The point of blogging for me has always been that I write something true, because, the way I see it, there’s already enough bullshit on the internet that the world certainly doesn’t need me adding more to it. The problem is that I just don’t know if it’s healthy for me to blog anymore; if it ever was.
It’s not that stuff isn’t happening in my life that I wouldn’t love to write about. Oh, my gosh, is stuff happening! Wonderful stuff. Hard stuff. Scary stuff. Exciting stuff. Which leads me to think that if you are living a boring life, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself.
It’s just that I don’t know if I want to put my truth out here anymore. I’ve been wondering, “How does my blog serve me?” versus “What does it cost me? Emotionally? Financially? Socially?”
Is blogging good for me?
There was a time when I would have answered that question with an unequivocal yes—my original tagline was, “Blogging is cheaper than therapy”–but now I’m just not so sure.
But when I think I’m done with this blargh of mine, I read something someone has written that resonates, and I think, “Dang it! I wanna write like that!” Or I get an email or comment on a post I’ve written that reminds me that being a creative human being is important for the soul.
So I sit down to write something true, but end up playing Candy Crush for two hours instead.
Sometimes I tell myself the reason I’m not writing is because, “They can’t handle the truth.” But the truth is that I’m the one who can’t seem to handle other people’s reaction to my truth. The worst thing in the world is guilelessly laying your truth out here and having people reject you over it. That shit fucking hurts.
It shouldn’t matter.
Blah. Blah. Blah.
And if I were a full of shit blogger I’d write a bunch of faux enlightened crap about how amazingly self-actualized I am, and how what people think about me doesn’t matter.
Blah, Blah. Blah.
But it does matter to me. The loss of relationships should always matter. Well, to people who aren’t sociopaths, anyway.
So I don’t write. Well, that’s not true. I do write. Draft after draft of my truth that will never see the light to day sits in my draft folder, because, it seems, I’ve developed an aversion to public shaming.
Shame on Me?
For example, I write my truth about my sexual experience in my marriage, and the next thing you know somebody I’ve known for centuries is taking me to task on my Facebook wall about how I’m risking the fiery flames of hell, and dragging poor, unsuspecting GOOD CHRISTIAN WOMEN right along with me, by my crazy, heretical notions that God created us to be blissed out in bed–no holds barred–with the person we’ve vowed to love, honor, and cherish, until death do us part.
Geez Louise! Not just unfriended, but chastised publicly, and privately I might add, for talking about having the most satisfying sex of my life with my lawfully wedded husband of 28 years?!?! How is that in any way, shape, or form unbiblical?
Or I write my truth about my experience caring for pregnant women, and that I have, in fact, delivered a six month old dead baby killed by a botched abortion with my own two hands–which was HORRIBLE, and I never want to happen ever again as long as I live, which is why I’m more pro-contraception than Planned Parenthood–and the next thing I see, I’ve been unfriended by my own brother. Oh, brother!
Fine. Maybe I should just stick with pictures of cats. Or maybe I should just not say anything at all until I can come up with something that will please everyone.
The Sounds of Silence
I’m pretty sure I’m not portraying anything close to my reality on social media.
Case in point?
I recently received a sweet DM on Facebook from a thoughtful individual who is worried about me. She said that my FB posts about being a travel nurse sound “lonely.” She then generously offered to set me up with an opportunity to get into some sort of MLM business venture that’s the answer to my sad, lonely existence.
While I am guessing her heart is in the right place, I laughed when I read it because I don’t think there exists a level of loneliness that would compel me to ever go into business again.
Talk about lonely.
There is nothing on this earth lonelier than finding out that people you love are just using you–under the guise of friendship–for their own financial gain and pseudo-fame.
Besides, I’m not lonely. I’m happy. I just don’t write happy as well as I write agonal.
I also know that nobody wants to read about other people’s happiness. Where’s the self-satisfied sense of superiority to be had in that?
For instance, who wants to read that I’m having the best sex of my entire life, and the reason for this–I’m certain—is that I’ve made a conscious decision to tear down every barrier that I’ve ever allowed to stand between my husband and myself, up to and including forswearing my lady-boner killing imaginary God of vengeance who is always looking for ways to condemn and shame me?
Because that’s what I’d like to write about. And I know from my stats that that’s what you’d like to read about.
But I guess I’m no longer so keen on enduring the public slut-shaming that comes from being real about sex.
Yes, I’ve come to accept that some people think my attitude towards sex makes me a shitty Christian–or no Christian at all–but do I really need to lay my heart out here for miserable, holier-than-thou, nattering nabobs of negativity to publicly pick apart?
Good Things Come to Those Who Work Hard
I’m also making more money than I ever have in my entire life at a job I love, but I can’t really write about that, now can I? Who’s going to read that?
Bloggers want to read stories by and about bloggers who’ve made it big, not bloggers who’ve admitted, “This blogging for dollars is smoke and mirrors, and I’d rather wipe asses for a living than kiss them.”
Travel Nursing is the Best Thing I’ve Ever Done
Far from feeling lonely, I like almost everything about travel nursing. It’s good for me in more ways than I can count, and I don’t think it is coincidental that this is the first autumn in almost 10 years that I haven’t contemplated suicide. Also, my husband and I both think that our unconventional lifestyle is partly why we’re living like two people who’ve just fallen in love instead of the old married couple we really are.
Letting go of blogging for money, and seeking a legitimate trade that actually pays the bills, has been berry berry good to me. Financially, things couldn’t be brighter. Looking at our retirement accounts, I think Jeff and I might actually retire someday in a style somewhere above living in a yurt next to the freeway eating government cheese. (Although, with sex like this who cares where you live, or what you eat?)
Real Life v. Virtual
For the first time since I joined the Sonlight Forums in 1998, I am happier with my real life than my virtual one. This is a huge blessing. And one that deserves to be written about.
If only I could.
But every time I sit down to write about my real life, the critical voices in my head sing their soul-sucking, creativity-killing song, while the dulcet tones of Candy Crush croons out its happy, carefree tune.
Geez, who will unfriend me next, or decide that I need a lecture on my Facebook wall or, even better, a public diatribe on their own wall, about what a shitty human being I am?
Shake it Off
I know in the very pit of my being that this place where I’m at right now is just part and parcel of growing as a woman and as a writer. Writing one’s truth has always come at a high cost, which is why it’s so rare. And it’s also why I think we’re so drawn to honesty and vulnerability when we read it, even if we disagree with it.
Two things that I’ve been doing a lot lately–in lieu of wasting my life chasing money and fame in the fickle fishbowl of Facebook–is listening to music and reading. And while I’m a little old for Taylor Swift, I’ve got to say that she nails it with her song, “Shake it off”. Ultimately, that’s what you have to do if you want to create anything true.
So, here I am.
I’m just shaking it off, baby.