Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Best Post I've Read in a While


                         "If you try to please everyone you'll end up pleasing no one."
                                                                                    ~ unknown

  I read something yesterday that reminded me of a draft I began working on then put off to the side. The post completely held my attention and has been endlessly reverberating through me for over a day, like a huge iron bell freshly struck. I decided I had to finish writing this and tell you about it because they both tie in so well.

  It was written by 'Missy' at "oh missy me.."  I first came across her, well, I don't know how long ago but it's easily been close to a year and a half. Her writing is down-to-Earth and unpretentious, as most of ours is, and always left me wanting more (although I don't usually comment I do drop by to see what's up). But as is too often the case she had also been holding back.

 I think at some point most of us feel restrained in what we can comfortably write when familiar eyes are upon us. People who don't blog usually don't seem to "get it". Why the need to write such personal things in public? Why air your dirty laundry for the world to see, aren't you embarrassed to write that? They don't realize how therapeutic blogging is. It goes so, so far beyond simply putting our thoughts and feelings down; if that were all there was to it we'd just keep a private diary or journal. For many of us though our blogs are our heart and soul laid bare, turned inside-out and in some cases ripped from our very core. We bleed words and make no apology for it because we know there are those who feel as we do and understand. There's empowerment, strength and healing in these shared experiences.

  Often those who "get us" the most are people we've never met and most likely never will. Why? Because we share no past history. They have no preconceived notion of who we were before we came along and so, there are no surprises. Still there's always something we feel we should hold back, maybe a tough time we went through in our lives that we can't share publicly with others because we'll drag loved ones into it with us. We'll never be able to express ourselves the way we want while those closest to us read our blog. I have friends and family I love dearly who may be reading this right now and what I've written is nothing personal it's just a fact, common amongst dozens of people I've met and dare I say thousands more I haven't. Yet.

  We'll also most likely never confide in our friends and family the way we do our closest blogging friends. I say this based on the countless times you, my dear readers, have said you share things with me that you wouldn't tell anyone else. I do the same. There's a certain comfort in having that computer screen between us and when we grow to trust someone over time it often feels safer than anything we might find in 'real life'. This may sound completely counter-intuitive but it's pretty much impossible to explain to those not involved.

  So back to Missy's post. I haven't featured another blogger lately and she doesn't know I'm writing this (she will soon enough!) but her post "oh eff it" was too delicious to keep from you guys, not so much because of its content specifically but its message. Here's a girl who grew balls (as she put it), found her voice and spoke out against those who would threaten to stifle her. It's a significant step in reclaiming independence and individuality and I couldn't have been any prouder of her as I read it.

  'Missy', I always enjoyed your writing. But, yesterday. You totally blew the roof off this bitch and it was a beautiful thing to see. Respect.

  While I'm at it I'd like to also give a shout-out to Charlotte at This Path of Lilly's.  She recently came out from behind her anonymous blog and has bravely pushed on while keeping all her original posts intact for all to see. I think that's pretty admirable.

  Plus she referenced my blog several times over the past week which in itself deserves a mention. Thanks Charlotte, it's a pleasure getting to know you!


  1. Well, Barry, it's funny about your title. Because this is one of the best posts I've read in a long time. :)

    I think you hit the target right on the nail. Blogging is therepeutic and only because we are sharing our inner most thoughts and feelings with people who only know us based on them. You're absolutley right, it is SO EASY to share intimate details about life's happiness, frustrations, and sadness with people who don't already have a vision of you in their head. It's like only sharing the inner core of yourself with people and they are able to do the same with you. It's amazing, really.

    Sometimes I wish I had made my blog anonymous. It has become too well known amongst some of my family members, all of my friends, and almost all of my former coworkers. I feel constrained. I feel like I can't discuss the intimate details of my life and uneasiness anymore because those people simply wouldn't understand (or they would become offended). It's frustrating. :S

    And my blog has been a source of "drama" in the past two years I've had it. I had Kerrie's on again, off again boyfriend attack me in the comments section over a post he didn't like. I even lost a friend over the blog. I wrote a post about how we went thrift store shopping and out to lunch (I only wrote her first name, did not include a photo of her at all) and she got REALLY freaked out. I guess I just never realized how weird people are about the internet...

    Well I'm off to read Missy's post. Thanks for letting us know about it. :)

  2. Oh wow! What a surprise to see MY blog mentioned. Thank you very much, it wasn't 'required' though I get the feeling you're not really the type of guy to do anything you don't want to do.

    I mentioned your blog several times because I absolutely love it! I've also been exploring your blog list and have found a couple (so far) that resonate deeply with me. One I've messaged, the other I haven't yet but soon as I can quit reading long enough to send her one, lol. I envy the relationships that I hear others speak of through blogging. I haven't really found those yet, but I think I'm on my way.

    I must also let you and your readers in on the full story. I began my current blog a little over a year ago, though I'm not really new to blogging. I had one on MySpace (if you could call it a blog) and later, wrote 'notes' on Facebook. But I needed a place to REALLY vent because of the things going on in my life. I was afraid to keep a journal at home because every time in the past when I've done so, my privacy has been invaded and I paid dearly for my words and the things I needed to write would have brought unknown horrors if my then husband would have read them.

    So I started This Path of Lilly's, giving the URL to nobody. It was all mine, only for me. Lilly (spelled that way intentionally) was my pseudonym and I posted a random yet beautiful picture of a woman wearing vintage clothing. I felt the anonymity would give me the freedom I yearned for. But I was still inhibited, still couldn't write freely. I was paranoid I'd be found out and too worried about what others would think. Not too far into it, I wanted to let the man I was having an affair with read one of my postings so I gave him the link, not thinking or realizing he'd have access to everything. Further inhibited.

    I guess I finally got tired of being 'caged' and had my own eff it post first and shortly after, a 'coming out' post. I posted my real name, told a little about myself, and posted several pictures. It felt damn good to own my words, damn good to stand tall and be brave for once in my life.

    There are days that I sometimes wish I wouldn't have revealed myself, but that feeling fades and I continue on. I feel better not hiding and I think I was hiding from myself more than from others. (Though I still wouldn't give my family the URL)

  3. barry! you are so sweet. thank you so much. i am glad that my post helped you be able to write this as well. it feels so amazing to be able to finally get it off your chest. i featured you in my latest post as well.. (i'm still editing it.. it will be up shortly)

    thank you for the sweet email as well. it meant the world to me. have missed your blog. hope all is going well for you. xoxo missy.

  4. This is so wonderful. I love both of these bloggers now - thank you so much for letting us all know about these special people we should all be hearing from. Barry you certainly deserve recognition for your continual kind words and insightful observations.

    Please, always keep writing. Xxx

  5. I completely agree with you. Blogging has become my online diary almost, but I sometimes feel restricted in what I can write knowing that some of my family and close friends read it. I also don't want all my "dirty laundry" as you put it, on the internet for all time for all to see. But the posts in which I really open up or share some poems/prose are the ones that make me feel the best. It's nice to share with people (bloggers) who understand and have been where you have been, and who appreciate the artform.
    You've been a blogger inspiration to me since you found my blog!

  6. You've become like my big brother, honestly.