Although I started this blog 4 short months ago, I’ve been privately blogging for over 9 years now, and have been closely following the lives of 10 strangers around the world. I have read the unfiltered thoughts of people that I’ve never met, (until recently, but that’s another post) yet I know some more intimately than their bed sharing partners.
For close to a decade, I’ve been here at my computer silently reading their heartfelt entries and offering up my two cents from afar. I’ve weighed in on the heavy: closeted insecurities, dysfunctional families, rape and molestation, spousal abuse, suicide, and the parting of longtime friendships. I too felt the hopefulness of their promising engagements and marriages only to later feel the pain of their crippling divorces and heartbreaking separations. I’ve witnessed the abrupt loss of self that so often occurs in directionless twenty-somethings, and was around on the day when the threatening and dispirited cloud was mysteriously lifted, and they stepped into their own.
There is something about unleashing your wounded and troubled self onto someone you don’t know in real life. Or, giving and receiving encouraging words from afar. That protective shield that we so often unknowingly put up is eliminated in the blogging sphere. I think it’s the physical distance that makes the process of unloading and accepting real and completely genuine. I’ve learned that you can give a little more of yourself through the exchange of the written word, and in the process gain so much more in return.
Over coffee once, I told a friend about my secret blogging adventures and she commented that it was like having modern day pen-pals — only grittier and juicer.
Over the years, I have gained an incredible amount of insight into what it means to be the author of your own life and the arduous courage it takes to accept defeat and move on. Blogging has given me an authentic connection to a writing circle whom I deeply respect and value. But most notably, blogging has taught me about the power of words and the immeasurable impact they have on the people who read them.