I understand this sounds like a contradiction being that I am a performance poet and I write a weekly blog that began as a chronicle of my silly dating life and has morphed into something deeper and much more open than I had expected it to be. I have taken risks with sharing my feelings and my writing has become more introspective. I feel like I've pushed myself to the limits with my writing. I am continuously surprised with myself and how much I choose to share.
Key word: choose
The beauty of being the author of this blog is that I control the message and the amount of information I share. My relationship with this blog (and you, dear reader) mirrors my relationships in every day life. I am one who, upon meeting someone, can be very friendly and funny. I tell stories and I am good for a laugh but I hold my guard up - I keep people at a certain distance. As I get to know someone, I feel safer and my comfort level grows, and I begin to share my deeper thoughts and feelings. The same is true with the blog. As I become more comfortable, I share more.
A friend once asked me if I would keep writing this blog once I am in a relationship. Of course, I replied, but the nature of the blog will change. "That's cool," he replied, "as long as the guy doesn't mind being the Big to your Carrie." For those who don't know, Carrie and Big are characters on the show Sex and the City. Carrie writes a column about relationships and Big is her love interest. Interestingly, a lot of people have made reference to the show when talking about my blog. Some of the parodies have been: Chicana Sex and the City, Albuquerque's Sex and the City or my personal favorite, No Sex and the City.
What my friend said is very true - how would my potential mate feel about the fact that I write a weekly blog about dating, love and life? While I get to control the message, he does not. If he reads the blog, how will he feel about it? I am not open to being censored nor am I going to ask for approval prior to publishing, but I am sensitive to someone else's feelings about having his story written from my perspective.
|Carrie and Big, "Ex and the City" Season 2|
When I was dating A., it was easy to write about him because he didn't read the blog. A. didn't have a Facebook account; he didn't Tweet; he barely used e-mail. He knew about the blog and never said if he minded me writing about him. I went back and read those blogs the other day (including the break-up blog) and realized that what I wrote most about was my process of getting into a relationship - not so much the day to day details of being in it. When we broke up I wrote a very raw and honest blog, but I almost didn't publish it. I was afraid of the reaction I would receive - that I would be judged for being so brutally honest. Instead, I received a lot of love and support, but I also felt like I could express myself honestly without fear. I didn't really care what anyone thought of A. because I was so angry. The buffer was erased and his privacy did not matter. I was hurt and I needed to work through it.
I was writing about my process, but writing about him was a big part of the process, which begs two questions: what is the line between putting our business out there versus my process? How do I keep writing honestly even if I know the person I may be writing about reads my blog?
Anytime I have given detail about a date or an ex-boyfriend, it's been someone that I don't really care about. Take Roy, for instance. I could care less about him and writing about him was fun (I still maintain that there is no way I could make that shit up). Things are different when I am writing about someone I care about. While I could be so happy that I want to shout it from the mountain tops, how do I maintain our privacy and what is sacred between us?
I'm not looking for answers to these questions. Reality is, just like questions about a relationship, most of these questions work themselves out with time. Lessons are a result of paying attention to the answers one receives. As I wrote a few weeks ago, one of the biggest lessons I'm learning lately is patience, which includes patience in telling the story of us, whatever that story may be.
Who is the "us" I am referring to, dear reader? Well, that's private.
Next time: Journey to the Center of the Universe