Life Cycles: blogging through them

A post where I lament over the fluidity of life.

I’ve waxed and waned as a blogger since 2001. I can look back and see the times that I’ve most consistently blogged were when I was especially isolated–be it by geography, babyhood, or personal turmoil. I generally blog because I like to, because it’s beneficial for me, and/or because I have something to say and find power in feeling heard.

I best (and naturally) blog from a place of authenticity. When that isn’t a perspective I can currently or safely access, I tend to back away from this public forum. I can look back and see times when that has happened. My need for this outlet may be less, the cost of such openness may have risen, life may be too full (or too dull).

If blogging cycles run in a parallel way to life cycles, then I have to acknowledge the difference between where I am now and where I was when I started this blog (and resurrected my “blogger” identity) about 18 months ago.

  • I feel skeptical of anonymity
  • I am increasingly sensitive of professionalism
  • I carry concern for my children’s right to their own autonomy (a five-year-old and budding kindergartener differs greatly from a mostly protected three-year-old)
  • I carry many different roles, including being the/a representative of: local government, my department or division, my generation, the domestic violence movement and/or non-profit world, services to aged individuals, “the system”
  • I am hyper-aware of perception–and possible misconceptions
  • I am caught up in many other pursuits and otherwise fulfilled in my day-to-day life in some of the ways blogging is functional

I’m not sure all of those points make sense. So here’s what I’m saying: I recognize that this blog is neither private nor anonymous and the anxiety that creates ebbs and flows. My concerns and possible implications change as my life and lifestyle change. My kids are getting older and I am cognizant of their own privacy (current and future). As the number of people I come in contact with in a professional capacity increases, and the breadth of entities/communities/movements I represent in a given situation morphs; I am increasingly conscious of what I might say or do in all aspects of my life. That being said, I am finding an increased need to use my personal time as just that. That could be in response to creating some kind of work/life balance or an off-shoot of feeling that this space is less then sacred.

Lastly, this blog is anything but private, so far as available and open to people in my life. If I publish posts on Facebook, well I’ve got a good handful of Facebook friends from the majority of arenas in which I live my real life. This is exciting, perhaps unusual, definitely authentic…but it is also intense. I wouldn’t change it but I have to acknowledge the limitations. I try my best to be who I am and own what that is, but I definitely fall prey to concerns over the way my “problems” or perceptions may be [mis]construed. Does that make sense? The trouble with putting yourself out there as a real-life portrayal of…. (motherhood, advocacy, the portland-area, paleo, student parenting, sobriety, a human living life, etc.) is that you become a representation.

Maybe that’s where my fatigue has come in.

It seems like as much as I’ve been able to be a real person, I’ve also become a spokesperson. And dammit if I don’t get annoyed as all hell over spokes-people in social media. Like, STFU and be a real, whole, multifaceted person. I hope that I don’t come off that way, but I am sensitive to the possibility of someone feeling like I do. And now that I’m a part-time spokesperson M-Th, I’m kinda good in that regard.

This is my long and arduous way of acknowledging that something has been different in my blogging, for awhile now. My guards are up, my posts are infrequent and it’s more than just busy. I don’t know where this space in the cycle will take me, but it may be surface-y stuff for awhile. And that’s fine too. I’ve actually got an arsenal of those posts ready to take the screen. Or, my winds may shift and I may find myself eager to re-engage this as a space of self-discovery and engagement.

Whatever happens, I want to be as real as possible along the way.

One thought on “Life Cycles: blogging through them

  1. I’m one of your anonymous followers – I saw your story over on the Everyday Paleo blog and found my way here (yup, I’m one of “those people” responsible for the increased traffic). Since then I decided your writing style and general personality were fantastic and proceeded to read all your blogs – food-related or not. I do not know you and if you happened to come all the way up to Northern Ontario to my neck of the woods I probably wouldn’t recognize you if you stopped me in the grocery store. But I completely understand what you are saying and why this blog may not be within your comfort zone anymore. As a young health professional, there’s a lot I changed the moment that degree was framed. I can’t change the fact I’m under 30 and definitely don’t look like I’ve been in the profession the 5+ years I have. But – I can be a role model to those of all ages. I can respect the professional lines that are drawn every time I see a patient (and how those differ in grocery store!). I can respect that photos of me on FB may not show the side I want my employees to see. And I can imagine this is even greater for you on a blog and with children!

    I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you for sharing part of your life. I’ve enjoyed the reading (and how frequently I check to see if there’s a new post is indicative of that). But we live in a digital age that makes anonymity nearly impossible and that’s definitely not for the best. I’ll keep checking and whether you post about your love of coconut oil or M&M breast-feeding – if you can keep it authentic then it won’t matter how personal that gets.

    Cheers for now,
    Angela

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