A journal by any other word would be as true. Or would it? What if you called it a blog?
Blogging is odd. When I first started, I had no idea what it was about. I wrote and wrote and wrote. The only person who read my posts was Mack, the guy I was seeing at the time. I was a bit censored. More than a bit, I guess. I was writing for an audience of one. And I was hardly honest about what I really felt. In fact, I’ve got a rant called How I Really Feel saved in my drafts. If the posts about my mother made you uncomfortable, this one would really raise an eyebrow. So I blogged to Mack. It was like an on-line journal. But a journal I knew he’d snoop into and read. He was still reading it in October, when my dad died. But somewhere along the way, after I broke it off, I stopped censoring. And I wrote to myself. I didn’t read other blogs. I wasn’t really sure how to find them. I didn’t use tags or categories or widgets. I didn’t know what they were.
I just wrote.
Until one day, I got curious about categories and tags. I read a WP help page about what they were. I still didn’t get the point, but I began tagging my posts. And then it happened. I got a like. And a follow. And a comment. By total strangers. How had they found my blog? I’m kind of smart, and so it occurred to me, it must have been a tag or a category. So I kept tagging and categorizing. Then I found the topic search page, typed in “gaslighting,” and there was my post. So that’s how they found me. I began to read other posts, and follow other writers. (There is an incredible amount of talent out there.) I watched my follows increase. My little bar on my stats slowly went up and up. The day my brother died, last April, I had the most hits ever. It held the top spot for months. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that.
But I kept writing.
It got more difficult as more people followed. I worried about conveying things poorly, sounding cold, or crazy, or mean, or wimpy. Or worst of all, broken. I was more careful. I attempted to lighten things up on occasion. To stop treating my blog like a private diary. I started trying to entertain. Or if not to entertain, to just take it a little easy.
I don’t want to take it easy. I want to write whatever I need to write. No matter if I sound crazy or mean or selfish or angry. Or broken. I might lose readers. People might grow weary. Or they might feel resonance and secretly nod their heads. Either way, my goal is to let whatever thing rolling around in my head that needs out, out. Another thing I’ve learned by blogging: there are so many kind, nonjudgmental, crazy-normal people in the blogosphere. I’m just amazed at the commonalities and the kind support. I wish I’d found this world years ago, when I was a teen. But then it didn’t exist. All I had to keep me grounded then was my paper journal. I’ve got a box full of them in the spare closet. Filled with years and years of uncensored writing. Now there’s some crazy for you: teenage angst. And depression. Through my 20s. Packed up in one big box.