Friday, March 21, 2008

The Blog's out of the Bag. (tm Lucky)

So, I finally told someone that I have a blog: Lucky knows. I figure that that's in the spirit of an open and trusting marriage, but it still makes me squirm. If you are reading this, and you are not Lucky, I have no idea how you got here. It's not that you aren't welcome (Come! Sit! Help yourself to anything in the fridge!), it's just that I am discovering levels of shyness I never knew I possessed. I'm shocking myself, really. My friends would tell you that I have absolutely no problem being the centre of attention and sharing my opinions with anyone who will listen, or even pretend to listen. I have a lot of opinions. Like, a lot. So, this is hard to explain.

I was at a blogging conference a few years ago (I know, that's weird, since I didn't have a blog, but it was for work) and I strongly identified with the only guy there who did not care whether or not anyone read his blog. He was doing it for his granddaughter. He challenged himself to post one entry a day, for the sake of storytelling and family connections. He became such a prolific blogger, and wrote such engaging pieces that he became a bit of an icon without even meaning to. I don't mean to say that this shyness is my sneaky, backdoor way of scoring a speaker's spot at the next Vancouver Blog Conference, I mean to say that I liked his motives. Likewise, my favourite thing about Dooce's blog is, hands down, her series of monthly newsletters to Leta. I also like a good story about applying her OCD fueled cleaning powers to tracking a tell-tale trail of dog crap through her house, but that's only natural. I challenge you to resist. You can't. You just left to search her archives.

So, back to the question: why am I doing this? I don't have any generational legacy to leave, and we've established that I'm not in it for lucrative conference giftbags. The admittedly crap-out answer is that I am not entirely sure. If it was just for the writing practice, I could choose a private medium, like those little journals that everyone used to keep before the internets came along. I think you can still get them on Antique Roadshow. They are called diaries. Rather, I am here because it is hard for me. I read so many blogs, every day, and I get a lot out of them. I respect their writers not just because they tell good stories, and tell them well, but because I see them as brave, in the way that they put themselves out there, permanent and vulnerable. I want a piece of that.

I do not mean to say that I'm about to put a link to this blog on my facebook page, because that thought horrifies me. Just yesterday, I found my way to the blog of an old high school friend through those channels and was treated to an account of her recent colonoscopy, beside snapshots of the baking she did for her kid's ballet class. I shudder to think that I would ever get to that point, but I think I could sack up enough to share an amusing anecdote about the blood test I had done last week: As the tech admired my luscious, available veins, I commented that I hadn't had a compliment on them since I worked at the women's addiction centre in Whalley. The rest of our time together was awkward.

Baby steps.

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