“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
-Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
I chose to be an anonymous blogger in an attempt at destroying my tendency to self-censor. Blogging is the modern equivalent to my scribbled teenage journals (of which I have an entired box filled), and I’ve been using this medium in various capacities since the early 2000’s. There was Live Journal in college, and Myspace blogs that I relied on heavily while travelling in India, and the Blogger account that I tried when focusing on art and poetry. All of those accounts were ME accounts, with varying levels of privacy.
And so, when I decided to start a parenting blog, I wanted to have some sort of anonymity in the great online world. Not only for professional sake, but also for the semi-privacy of Potamus. Because he will grow up in a world of social media, and these pictures of him will likely be seen, but I am telling MY story here, not his. So here I am, anonymously blogging, though I recognize that it is not, in fact, anonymous.
Because unlike scribbled journals, and my teenage self, I long desperately for my medium to convey my feelings within a community, which requires them to be read. And while I’ve connected anons who’ve transitioned to IRL online friends (shoutout to you Momaste!), I also have this hunger to be known by those I see in flesh and blood. So I’ve shared a link to my writing, in an attempt to connect. To bridge the online world of my mind and the fleshy world of my life. But writing my truth, my experience, from my own perspective, is difficult for some people to read. My raw honesty about experiences has caused defensiveness or confusion in friends and family.
And yet I am compelled to write or explode from all the feelings. For while I don’t get paid to do it, I am a writer. I think about writing. I love sentence structure and the meditative quality that happens when I feel with my fingers translating those feelings into words that appear on my screen.
I would like to believe that I am telling MY story, and not anyone else’s. That of course there is room for two sides, or more sides, and the world will welcome the individual perspectives and stories. I tell MY side, MY feelings, and, at the end of the day, has no bearing on whether the others invovled are good or bad people or shouldn’t have made certain choices. It is simply my account of my life through my senses.
It’s why I like Anne Lamott so much. She writes brilliantly funny memoirs about her fucked up life as a recovering alcoholic with a screwed up family. Her truthiness shines through even though the rawness makes me (and I’m sure those she writes about) uncomfortable. I need to write my truth, my experience, my life, from MY perspective. And if it hits you in the gut, makes you uncomfortable, then start writing from your own perspective. And maybe our writings will interesect someday.
“We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little. But we do. We have so much we want to say and figure out…
Your anger and damage and grief are the way to the truth.”
-Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life