Monday, September 14, 2009

where do you think i am?

I usually have the ability to write without feeling a sense of wondering how someone is going to react or question what I write about. The words come....I grab them from the air around me .... I add a photo, a quote, a piece of a poem ..... I format it and then I publish it. Once its published, I usually feel like it's finished for now. If it resonates with you in a way that adds a kink into your thoughts, or stirs you in a way that you can relate to what I've written about, I'm pleased. If it doesn't.... well, then I don't hear from you. It's fine either way. What makes me very uncomfortable is when I get the feeling that what I have written is being analyzed as a way to understand me.

Though all of what I have shared on this site is first draft, I haven't returned to many pieces to tweak it in anyway. An idea stews in my head and then finds its way through my fingertips and out into cyberspace. Yes, I own the work. It DEFINITELY has my fingerprints and personality all over it. But, it is only a glimpse of who I am and/or what I'm thinking and feeling and/or sensing and seeing.

There is a personal sense that I am a vessel of some kind, unattached to a specific piece I've posted. This happens only when I am free of second guessing myself...... when I don't have those stupid thoughts about how someone is going to interpret it as what I may be tackling personally. When I can't take a step back from the topic and let the words flow, I get clogged up. Right now, I am clogged up. There are many ideas floating in the abyss of my brain, but heck if I can finish them. Too personal? Maybe. Too intense? Maybe. Too open to bizarre interpretations that perhaps I'm on some kind of radically driven religious journey that for some reason makes you uncomfortable? Stop looking at me. Start looking at yourself.

Sure I write about my own experiences, but often I will tackle a topic but place it in the first person so that it may be received by another more resonantly than it would be if it was posted as some kind of lecture. It's a style I'm comfortable with. If I appear to "own it" than it seems to normalize and take the edge off of what may be an emotionally charged topic. Of course there are times when I share a story that is uniquely my own. This happens when my confidence is at its peak, when I don't feel a sense of being "watched" or when I'm not feeling self conscious. Right now, this is how I'm feeling..... and I don't like it.

Sometimes I will start a piece based on a personal experience, but then take it beyond the event I have been involved in. My writing is normally a blend of my life observations, my personal interests that I may be attempting to learn more about, my opinions, and what a friend or an acquaintance has shared with me. Whomever has been reading my stuff for a while knows that there are certain themes which obviously resonate with me. That's only natural. Why would I explore topics that hold no meaning or importance to where I may be at in my journey? I don't believe anyone can completely excuse themselves from what they choose to create. Even if it is a journalistic piece published as a news story, the personality always shines through as do opinions. However, writing is a vehicle for the expression of one's imagination as well as one's truth. Illusions and truth........ now there's a topic!

Blogging is a venue used for many reasons. I originally started this blog as a way to express my political opinions through clarifying lens. I intended to expand my own "awareness" of issues affecting both the community I live in and the world around me, while sharing my thoughts and feelings to perhaps stir another. It quickly morphed into something else, as I opened my head and heart to delving into the human stories of struggles and accomplishments I had accumulated throughout my life.

Soon, it became a vehicle to integrate what I had learned with what I was learning. I found myself in the middle of a spiritual awakening of sorts, one that is both oddly convoluted and not in anyway formalized. Given how FULL I felt of stories and unanchored thoughts (the ones which aren't attached to reality because they had never been formally put into words....) blogging under the title of "awareness" seemed like a good place to park them.

I may seem to be a person without boundaries, willing to share everything stirring inside me. Believe me, I am not. Fiercely independent, I actually have very strong boundaries and only allow a small select few past the line. I am open, but I have a personal side to me that you don't know about. The values I hold on tight to, the ones which I use as a guide .... the same ones which trip me up when I don't feel them coming from another person, are often what I write about. Respect, honesty, integrity, a growing faith in God, independence, equality, life long learning, love .... these are what I believe in. Does that make me different than others? Does writing about these topics make me unbalanced or off kilter from the rest of the world? NO. In fact, they are pretty darn universally held onto. I write on topics that are generally avenues most people are delving into. So, why do I feel like I'm being examined? And why does it bother me so much? Because I am a private person. I only choose to share what I want to. Because it is very large gulf between analyzing the topic and analyzing the writer.

I have been writing a piece I was hoping to share on this site for about a week now. It's long and its personal.... perhaps too revealing and maybe that's what is bothering me too. This may not the venue for it. I don't know yet. I'm too self conscious right now. I'm also thinking that blogging is not where I should be writing because so often what I write about gets misinterpreted by others, or worse, makes them feel uncomfortable about where I may be at.????? It's a weird feeling to think that who I am and what I am sharing is causing others to question my mental health, when in fact I am feeling very much at ease with where I am. To have to justify myself with "I'm fine, really I am" like a mantra is not kosher. To have to justify that the path I am taking is really quite normal and and that the DIScomfort is with the reader and not the writer is not where I want to put my energy.

So, I will hobble along wondering where I am with blogging.... but where I am as a human being? Exactly where I want to be. If you're uncomfortable with that place, then perhaps its a good time to turn it back on yourself and ask why YOU are uncomfortable with it. It's not my issue.


Kay said...

I am perfectly comfortable with you, whomever 'you' are, for one :)

Awareness said...

Why thank you Kay.... I'm perfectly comfortable with who I am too, and perfectly comfortable being uncomfortable every now and then. Hope you are too. :)

TheChicGeek said...

Hi Awareness :D You have a wonderful blog and this post is just so right on. For me blogging is a way to express my thoughts and feelings, to share love, to help people...I love that when someone e-mails and tells you how something you said helped them so much, made them look at the world in a more positive rewarding. Sometimes though, I do want to write about a topic that I feel passionately about, or perhaps even just to have a conversation...the readers come up with the most amazing things as our conversation develops in the comments.
Sometimes I want to put a big disclaimer at the top of the post "This is not about you!" when you post a romantic song or poem and you just broke up with your boyfriend...sometimes you just like the song, just like the poem and it has nothing to do with anyone else.
You have a wonderful blog! It was fun visiting you!

Have a Happy Day!

Brother David said...

Loved reading this, it resonates with me and why I too write (sparse though it may be at the moment). To consider the thoughts and feelings of others is always high in our priorities but unless we are who we are, what we say/ write is empty and blown in the wind. I read your blog because of who you are, not necessarily what you say... Just do it.

Gilly said...

I have never, ever felt uncomfortable with you or what you write. Though it often resonates profoundly with me, and wakes up memories that perhaps I would rather were left sleeping. But that is fine. I could have awoken those memories via something else, but whatever the "something else" might be, it won't have been so beautifully written, so imaginatively presented and so much from the heart as your blogs are.

Please don't stop writing as you feel, Dana, please don't stop writing about what youj are struggling with - there are many others who are sturggling too, and you are a great encourager.

Just stay here, Dana, you are needed!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I am constantly quoting Polonius' talk to his son Laertes in HAMLET...But the reason is, It Is The Most Important Message for Living Ones Life That There Is: SO, here goes again.....

Neither a borrower nor a lender be---for loan oft looses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: To thine ownself be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, Thou Cans't Not Then Be False To Any Man!

You just keep being true to yourself, my dear Dana...That is ALL that is really important. What you write, How you write, if it brings up stuff for those that read it--as you said...'Look to thyself', or words to that effect. This is your blog and what you share and how you share it is what makes you YOU!
And I say BRAVA to that, my dear!

Anonymous said...

I love you just the way you are with all your quirky traits. Don't change unless YOU want to.


Awareness said...

Hey ChicGeek...thank you for your comment. Your reasons for blogging are very similar to mine and I love receiving emails from people who share their thoughts and feelings about something I've written too. I often wonder when I've written a poem or song lyrics too how it is interpreted, but normally I can stand back and just post it. Funny, it's never the people who leave comments or email who question my state of mind!

David.... it's difficult when you get caught up in how it may be interpreted. One has no control over that .... only control over what you want to put out there in blogland. thank you for your encouragement. it means a lot. d.

Gilly.... thank you. I ain't goin' nowhere. :) I love the connections I've made with fellow bloggers and people in my life here who read along. It's a fascinating journey. It just sometimes gets creepy when what I've written gets misinterpreted by a few who are uncomfortable with me..... like I've morphed into some other person. It's difficult to describe and it's very strange because I really havent changed. My interests are the same as they were when I was young. I'm just putting them out there and elaborating/expanding on my learning etc. I guess passion and compassion are scary entities for some. couldn't have share a better quote with me this morning. Its perfect! Thank you. I will return to that piece I'm writing and see how I can formatted it so that it is blogworthy. It is personal and it feels intense, but it was such an important moment in my own journey that I do want to share it. Right now, it's WAY too long. I may have to set it up like you do in different parts.

Mavis...thank you..... I don't think I'd be able to change even if i tried. I'm crazy from my toes on up!!!!!

Romany Angel said...

This is a very touchy subject with me.

Dana, this is your blog and you should be able to write whatever you want. If other people don't like what you write well I'm sure they know how to leave the same way they got in.

Why do people always have to act like amateur psychologists? Sometimes a post is just a post. There's nothing sinister, no underlying message, it's just a fucking post for crying out loud. Sheesh.

I hope to read the post you WANT to write very soon :) Herein ends the sermon.

kenju said...

Very well said. I wonder who made you think it was necessary to write this. Of course, I don't comment that often, so perhaps it wasn't me. Whatever you write here should be for you - and we have no reason to assume that it is all of who you are, any more than our blogs are total extensions of us. Mine surely isn't.

BlazngScarlet said...

You can only be who you are Dana.
I may not comment all the time, but I have never been uncomfortable and if I have, it has never stopped me form coming back.
Sometimes uncomfortable is good .... it makes ME take a step back.

I do know that self-conscious feeling, and it sucks.
I hope it passes for you ... you have much insight and wisdom.

Jen aka Pinky said...

holy cow, Dana...I don't know that I've EVER related to a post as much as I have this one. I have poured my heart out on my blog many times. Actually, I can be quite cryptic, since a few of the folks in my small town read my blog. (I wish I had remained anonymous from the start.) However, there are a few readers who have such insight and amateur psych training as to analyze each and every hint that I subconsciously drop.

It can be quite unsettling, to put it mildly. The thing that bothers me the most is, when he questions me, or analyzes me, I doubt myself. I DO question my mental health! I hate that I can feel so certain of myself...hitting that 'publish' button with all the confidence in the world, only to read his analysis of me the next day and question my mental state / motives, etc.

It's a crummy feeling. It leaves me wondering how much I should share on my blog in the future. I've indicated to him in past threads that he's crossed lines by pushing too hard in his questioning, and he's backed off. It's all about boundaries.

It's also made me realize that I'm a very private person, more than most.

For what it's worth, your posts are incredibly insightful. I can see that you're growing and changing. I know that discomfort of wondering if those 'out there' can sense our discomfort...but just know that we're cheering for you.

Awareness said...

Gypsy...I don't know why this is so, nor do I understand the underlying judgement that goes with it.

Judy...oh no it wasn't you. In fact, its not anyone who comments on my blog.

Scarletina... believe me, reading these wonderful comments are putting things back on a balance. It's good to know others feel the same way. It's always a risk to put some of yourself out there as much as it can be personally therapeutic and possibly helpful for another.

Jen....Thank you for sharing makes the situation feel normal. :) I think it's tres cool that you related to this post so deeply. :) I truly almost pulled it because it felt like such a rant, and i didn't know if anyone would get it. I've had longer more interesting comments to this post than I've had in a long time. Funny that!
I was teaching my counselling course tonight and we were talking about how many people are very uncomfortable with feelings....their own and the feelings of others.... I believe it comes down to a fear of losing control. We all have that, but I think its pretty strong in others.

Anonymous was how I started, and with very few reading it. Now? I don't know. I do have to be careful with what I share here because of my job and my connection to the government etc, so I can't spew stuff like I really want to! I'll stick with touchy feeling spiritual stuff. :)