A blog exposes you... readers
And there's always stuff in the background that may just culminate with a single post. It's big. Certainly out of the everyday stuff. But it's not ready to be shared. And when it is, it's just a simple post, fairly generic, just to get it out and move on. I've had those posts - divorce, moving to PNG, etc. For others, it might be a death or an illness.
The thing is blogging is real time. Or is it? It's the author's real time. We can pre and post date entries. We can also withhold information, even though we may give you every single detail of something else that may seem very personal. (Obviously we don't care if you know the details or we wouldn't have posted it to the internet in the first place.)
There are people that know us and follow us as virtual and real people. There are those that follow us completely virtually. And then there are those with vast distances that know us, or what they still perceive as us and follow our blog as a way of "keeping in touch". Here's the thing. Reading a blog does not mean you know the person. Virtuality doesn't not substitute personal relationships. Don't get me wrong, virtual relationships have value. (I think my dissertation research showed this!). BUT, what isn't taken into consideration is all the behind the scenes hurting, humanity, and rawness. That just doesn't seem to translate well.
Maybe we bloggers do it to ourselves. We self-depreciate, we try to find humor, we put ourselves on the line with a strong face. Occasionally, savvy readers may see a crack. Topics will deviate, frequencies of posts will change, we second guess the value in blogging.
I woke up to my rss feeds and read this post from a friend. I got it immediately. So many times I've experienced this. How do you tell blog readers you're getting a divorce or whatever shocking news... Sometimes it's big. Sometimes it's not. Sometimes you just don't know how to blog about something, but you need to blog it to transition. (Yes, I quit my expat job in PNG... why? Oh, uh, yeah, well, because I'm following my partner to Indonesia. Oh, did I forget to mention that I started seeing someone? Oops...)
Anyway, I've got a couple things that are about to happen/going on that will change my blog. I've been asked numerous times to commercialize it. I've had some good monetary offers. Funny enough, I've been pondering ideas for a while and finally just decided on what I was going to do yesterday. I didn't quite come to a full acceptance of it though. Something was sort of lingering in my mind if it really was what I should do. And then I read Mumu Mama's post this morning. Immediately, I got it. I sent her a message. Whatever her issue, is her issue, but I can be supportive to just say, yep, I understand....
Mezirow (1990) talks about disorienting dilemmas. (OMG, I know I am not having flashbacks to my Ph.D. days.... but just hang with me for a minute...). But these can be triggered by a major life transition, a life crisis, or even from an accumulation of various crap over time. (OK, so this is not exactly me quoting research here, but stay with me...). Bottom line: Shit happens. You can either make sense of them by fitting them into your normal knowledge frame or throw it out and create a new one.
During this time, you're vulnerable. You're unsure of yourself. You question what you've done, where you are, where you're headed. And yet this is the time that the magnifying glass is on you. You feel it. The heat is on. You're like a bug in the sunlight under it. Will you crawl your way out before you catch fire? Or will the observers watch you burn? Or will they offer some shade? You never know....
So my life right now is in *ahem* transition. It's uncomfortable; odd; unsettling. We have a loosely laid plan. How will it work out? Shoulder shrug. I don't know. Probably not like I imagine it. But, I can work toward it and see. Life... just when you think you have it planned, it will change. Sometimes it's harder that other times.
For me, I love blogging. I love the cathartic nature of it when you've had one of those "remember where you are" crazy days. It's rewarding just by the process. And ever more so when people email you for information or to say thanks for the laugh. But then, you have the other side of it... the people wanting more than you can give (newbie expats can literally send 100 questions that if they actually READ your blog they would get answers to.... but they want the short cut for you to research the craziest things for them to consider moving there). I really like getting emails from possible new expats, but I've had my fair share of nut cases. Like the one guy who I helped for months before he moved to PNG. He arrived, expected me to be his best mate, but was a total freak and didn't last long before he quit... got fired? I don't even know.... Was just happy when he left! And then there's the occasional hate mail. Eh, all part of the territory of blogging.
Anyway, blah blah blah.... I've got some behind the scenes stuff going on at the moment that's been distracting me from my blog! Shock. Horror. But soon my peeps an announcement will be made. Give me a day or two....