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BY CHANCE MET, BY CHOICE FRIENDS
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.
 excited
mood: excited
music: me, practicing my ululating


Comments
(no subject) - (Anonymous)

I got that new LJ header thingy. And up at the top of my screen, it says "Lizardek is your mutual friend."

Cool, huh?

Soon soon soon!

:) I can't wait!

I think you have a very distinctive VOICE with what you write. And, having met you and spent some time with you developing a friendship, I'd say that voice is true.

That's nice to know, since I do try very hard to be true to my voice!

To me, you're one of the coolest of the cool kids. I think yours was the first blog I found and it was definitely yours that opened up this LJ world to me where I found all the other cool kids I'd seen walking the hallways. Thanks!

I'm in a clique? A cool kid clique! HAA! Thanks, Ellen :)

I've really enjoyed reading your writing ever since I found you and I just happily added ibyi and brief_therapy to my friends list. I hope you all have a good visit!

Aha! Mystery solved...I saw where you had added me to your flickr contacts list and couldn't find a connection via flickr stuff. Then I saw that Liz was wishing you a happy birthday...(happy birthday, by the way)...and then I came back to this post just because Liz is the coolest kid with the coolest commenters and here you are. :-)

oh stop! you're making me blush. :P

Thank you! The both of them are wonderful, even though they are very different in some ways. :)

You've so beautifully summed up how I feel about blogging friendships. And I'm so very glad to call you friend...not blogging friend, just friend. :)

:) There are so many kinds of friends...sometimes it's nice to sit back and realize that really they're not so different when it comes down to it.

(Anonymous)

Hmm ... now you've got me feeling self-conscious about what I write on my blog.

~Sprigs

Well, you DO write about peeing on your grandmother so you only have yourself to blame! :P

There are so many wonderful blogging people out there. I feel honored to call the few that I have met friend

Silly woman, you're beyond cool!

A family friend of my husband's once told me to be prepared that I won't make that many friends as I get older. Somehow you just stop making good friends and you're left with only the possibility of having more acquaintances. I disagreed but lacked the age to call him out. You're a lovely example of someone who still draws people to you. Enjoy your visitor.

I don't think you stop making good friends if you're working at it. I think that it's just too easy for people to get caught up in their own busy little worlds or stop making the effort. Friendship, like any other relationship, needs work or it dies.

i'm constantly amazed not over the quality of your writings but that you find time to write at all, being a working woman with two kids, a spouse, a house, and (i am guessing) more than one hobby. a simple internet addict would find the time, but i doubt she would find your words. you're cool, girl! :-)

arghh... there should have been a "just" after the "i'm constantly amazed not..." !!

Aw, thank'ee, ms kejn. I think you're pretty darn cool, too!

(Anonymous)

Hey! That's not fair. I was just trying to show her something cool.

~Lynn at Sprigs

(I like commenting before I read others' comments so that I don't get unnecessarily influenced...)

Though I've met you and a few others IRL, I have a tough time reconciling the online and IRL relationships. But then again, I've always been a compartmentalizer. The people I know from jobs, school, childhood, etc. so rarely meet each other that it always slightly unsettles me when it happens.

I have the same attitude about the people I "know" online. But it has more to do with my own personal desire to keep all relationships well-defined than to minimize them simply because they are online and not IRL.

I frankly think my behavior is pretty consistent throughout my life. I'm often accused of keeping people at arms length. This was especially true when I was a teenager: I think people were most interested in me because I was hard to get to know, not because there was anything particularly interesting to know. As I get older, the people I meet can either accept this or they can't. Those who can are typically (but not always) a lot like me--not actively looking for new friendships/relationships...but perfectly happy when it happens.

What I'm hearing when I reread what you've written about Tell All/Keep Secret is that you are a bit ambivalent about it. You are one of those people who could write about sweeping a floor and it would be interesting and have spiritual implications. That's why so many people read you, I'm convinced. Plus you're generous and kind with your comments on others' blogs, a rare quality that I, certainly, can't keep up with. Still, I hear you wanting to share more...to let more out than you do. Am I wrong?

No, you're not wrong, but I still won't do it. :)

Seems to me that being the writer gives each of us the perogative to decide what and how much to reveal or discuss. Each of us writes his/her own life in a blog. I tend to protect my friends, even when they're grating on my one good nerve. I tend to subject my beloved man to more criticism and examination than my friends because I know he doesn't read the blog and expects me to write MORE than I ever would anyway. When I knew my in-laws and the whole French family were reading my blog during this trip, I had some second thoughts about what I might or might not write about. It's a line every writer has to find for herself...I'm not trying to incite you to reveal more...just mirroring back what you seemed to be saying...

I've said it a zillion times- I wish we had had blogs and the internet stuff when I was in high school. I was a geek and didn't have many friends. I have always loved to write and would have had a marvelous time!

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