Friday, August 12, 2011

what I can't write about

Sometimes I think of a cool idea for something to write about here and then realise that it probably isn't such a great idea after all. The two most prominent reasons that happenings in my life, despite being interesting and meaningful, don't appear on my blog is 1. some of them are too personal (I do have some sense of propriety), and 2) they involve other people.

My blog is often read by people that I contact in a professional or scholarly setting. Since this website is easy to find when you google my name (and the link is often at the bottom of my email), these people sometimes read it to find out who they are talking to and get a sense of who I am. For that reason, I try to avoid overly personal details. I won't be writing about how sweaty and tired I am right now after an hour-long walk to the store and back - and they didn't even have my item available! I won't be telling the world that I occasionally suffer from irregularity or that yesterday a waiter flirted with me. That's just too much information.

The other thing I can't write about a lot is other people. I used do a bit more of this, because honestly, most of my life lessons come through contact with others. Challenging relationships and interactions make up most of my inspirational and character-building moments. But I don't want to show anyone in a bad light, nor write something about a person that they would rather not have up on a public forum, even though I never identify them. So I won't tell you about the person I struggle to love because we just seem to see the world so differently, or the relationships I hoped would flourish into deep friendships but seem to have stalled (sigh), or all the ways in which Dean loves me and on occasion, frustrates me (lets just say there is a dishwasher involved). That's just wouldn't be kind or considerate.

I cannot write about any one's life here except my own. I cannot live another's life, either. Sometimes I have tried to give advice, offered unsolicited wisdom (I thought it was wise at the time), but that never really turned out well. Though it strikes me as self-indulgent at times, my own life is pretty much the only material I have at my disposal. And if I don't do something with that, if I don't learn from it, if I don't pay attention and see what is going on there, and if I don't share the process with others, then it is a bit of a waste. At least I think so.

So, to all the people that have been and are part of my learning and loving journey: thank you for being there through the good, the bad, the ugly, and the still-being-worked-on. You will probably never read about it here, but I am constantly aware of the gang of great, funny, silly, loving, sometimes hurtful, sometimes challenging, occasionally annoying, and many times heart-bustingly generous people that walk through my life. I need you.

This is a photo that Dean took at the Ernest Hemingway house in Key West, Florida. A group of people gathered for just that one second and none of us at our photographic best! That's just the way it is sometimes.

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