Sometimes when I write a blog post, I get reactions that surprise me. To talk about this, I was tempted to paraphrase “You’re So Vain,” as in “you probably think this post is about you,” but that doesn’t really get across what I mean. And it certainly doesn’t convey the tone I would choose to talk about my fair readers. (Alas, sometimes you’ve just gotta let go of your witty ideas.)
However justified it might be from Carly’s point of view, that is one mean, angry song. No wonder it was such a big hit, #1 for the first three weeks of 1973.
No, what I mean is that people will read themselves into things I write, whether I intend them to or not. It’s not vanity, though; I think it’s just human nature. I know I do it.
Still, it surprises me some because, let’s just say it: this blog is about me. I’m so vain. (Where’s my apricot scarf?) In the course of writing something, I do think about how certain people might react, but I generally tell the story I am compelled to tell, honestly, and let the chips fall where they may. There is a bit of risk in that. I certainly try to be mindful of people’s feelings, but how careful should I be?
I’ve been doing some thinking on this lately. Whether I have intended it or not, the fact is that I have written some things that have hurt people’s feelings. It’s not my intention that matters, but the impact my words have on these individuals, people I care about. I want to understand this phenomenon and adjust for it moving forward, to the extent that I can.
Without getting too overblown about the influence I have in the world — which, face it, is nowhere near where Carly Simon was when at the top of her game — I do need to think about what this blog means to me. What am I doing here? To date, when it isn’t about 70’s music trivia, grammar, grilled cheese, and fun, it has been about sorting out feelings and illuminating life experiences I’ve been going through, with the hope that others can relate to, contribute to the conversation about, and maybe even learn from some of what I say.
I won’t deny it’s also about wanting contact, attention, and some affirmation that I am on the right track and not alone in the world. Most of the time, I try to look at the positive, and it’s important to me to make this a life- and love-affirming forum. If I had a mission statement for this blog, which I don’t (but maybe I should), it would sound something like that.
Sometimes, like lately, I’ve shown a darker side. It’s all real. It’s all me. Things are looking up, though. Thanks for sticking with me through it all. Namaste.