At noon we often gather in the conference room of our office suite for lunch. Some bring their food from home, and others like me who are less prepared run down to the college cafe and bring in our lunches on trays. Sometimes we talk about work, but try not to.
One day recently a woman said, “I woke up last night with something on my mind and got up and blogged and blogged and blogged for four pages. It just kept coming. Is it like that with your blog?” “Uh, no I have to edit a lot. Are you starting a blog?” I was excited for her. “Oh no, it’s just too personal. I could never tell the stuff you do in your blog. Don’t you feel it’s just so personal. Like with your dad?” She was referring to my post ‘Carry-on Baggage.’
People often refer to the level of personal information I share. If I felt it was too personal, I wouldn’t share it. It’s not as if I don’t have control of my pen. And believe me, if readers think that they know my deepest darkest secrets, they don’t. If I have skeletons in my closet, they are still tucked neatly behind the racks of clothes and a lot of shoes!
If I were not to share the most painful experience of my life, the suicide of my father, it would have no meaning. For in order for that part of my life to have meaning, I have to turn it into something helpful to someone else. Well, it’s kind of hard to be helpful to someone else if I harbor the pain all to myself. If I let the pain out, then I can share it with others, and maybe, just maybe help someone else in their journey of pain.
I don’t expect everyone to understand. But there will be some who have had a close up encounter with suicide who know just what I am talking about. It is scary, haunting, surreal, and sad on a deeply profound level. It is something that you don’t want to keep inside, but seems so personal to those who haven’t experienced it. It is hard for others to hear.
Now, a couple of days after this conversation about the personal nature of my blogs, I read a post by Writer Chick, a blogger I follow. She posed a question I found fascinating. She asked about whether we had a theme to our writing. She said that her writing seemed to be about belonging. Well, I responded to her that as a new blogger I had no idea if I had a theme. I told her that I’d written many professional articles too, but I’d have to think about the theme.
Well, I’ve spent a day thinking about it and it’s really so obvious to me. My theme is so clear to me. Whether it’s personal or professional I am always writing about relationships. Cultivating and nurturing relationships is my major theme and encouraging reflective thinking is my minor theme.
It’s always good to stop to reflect upon one’s writing. And so to my lunch buddy and to Writer Chick I say thank you for the inspiration. You got me through another Sunday’s post too! That is always appreciated!!