I have now published seven blog posts. Seven little essays I wrote all by myself. I did not show them to anyone, nor ask anyone’s permission before clicking the “publish” button. As I am writing them, it feels like a bubble of words and emotions is welling up in me. Clicking that button is like popping the bubble as it reaches the surface. It is a relief and it leaves space for something new to come through.
After doing quite a bit of blog browsing recently, it is obvious to me that anyone and their brother can publish a blog (and for that matter publish a blog that gets a lot of traffic). But my blog is my own, and I have no goals for my posts other than to publish them and see what happens next. The comments and email I have received over the past weeks on these first seven posts are motivation enough for me to continue writing in this medium.
I have always had the writing bug, but kept it mostly confined to maudlin, heartache-filled journal entries until the internet came into my life. In the late 90’s I honed my skills at putting my thoughts and feelings into words in a public setting. As a moderator of a contentious Catholic debate forum at Beliefnet, and a community regular at websites like hipmama.com, I got plenty of practice speaking my mind in writing. Fast forward ten years and the Facebook update is leaving me deeply unsatisfied as a means of written self-expression.
Finishing things I’ve started has always been a challenge for me. It is a quality apparently deeply ingrained in my nature, as it cuts a wide swath through my life. This frustrating trait manifests itself not only in creative endeavors such as the incomplete knitting projects languishing in closets around my house, but also extends to some of life’s more significant matters. For example, in my early twenties I donned a cap and gown and marched in my supposed commencement ceremony at the University of Washington. My grandparents came from Michigan to witness the spectacle, and would never know that it was quite a while before I actually completed my B.A. in Art History. Similarly, my divorce dragged on for several years, but thankfully was eventually abruptly finished off due to the insistence of a former girlfriend of my ex-husband. I have learned that people pass through our lives for what seems like no other meaningful reason than to “help” us deal with our unfinished projects. No matter how painful it might feel at the time, later we can certainly learn to thank them for propelling us forward on our journey. This brings me to the “I’m Not Lisa!” reason for blogging.
A year ago an old friend published a best-selling memoir in which I was a character. My character was disguised and much liberty was taken with the details. To those familiar with the subject matter however, the character was obviously based on me. My character played a minor but important role in my friend’s exploration of her own life. I don’t believe her intention was to hurt me, but It was certainly not an easy experience to read the memoir. In fact it was definitively painful. Reading her memoir brought me some dark days and unexpected tears. In retrospect I am grateful to her for helping me to finish clearing out some lingering emotional loose ends from this time in my life. But even more importantly, her stories involving “me”, motivated me to start writing my own authentic stories about “the real me” – my own ongoing memoir so to speak. And so for this I salute her with a hearty NAMASTE!