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!!
6 thoughts on “Blogging My Heart Out”
I’m glad you linked to me because I’m glad I read this post. I lost my dad too, year ago. Not to suicide but the loss of a parent always cuts deep. But about a year ago, a friend of mine took his own life. What you say here about suicide is so true. And I also had to blog about it because, as you said, it would mean nothing if you couldn’t somehow use it to maybe help another person. I think that our grief and loss should be shared. And I believe it can and does help others. Especially those who are unable to share their own pain.
Thanks for this. Beautiful.
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Hi Annie. I am so very sorry for the loss of your father. Your loss is still new. It takes a long time, or it did for me, to learn to live comfortably without him. He was a very important influencer in my life. And I am sorry too for the suicide of your friend. I am glad you blogged about it. My generation is not as open about suicide and mental illness as we need to be. I hope your generation can change that for the world. Thanks for reading, and thanks again for the inspiration. Dawn
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Given my personality type, I can contemplate the fuzz in my navel for hours. I try not to do that on my blog. Whatever I share there needs to be interesting to others, not just to me, and some things I think about can’t be made that kind of interesting no matter how hard I try.
The piece I ran on Friday, about quitting my radio job, was a stretch along those lines. Hearing that old song again recently reminded me of the story and led me to write it, and I flip-flopped about posting it right up until the morning it ran.
The other side of writing about personal things is the people that can be harmed. I had a difficult relationship with my father growing up, but have found peace with it in the present. There’s lots of interesting stuff to write about there, things that might help someone else, but I won’t cause my father pain in revisiting old, bad memories. And he truly did do the best he knew how as a dad. I might tell those stories after he passes.
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What? I’m not just so darn interesting that everyone wants to know about ME, ME, ME? Ah shucks.
I am looking for your post about the radio station. I can’t find it. What is the easiest way for me to find it? Weird though. I was looking on your page at blogs you recommend and I saw The Literate Pen. I know him. He used to be the chairman of our board for many years. I still see him often. He is the reason I started a blog. The world is small or the blog world is small.
I found your blog because The Literate Pen linked to it when it was new.
Here’s the radio post: http://blog.jimgrey.net/2015/09/18/night-game/