I often get emails from friends and readers who comment about how they’re amazed at how open I am and how much I am willing to share on the blog. And how they love it but would never be able to share as much as I do. If you’d known me as a kid, you’d find it even more fascinating.
I was the most private kid I know. I wrote diaries all my life and locked them and carried them everywhere with me. I told my secrets to no one. I mean no one. My best friend kept telling me how unfair it was that she told me everything and I told her nothing. I wasn’t trying to be unfair. I wanted to tell her things too.
But I just couldn’t.
Somehow I felt like the world would end if I said anything out loud. She’d make fun of me. She’d tell others. She’d think less of me. Whatever. You name it, I worried about it.
So I stayed mum.
All the way to college, I wrote. Even during college, I kept diaries sporadically. So people who knew me as a kid would be amazingly surprised that I share things so publicly.
But here’s the thing: there’s a big difference between personal and private.
While I do share a lot of personal thoughts, feelings and sometimes bits of events here, I never share what I consider to be private. I rarely ever talk about my husband. I don’t share intimate details of our marriage or my kids’ lives (at least what I consider to be intimate). I believe in keeping private things private. To me, this is the biggest issue with blogging while you’re “raw.” I’ve had friends start blogging after a big breakup or some other personal event and they use the blog to vent, breakdown, or just get things out of their system. I don’t believe the blog is the best medium for that. (This is just my personal thought, I respect other people’s thoughts, too and I believe each person should do what feels right for them.) I remember about ten years ago, my husband was worried about all my blogging, so I printed out all my posts up until then and he read them all and saw that there really was nothing private in them.
Most of what I share is as an example to a bigger concept, feeling, thought I am trying to explain. Most of what I share is about me.
And here’s what I learned: I like sharing about me.
I like writing about my thoughts, feelings, days. Not only is it a record of where I am right now in my life but it’s also my way of connecting to a world much bigger than my physical one. It allows me to have conversations with people who feel the same way (or who feel very differently) and I love that dialogue. And I’ve learned that for that kind of dialogue to happen, someone has to start talking. Someone has to initiate.
I am a big believer in connecting through dialogue. Sharing knowledge. Sharing perception. Sharing ways of looking at life.
I think we need more people sharing stories. It is through others’ stories that we feel less alone in the world. It is through others’ authentic (not glossy) stories that we feel connected through the good and the bad.
So I do what works for me. Over the years, my blog has changed with me and I posted writing, photography, knitting, art, scrapping, and everything else I did over the thirteen years I’ve been doing this. And through all that, I had words. I shared the personal. I used it as a place for me to collect my life, my thoughts, my stories. And to connect.
I try to be open and honest here. I do share the personal. But I keep the private for my journal. For me, that’s where the line is drawn. I don’t mind being vulnerable and honest as long as it’s not something I consider private. And your line might be somewhere wildly different than mine. Maybe you do consider some of what I share private. Some people consider any sharing private. That’s totally ok with me. I’ve been lucky enough to receive nothing but good will and kindness for what I share. But I completely understand the worry others might have.
I know the younger Karen would have worried too. She would have kept her blog private (assuming she ever had one.) We all have to do what feels right for us. I believe that wholeheartedly.
But, this Karen loves being here. I love sharing. I love the rewards of knowing I am not alone.
Which also comes back to those of you who comment and email. Thank you. While I try to write for myself, my biggest reward is you and your willingness to reach out to me.