I have been blogging on and off for six years now. Wow, just saying that blows my mind. Over the years, my blog has evolved with where I am in life. My blog doesn’t follow a theme. I never had an audience in mind when I started my blog. In fact, according to my first blog post ever, my blog was meant to be a place to house my poetry. Obviously that hasn’t quite been the focus of this blog, but I’m thankful to my past self for starting this blog in the first place.
There have been many twists and turns in my life over the past six years, and so, therefore, this blog has seen many twists and turns as well. Ups and downs, ever-changing and evolving interests and opinions, and questions I have asked myself.
As I grew more comfortable with blogging, it became somewhat of a more creative journal. I knew people would be reading my posts, but, to put it bluntly, sometimes I spilled my guts. While going through a painful breakup, I blogged about it. A lot. In fact, at one point I coined my blog “the breakup blog.” Funny? Yes. True? Eh, maybe at that time, also yes. But do I regret divulging so many personal details about my relationship and its demise? No. I don’t.
Why? Because at the time, I believe that was what I needed. I was an emotional wreck. I needed an outlet (a healthy one). And my blog was there. People who resonated with my words were there. Blogging my breakup at the time felt like another form of therapy (which also benefitted me greatly). At times I heard criticism that maybe I was sharing “too much.” And as a perfectionist, criticism sucks. But I realized that I blog for myself, and no one else. I was sharing with whoever stumbled across my blog what I felt comfortable sharing. Anyone who thought I was sharing “too much” didn’t have to be reading my words in the first place.
As time passed, I blogged less and less. I gave myself excuses. “I’m too busy,” “I’m too tired,” “I don’t know what to blog about.” I do believe those excuses were just that: excuses. I know why I wasn’t blogging. But I haven’t explicitly shared why.
When I made my return to my blog, I felt that therapeutic sense of release, as if I’d finally gone back to therapy after months of procrastinating to make an appointment. Now that I’m back, I have the chance to spill my guts once more. To divulge years’ worth of stories of my life and its ups and downs. To use my blog as therapy again.
But since I’ve returned, I’ve felt myself holding back. I write in coded language and cute, flowery phrases in order to disguise my true problems. I’m writing about my life without actually writing about my life. I write in vague sentences, writing without divulging too much information. I’m blogging without getting personal.
I believe I don’t get personal anymore because I feel ashamed of many of the things I desperately want to blog about. Getting personal would mean admitting things about myself I take blame for. It would mean owning up to things I’m still grappling with, things I still cannot accept, things I would feel judged for. Years ago, I didn’t feel this way when I blogged about my break up. Back then, I was able to separate myself from it. I understood that the breakup and the situation was not a reflection of myself as a person. I understood that it was simply something that happened to me, and wasn’t something for which I should be ashamed.
Now, I no longer have that mentality. I connect many of the situations I have found myself in to be a reflection of who I am. I judge myself for the downturns I’ve had throughout the last couple of years, and so I therefore assume I’ll be judged by others as well. I hold back. I’ve become guarded on my own blog, my own safe space to write whatever I want. I pay more attention to what others will think rather than how the blog has been here for me through so many other downturns in my life.
I don’t feel any sort of obligation to share everything about myself on my blog. However, my blog used to have an authenticity that only came from being unapologetically myself. Now, I feel like I’m putting up a wall. I’m sharing veiled details hidden behind clichés and analogies, pretending to use them for only creative purposes while in reality using them to write about my life without really writing anything at all.
Over time I hope to be able to get real on my blog again. I want to take down that wall and be unapologetically myself, however that may be. Who knows what I’ll be sharing. I’ll still be blogging for myself. And I want to be myself, for myself.