Getting Real

I’ve been looking back at the archives for this blog. The first month I had it, I wrote a fair amount. From there on out, the number of posts plummeted drastically. This is surprising, actually, as I had a pretty eventful fall. At the end of September I went back to Michigan for a ten-day visit, I went to a workshop up in Sonoma (which is gorgeous) and I’ve been cooking and baking a lot. My dad came for a weeklong visit; I got a new camera; I made my own Halloween costume this year, and I have many other things that I could be writing about. But I’m not. I’ve been trying to figure out why, and I think I have an explanation: I’m not being genuine on this blog. What do I mean by that? Didn’t I post things that I’d been baking, and the spiders in my car here? Didn’t I yell at people for not voting? What’s not genuine about that? Nothing. But those posts don’t really get to the heart of who I am. And let’s be honest here: people blog to have a forum for indecent exposure on the internet. You know what I mean, right? People want to reveal what’s really going on in some aspect of their lives. Some bloggers get more personal than others. For example, food bloggers tend to just talk about the last thing they ate/cooked and put up “food porn” pictures, whereas fashion bloggers put their faces and clothes out for all the world to judge. (And let’s not forget things like the Jennycam from back in the day. Ah, how tame the internet has become.)

The thing that really good bloggers–from food posters to shoe posters–have in common is that they all have a strong point of view. You tend to get a sense of a person behind the posts on good blogger’s sites. Plus, they tend to be pretty focused on one subject. (Food, Fashion, Tech, Writing, Tech-Writing…) I tend to think of myself as pretty bad at focusing on a single topic. I’m a renaissance woman in a world that values specialization. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that this blog has the potential to turn to randomness. And that’s not what I want. I wanted this blog to be about style for the sake of expressing personality. I wanted this blog to be about cooking for the love of it. I wanted this blog to be about the joy of experiencing new frontiers. I wanted this blog to be a celebration of SELF-EXPRESSION. But the thing is… I’m terrified of what people will think of “me”. And, at a certain level, I’m not really sure who “me” is anyway. If you were being kind, you might say that I have an innate talent for communicating to other people in their own language or in their own style. Or you could say that I’m fake. Either way, I can say that the way that I communicate with people varies widely, and is always based on acting in a way that will gain me the most approval. It’s not quite so extreme that I would, say, condone mass slaughter or puppy-torture, or fail to contradict people who say that global warming is a hoax. But it does mean that I have a hard time expressing an opinion to people unless I know that the person to whom I am speaking shares said opinion. (Oh, business writing, you loathsome beast, how did you end up in my blog.) The point that I am so lengthily talking around here is that, although blogs are generally a place to electronically “get naked” (“get real”?) in the internet, I’m afraid to do that. This is why there’s been such a lag in my posts.

But you know what? Screw that. It’s time to get real. To challenge myself to be “me”. Even if it’s just on this little piece of electronic real-estate that I call my blog. I’m going to challenge myself to write something every day. Even if it’s just “this is what I’m reading” or “check out this homework for my comic-booking class”. Let’s see what happens.

P.S. Eeek!