I have barely written here lately, second-guessing and silencing myself. There is too much going on in my head, and in my life, that I feel I can't talk about.
Which is weird, right?
Because this is the one space where I talk about everything, isn't it? Except that it's not.
I have lived most of my life busily cocooning myself away from the world. Maybe I didn't do it on purpose at first, but after a while, after I discovered how much vulnerability could hurt, it was easier to disconnect entirely. Like many other bloggers I know, I was one of the misfits in elementary school. I didn't care about what most adolescents seemed to care about, and so I had few friends in high school. I had some good friends in college, where for perhaps the first time, I felt I really belonged. Then I went to graduate school, and found myself unable to establish friendships, alone except for my then-boyfriend, who, in retrospect, probably preferred being in his own little cocoon, too. And returned to my home state, where I didn't connect deeply with my colleagues, for any number of reasons I gave myself, and because I let my job become my life, I didn't have many relationships beyond it, either.
Really, it's a miracle I met my husband. But I met him online, so perhaps it's not that miraculous or surprising after all.
Fast forward eleven years, and though I feel like I have a network of amazing, loving, supportive friends now, I find myself shut almost as tightly as before.
I was talking with one of these friends the other day about this cocoon-history I have, about getting into the habit of being alone, and letting that alone-ness spiral out of control, until even when I do talk with people, I'm not there. And thinking about how strange it is that I've chosen to blog at all, given how I tend to operate. And wondering what it means that I've even shut down here, that there are things I feel like I can't even say to the semi-anonymous audience behind the screen, worrying about who might find me and judge me: employers, community members who trust my leadership in civic organizations, friends, family.
My friend suggested that it's not at all unreasonable that I'd blog, because it's a safer way to be open, especially if you don't know most of your readership in person, and when you don't post about controversial things (which, typically, I don't). And she said that it's a good first step towards leaving the cocoon behind, even if it's not a complete metamorphosis. But what about the excuses I make not to write? The self-censoring, to the point of silence (I don't want to post about children because I'll hurt my infertile and childless readers, and I find those posts among the less interesting ones anyway; I don't want to post about food because I'm not really a food blogger but I don't want to NOT post about food because maybe new readers find me only by searching for Vegetarian Tortilla Soup; I can't post about my job search; do I really want to post about what I rehash in therapy)? What about the bold assumption that I have nothing of importance to warrant stealing away your reading time, when there are so many other things out there to read?
I guess, like everything else, you have to start somewhere. So here I go again, fingers to keyboard.