Recently I saw a tweet by Ez of Creature Comforts, mentioning a blogging challenge with this topic and asking other bloggers to participate. Without knowing much about it, I replied that I wanted to do it.
As I approach it, it doesn’t feel as simple as it was to sign on to in a moment. The challenge was inspired by Jess of Makeunder My Life who wrote this post. This got me thinking about bravery and sharing and that question… what is this thing I’m doing on the internet, blogging? Why? For Who?
You see I’ve been doing the online journal thing for almost 16 years now. I had a Tripod site. Then Geocities. Then OpenDiary. LiveJournal. Blogger. WordPress. Finally, my own site. But something happened to me along that way. I swung from incredibly open, personal and letting it all hang out to locking up it tight and trying to have a respectable website, about stuff. That became the thing right? No one wanted to read a blog that was a diary anymore, people who did that were attention-grabbing, needy whatevers. Suddenly it became harder and harder for me to navigate how much of myself to give online. Wanting to maintain a blog, wanting to always be writing about things that weren’t about me. And that isn’t a bad thing. I kept writing.
I started publishing my lists, things I liked, things I care about deeply. Art, politics, food, books, movies, geeky things. But I’ve left a lot out. I’ve started (even before this challenge) to think about how to re-integrate some of the parts of me back into this blog.
So since we are telling secrets today, here is a list of most of the things I’ve been leaving out. I may or may not tell you more about them later:
- I have PCOS and a great deal of my adult life has revolved around healing and symptom management. A great deal of the most difficult and painful parts of my life have to do with this disease and hormonal imbalance and most people have never even heard of it.
- I want to talk more about style, clothing, but it’s complicated being a fat woman and having a lot of mixed feelings, difficult times and frustration with my style, my body and the way that intersects with pretty much the entire world.
- I am angry often. I am full of rage often and also heartbroken when I think too much about specific cases of injustice, cruelty, torture and pain due to oppression, waste or apathy and neglect – things mostly I can do nothing about. I know everyone does this sometimes, but I easily get … obsessive and irrational. I have to disconnect from reading news too often or it jeopardizes me being able to function in the “normal” faculties of my life and schedule. Sometimes I don’t feel that it’s irrational and wonder if the disconnect is actually making me crazy.
- I have a love/hate relationship with my cats. (Not the dog. I just love the dog. I feel terribly guilty about this).
- I used to write and perform poetry. I got good. I started competing in poetry slams. I got selected to be on a team. I did ok for a while, but I started to freak out about being on stage in front of people. I started to freak out because of the amount of loathing of my own body I carry around with me and have for most of my life. I didn’t even really admit to myself that this is what it was about, but irrational fear just consumed me. It was crippling. Not my actual body (which is strong, somewhat active and capable of many good things), my hatred of it’s appearance, stopped me from doing this particular thing because I was afraid people were not hearing my words. I was afraid they were just seeing and not listening. I was afraid of being a joke.
- I don’t talk about my immediate family. I’m still not going to. *
*I will, however, talk about my brothers frequently and completely aside from any family situations. They are amazing human beings, two of my best friends and I would choose them to be part of my forever people chosen “family” over and over again.