This should be better, but it is what it is.

Blogger’s handy-dandy Dashboard informs me this will be my 500th post. It doesn’t say anything about substance, which there probably isn’t 500 characters’ worth of at this url, but it seems as though I should somehow commemorate it. I’ve kind of got nothing. I googled “five hundred” just for the hell of it and was not very inspired, either. Lame, I know. Some card/dice/outdoor games, some auto and auto racing references, meh.

But also, an HTTP status code for Internal Server Error. Or, an SMTP status code meaning a syntax error has occurred due to unrecognized command. Okay, good enough. That’s pretty much what got this here dusty, nearly three year old blog started. My own special internal server error. Something in my body commanded, Breed! And something else in my body said, Fuck you, your grammar is terrible, will not comply. And then my mind said, what the fuck is syntax? And it was bad, as well as a bad metaphor. But writing here helped, a lot, over time and eventually. So I’m grateful for that. But I have noticed one odd side-effect, nearly three years later. I’ll liken the heartache I went through or put myself through to what you feel after a horrible breakup, one in which your lover leaves you for another, perhaps even another that you know and were close to. At first, it’s all you can do not to drop tears into your beer in the company of those you know will listen. But after a while, be it a few days or a few weeks or a few months, depending how patient and sympathetic your friends are, you realize that people are tired of hearing about it. Hearing you say the same things over and over again; there are no more comforting words they can offer you that you haven’t heard before at least once. So you shut up about it, already. Pretend to move on even if you haven’t. Even if you still think about it forty times a day, like a man thinking about sex, it just randomly passes through your head. Sometimes it’s distracting, sometimes it’s just a vague reminder of how everything else sort of relates to it now, though it never did before. So you don’t ever bring it up, and people stop asking, if they ever asked to begin with. It’s amazing how much time can pass in that phase. A very, very, very good girlfriend of mine not too long ago said something almost in passing indicating she had been somehow under the impression we’d been trying again for quite a while. I was shocked, frankly. I’m rather open with personal thoughts and details even here, knowing that most of the people reading probably don’t consider me a close, personal, intimate kind of friend in in-person life, though they certainly know who I am and I consider us friends. So you can imagine how freely I tend to speak among people I’ve been close friends with for a decade and a half. To have my best friend come out and basically say, well, I assumed you’re having some type of infertility issue…WTF? Like I wouldn’t have mentioned that?!? As if. Made me realize that writing here has been more of an outlet than I’ve given credit to. Yes, I’ve ranted and raved and had to go back and delete things I wrote and published before sleeping on, but for the most part it’s been incredibly liberating. Having a place to write things that you might never say out loud, knowing that you may be judged but will in all likelihood be supported as well, well, it’s just priceless.
Reading the piece featuring Schmutzie the other day, I thought about the back and forths I’ve gone with anonymity. (Go here to see a photo of the print article – they didn’t use the coy photo in the online article; must have had a stupid editor.)

“I don’t think my writing would have come as far as it has, or that I would have been as candid,” she said. “But you’re never truly anonymous … these are real human interactions, as virtual as they appear.”

I like that. I’m sure it’s true. If I had kept this to myself, I’d have been and would now be even more candid, and perhaps I’d have honed the horrid writing skills further (yes, all these prepositions can just dangle.) But I do believe I prefer the real human interactions that have resulted in “real life.” It’s difficult to always own what you want to say when you’re prone like I am to feeling before thinking, but I think knowing that what I write here is easily traced back to my actual, legal identity is helpful as well. I could be a much bigger asshole, but really, what’s the point? Some things dealing with sex or drugs or whatever I’ve chosen not to publish via feeds to Facebook as more relatives and such have surfaced there, but I have not deleted the link from my profile to here. If they are curious, have at it. I’m not embarrassed to think what I think or write what I write, but perhaps I need not plug my goofy bullet point posts of perverted things my husband says to me. Those are probably only really funny to me, anyhow.

Yes, we all choose to portray what we think are our best points online, for the most part. Of course self-deprecation is required for balance. Some post no photos of themselves at all, some only shady shots or avatars. Some cringe at those who publish photos of and stories about their kids or spouses. It doesn’t really matter how hard you try or don’t try to conceal yourself, what you put out there counts if you want it to count, even if only to yourself. Truthiness is found in every degree on the internet, but I think like everything else in life, you’ll get out of it what you put into it. It’s worth taking a chance, being a little vulnerable, if only to learn something about yourself that you may not have known before you took the chance.

I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Thanks for playing along, I hope it’s been at least half as good for you as it has for me.

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6 thoughts on “This should be better, but it is what it is.

  1. suntzusays says:

    I spend a fair amount of time dribbling words around really fast to see what they would say. And they end up sounding like ideas to (a few) other people. That seems to be the what and why I ended up blogging so much. I suspect your reasons are, in the main, probably better for you even when you must depart from that core from time to time. And that these distinct things mean that any sense of anonymity has very different purposes or a completely different basis. I am, in my way, anonymous because I don't "actually" exist. I have few real life attachments to begin with and few interests in the opinions of others relating to to things I actually DO or did. I still tell an occasional story, but it's buried behind several layers of analysis and rhetoric. That's not why, I'm noticing, a lot of people blog. And thus their reasons for anonymity are therefore more central to their real life identity (ie, job or family). I might think that sort of silly from time to time (or, more over, I think it's sort of silly that employers should be, in general, THAT concerned that someone in their employ had a particular kind of sex life or used recreational substances at home or in their past). But I also know there's more value in telling personal stories for most people than what I get out of it. And I think because most people have those dual identities between their private, past selves and their professional or public selves, they get a lot more out of protecting that private identity than I ever would and thus a lot more out of sharing that private self with anonymous strangers. Some of whom become digital friends along the way to analog.

  2. That might be my favorite comment, ever. Yay.It's definitely not the scarcity or plenitude of real life attachments – or virtual ones! – quality over quantity, every time.

  3. Bazarov says:

    Nice! I think it'll be a while before I hit 500 posts. It comes in waves for me. Makes me wonder: why do I blog? Because I'm too lazy to submit things for publication mostly. The other stuff though, the things that aren't stories: what to make of them? Something about writing an idea out helps me look at it from different angles and it's definitely easier to polish the idea if you get it out of your head and put it to paper/screen/file. Plus, let's not forget, I'm arrogant enough to think I have shit that needs write that needs to be read. Ha.Cheers! To 500 more!

  4. Bazarov says:

    …and I can't leave one comment without some sort of typo. Ahem…tpyo.

  5. Thanks! I agree, writing something out definitely helps with trying to find an objective perspective, or at least more objective than what I usually have with things just rolling around in my brain. I'm still more of a bang-it-outter than an editor, but that's okay with me I guess. If I spend too much time on one idea I almost get bored with it and abandon it, usually. I don't know about arrogance, but narcissism surely plays a part for me. Makes sense given the personal nature contrasted to more current events type writing, I guess.Cheers, indeed! To Tpyos!! ;-D.

  6. Aaaand, then my mom joins Facebook. Awesome. This could be hilarious.

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