Thursday, October 28, 2010

Q&A- Why Do I Get So Close To My Bloggers?

Please note that Secret Fridays are moving. I hope you'll join me for the first Secret Sunday this weekend.

  I had planned to answer questions some of you have sent me (thanks again!) through video posts. However my webcam and YouTube don't seem to be talking to each other at the moment. Maybe it's a lover's quarrel, I dunno. I'm troubleshooting the upload issue but it may take a bit of time to figure out, so I'll start answering the old fashioned way- in writing. After all, if cavemen were able to communicate before YouTube so can I.

  Today's question, the first I was asked is: "Why do you get so close to your bloggers? (not saying it's a bad thing, but a lot of people don't care)."

  The short answer is I feel someone worth knowing is worth knowing well.

  Like most of us I like to visit new blogs. Sometimes I'll leave a passing comment, other times I just read a bit and move on. But once in a while I come across someone who makes me want to stay and find out more. It could be their attitude, maybe their sense of humour. Sometimes it's not so much what they say but how they express it (there are some tremendously eloquent writers around). If what they've written strikes a chord with me for some reason I always take time to let them know the effect their post had on me and why.

  Although I sometimes find myself wanting to get to know a blogger, I don't make a conscious effort to get close to them. If it happens it has to happen naturally, if I'm fortunate as in "real life" sometimes these connections turn into friendships. For me the most rewarding relationships are those that started by sharing something very personal, on either side. I'll always give more of myself than I'll ever expect in return; still, on rare occasions I'll get to know someone whose story completely draws me in and floods me with questions. Lauren* was such a person, and a significant turning point for me.

  I found her blog very shortly after I began Life In Quotations. She was a mid-to-late twenties bisexual woman, the sub in a D/s (Dominant/submissive) relationship with her female partner. Lauren self-harmed as a way of coping with the world around her and her own internal struggles; she was my first introduction to cutting. In short time the conversations we were having were extremely revealing, as she very openly discussed her mental, sexual and emotional sides with me. Hearing of her obsessions, her desires, her fears and darkness was intense.

  This was the first time I realized how much I could learn from other bloggers and the kinds of relationships that were possible. Lauren and I never developed a friendship, although she was very willing to help me understand what she was feeling she did so at a distance. Her moods were very unpredictable (looking back she showed some signs of Bipolar II), and as quickly as we met we lost touch. Still it sparked in me a wild curiosity in what other people were experiencing, and marked the beginning of my interest in Psychology. It was also my first realization of how much I got from listening to people's problems, victories and heartaches.

  And so it began.

  As it's turned out, most of my readers are much younger than myself, and mostly women. I didn't plan it this way, but to be honest I feel extremely fortunate to have female readers. Every man or woman has their own life experience to share. There are a few male blogging friends (you guys know who you are) with whom I've shared some great conversations. With my female blogging friends I've been able to see life from the other side of the fence and get different points of view through their experiences. It's hard to explain why I'm so drawn to this. I have a great relationship with Sandy, she's amazing and I'm very fortunate that she gives me room to explore this side of myself.

  I feel an almost ravenous curiosity to discover everything I don't yet know.  Learning about life from people of different ages and cultures, building trust and friendships with them is to me incredibly rewarding and something I very strongly need in my life.

*not her real name