I have started this post in my head at least a thousand times, but nothing is ever right. Never before have I been so conflicted about this blog and its role in my life as I am these days. Never before have I felt so silenced. I cannot write out my problems here, and it's tearing me up inside. But I made a promise and I will not break it.
For those of you who have asked - and many of you went out of your way to ask, for which you have my eternal gratitude - I am okay. I am healthy, both emotionally and physically, and I am not cutting again. That, in many moments over the last week or so, has been a true victory. The trials of the last two years weren't in vain, because I am much stronger now because of them. I can see that while life may be dealing me a tough hand right now, things will get better. The coming month or two will have hard moments, but I know it won't be like this forever. I'm grateful for the wisdom to see that.
Answering more of your questions and concerns, no one has died. My friends and family are all in good physical health, so far as I know. Batman has not dumped me, ditched me, or broken my heart, and he seems to have no plans to do so - again, so far as I know. (You're not, right, Batman?) I am still employed and happy with my employment. None of that is the issue at hand.
As I said, though, I am not at liberty to discuss the issue at hand. And that's what really has me thinking about blogging and what it really means - not just for me, but for countless others as well. I'm talking about the personal bloggers: the men and women writing about sex, love, family, relationships, parenthood, work, school, friendship, and a million other things that all combine to make a life. The people who are - piece by piece, day by day - writing their stories. The people like me.
I think the idea of the blogosphere is amazing. Here is an entire community of people sharing their lives with each other - supporting each other through the tough times, celebrating each other through the good times. As I said, they're telling their stories. But here's the thing about personal stories: They aren't lived in a vacuum. Our stories, while primarily our own, are not solely our own.
Let me put it this way... Romeo and Juliet is one of the greatest stories of all time. It is Romeo's story; it is Juliet's story. It's the story of their love and life together. But you can't tell their story without telling a little bit of Mercutio's story too. You have to tell a little bit of Tybalt's story. You have to make references back to Lord and Lady Capulet's story, and Lord and Lady Montague's story. You have to tell the story of the friar, the nurse, and a hundred other people we may not even see in the play. Romeo and Juliet don't exist without those other people, and their story can't be told in isolation.
So what does that have to do with me and other bloggers? Well, that should be obvious, I think. We're all telling our stories, but who else's stories are we telling in the meantime? And are those stories ours to tell?
I've been accused of being thoughtless with my blog - thoughtless with how I treat the people around me, and thoughtless with how I treat their stories. And I can see how it might seem that way at times. But honestly? I put a LOT of thought into what I do and don't say here. For example, many of you might have noticed that I really never talked about why J. and I broke off our engagement and ended our relationship. There were a lot of issues tied into those decisions that I felt I shouldn't talk about here, because it would have been disrespecting J.'s privacy. I've also never discussed anything sexual, because I firmly believe that what happens in the bedroom isn't really mine to share without express consent from the other party. (And frankly, I'm not sure how much I'd want to share even with the express consent.) Batman asked me not to post any pictures of him here, and so I'm not going to, though I will mock him occasionally for it, because really? Why hide that beautiful face?
So no, never am I writing without a thought to other people's feelings. Does that mean I've never hurt anyone with this blog? No, it's caused problems on multiple occasions. But guess what? I'm not perfect. That's right, I said it: I'm not perfect. No matter how much thought I put into my decisions, sometimes I make the wrong ones; no matter how good my intentions, sometimes I do the wrong thing. Sometimes, people get hurt, and all I can do is apologize and try to make amends.
Which brings us to the ultimate question: If I can't be sure that I'll always do the right thing here in this blog, should I shut it down? If I can't guarantee that no one will ever have hurt feelings because of something I might write here, should I stop writing? In other words - if I can't be perfect, should I stop trying?
Well I think we can all agree that that's just stupid. I can't give up just because I make mistakes - not if I really and truly do believe that telling my story is worthwhile. So after careful consideration, I've decided not to give up my blog. I've decided, instead, to learn from my mistakes, stand tall, and continue telling my story the best way I know how. And if a few of you are willing to come along with me, well, I'd appreciate the company.
Will you stick around?