 of us are getting together to hang out for an evening. When asked what I was doing this weekend several times today I simply answered that I was getting together with friends. There was, and is, no differentiation between the one I have met in person and the one I have not, because the thing is, I have MET them both. We've MET. Right here. And that's what it is, this whole funny, bizarre online phenomenon. For me, at least, it's just getting together with friends.

I have what I need from this peculiar and wonderful forum. I am content to be out here on the fringes, canoodling happily with my own set of cool kids and shedding bits of myself one post at a time.