Most bloggers will understand that statement. The few friends who read my blog and know me in real life may not understand.
There are a few of you out there I’ve made connections with that make me feel as if we know each other personally, despite the fact we’ve never met in person. I know if we lived nearby, we’d regularly get together and share a couple of drinks, some good food and good times. A couple of you make me feel as if we indeed did hang out together in the 70s or 80s.
Three years ago this month I entered the world of blogging. I don’t know what I expected from the experience…never really had a clear direction (and still don’t), and as I’ve collected readers – and yes, friends – along the way, I’ve struggled to fit in.
Struggling to fit in.
That’s the story of my life. As a child, I was perpetually awkward. In high school, I was never one of the popular kids, but always wished I could fit in. Out of control in my 20s, finding more comfort in my 30s, finally feeling like an adult in my 40s, and now entering my early 50s realizing that, to a certain extent, I need to live for myself and not worry about what other people think.
I’ve said before, I feel like a fraud playing in the blog pool with such talented writers. I often feel as if I’m back in high school. I worry about what to write and what other people will think. I’m not a good writer – rarely grammatically correct. When I read blog posts that criticize bloggers who write about personal matters, I take it personally. When I try to write cleverly humorous posts, I feel like Andrew Dice Clay competing in a stand-up comedy venue with Jerry Seinfeld.
Because I’m a socially awkward person, I guess I use this forum to ponder and say things that I really don’t have anyone to discuss with in my day-to-day life. You all know me for what I have to say and won’t judge me by what I look like or wear or am not able to cleverly verbalize at the spur of the moment. I can write and rewrite to fine-tune the delivery before you read it.
Last month I celebrated my 51stbirthday. And one of my friends I’ve never met sent me a birthday gift I never thought I needed, but now find I can’t live without – a journal.
Coincidentally, on the day my package arrived, although I’m not a regular horoscope reader, I cruised by a horoscope website that said the following for my sign:
“When was the last time you used a pen and paper, Leo? The keyboard has all but replaced these wonderful tools. In the same way that walking provides more than fresh air, the kinesthetic value of writing’s rhythmic motion is far more soothing and healing than people realize. Moving your hand across the page can feel good. It unlocks places within that typing can’t access. Try it.”
If that wasn’t cosmic direction, I don’t know what is.
I’ve been using the journal as a kind of therapy. For the last 20 months, I’ve been in a somewhat unconventional relationship with a wonderful man, but it’s been a secret to most who know us mutually (for a variety of reasons.) This means I can’t talk things out with those closest to me. So I tell my journal and it is truly therapeutic. For the last 12 of the 20 months we’ve been involved, on a weekly basis I’ve conducted internal arguments with myself that it’s not a healthy relationship and I should end it. The other side of myself says, what’s the harm?
Before I began journaling, the voices inside my head would prevent me from getting a good night’s sleep. Now, at least a few times each week, I’ve been writing my thoughts in the journal and I find that it does, indeed, facilitate release. Not completely….I do have the occasional sleepless night….but there is truly something to the theory of writing things down to get them off your mind. Oddly, I don’t look back at what I’ve written – I simply let it go.
Thank you, dear friend I’ve never met, for giving me a gift that none of my friends who know me in real life would have thought to give.