I am a very candid person. I’ve always come on strong and I learned a long time ago that I’m no good at toning it down. I speak my mind and I wear my emotions on my sleeve. Generally my attitude is, if you don’t like me, that’s fine. Sometimes I don’t even like myself very much so I get it. (I also wish I knew when to just shut the fuck up. I really do.)
My blog is probably the only place in the world where I’m even more honest that I am normally. I tackle issues here that I would rarely, if ever, bring up in the real world. I avoid about these topics with most people not because I’m embarrassed about them, or worried about what others will think, but because I’ve found, through experience, that most people don’t want to talk about them with me. No matter how passionate you are about something, if people around you don’t want to engage you in that conversation, it’s a very hard conversation to have. So I just keep that part of my life to myself until I get home and can write about it on my blog.
A blog is an amazing thing because it is by you and for you. At least my blog is like that (as are the blogs that I read). I created this space with a singularly selfish goal in mind, to work through my own shit. And even though I’ve picked up a few readers along the way, in the end this blog remains a place for me – to reflect, to process, to make sense of things. If other people stumble across it and find it useful or – be still my heart – well written and entertaining, all the better. It’s very rewarding to know that my writing is interesting to other people. But in the end, I write for me.
Of course sometimes writing for me involves writing to connect with people. So there are times when I think very carefully about what I’m going to write. This blog is as much a window into myself as it is a portal to other intelligent, like-minded women. While I try to remain ever faithful to myself I do sometimes worry about offending those who read me. Most of the time this preoccupation only inspires me to look longer and harder at what I think or how I feel; worry about how my opinion might come across actually makes me investigate that belief further and in the end I usually feel even more secure in my point of view. In the end, I would never not post something just because it’s controversial but I might not post something if the chance of it hurting someone is greater than the chance of it helping someone, even if that someone is me.
I have written my fair share of controversial posts and while I’ve regretted the way I’ve presented some of my topics (ahem, thought on being a SAHM post, I’m looking at you) I’ve never regretted putting my feelings out there. In fact, every time I’ve felt I’ve made a mistake in the way I posed an opinion I’ve learned more about myself, and my beliefs, than I ever have when posting something I might deem as “safe”.
In my 2+ years of publishing this blog there has really only been one post I was fearful of publishing. This post sat in the back of mind, unwritten, for months before I finally had the courage to get it down. I always knew I would write it but wasn’t sure how or when. Looking back I realize I was probably as scared to put my thoughts down on paper as I was to press publish. The whole topic had caused me incredible grief and I was somewhat loathe to revisit it. In the end it was the difficulty of the topic, and the lengths I went to make sense of it for myself, that drove me to I write the piece. I did so as a final step for myself, to see my thoughts on the subject written in black and white and to help others who might find themselves in my position, trying to reconcile two seemingly irreconcilable beliefs.
The resulting post was called Why I’m Still Pro Choice and worked through how I rectified my belief that my ectopic pregnancy was a real loss with my belief that women should maintain their reproductive right to an abortion. This possible conflict in thinking had always caused me anxiety but I was never forced to deal with it until a close friend chose to terminate her own pregnancy. Her decision forced me to come to terms with my own beliefs and with the help of some wonderfully supportive friends in the blogging world I finally came to a place of piece on the subject.
I was nervous to publish that post. I was scared that by doing so I would somehow be undermining the losses of so many of my friends who read my blog. There are few things I fight for on my blog as passionately as the validation of pregnancy loss and the thought that I might be negating that with my post was terrifying. In the end though, I knew that I had to press publish. The whole ordeal had caused me so much grief and I so would have appreciated reading someone else’s thoughts on the matter when I was struggling with it myself. I put it out there because I felt it was an important topic, especially in our community, and it deserved to be broached.
In the end I was pleasantly surprised by the comments of my fellow bloggers. Shockingly not one person posted an anti-abortion/pro-life tirade on that post. Every single response (and I got more on that post than perhaps any other) was thoughtful and courageous. By putting my experience out there I was able to hear how others handled it as well. I was finally getting the perspective I so longed for in the throes of my own emotional struggle. It was a very rewarding experience.
I never realized until writing thing post that my most nerve-wracking publishing experience turned out to be the most rewarding. I’ll have to remember that next time my pointer is hovering above the publish button.