Saturday, November 3, 2007

The heart of the onion

I have written before about the nature of blogging and whether or not it would have been better to have been an anonymous blogger rather than one who was easy to find. There have been people critical of what I write and those who question my motivations. I've been told by some that I blog to make myself seem like a good guy, but no matter that I deny it, there seems to be a belief that I have some hidden agenda, or that I am somehow trying to be manipulative.

So what is the issue with the blog. Why is it so confronting? Is it the fact that in writing and exposing myself the way I have in the writing, that the people who know me are seeing an aspect they haven’t seen before? Does it feel to them that they are reading the words of a person they thought they knew but didn’t? This blog is about how I feel, how I am coping with the issues relating to the people around me. I suppose that there may well be that feeling of reading about an alien for the people who know me, simply because I have not outwardly talked about feelings or expressed frailties and human qualities before.

It is confronting for me too to think that so few, if any, people really knew me. Someone said to me recently that in expressing my foibles and talking about my mistakes that it is almost like a confession in the religious sense, and that those of you who comment are almost like the priests who take the confessions. That in offering me support it is like having the confession accepted and that it appears that the support is leaving me to walk away without the guilt and avoiding the consequences of my mistakes.

I actually don’t think that is the case but I am prepared to say that the person who writes this blog is perhaps different to the public persona. It’s not a deliberate deception, probably not even a conscious one, if it is a deception at all.

I also had someone ask me about the readers of the blog, and in particular about those of you who comment. And I said that many of you also have fragilities that you reveal on your blogs but that are not necessarily the same as the ones you reveal to the people you know in the real world. I was asked how I knew that what you said and revealed was the truth, and my reply was that I just know it is. I said that it was like interviewing a crook, sooner or later if lies are being told, the inconsistencies will trip those people up. Similarly, where you talk about the pain and passion of your lives, there are things that ring true to me. I can tell when you are really hurting, when past tragedies have shaped present lives, where hopes and dreams are revealed in all their wonder.

That is not to say that in our writing we are totally naked. Sometimes there are things held back, hidden doors that remain closed to everyone.

Reading a personal blog is like being invited into someone’s house. Sometimes we stand on the doorstep and peer inside seeing a glimpse of a room. Perhaps on the first visit we may not get past the loungeroom, but as we become more comfortable and visit more often, we may start to explore the different rooms.

Each post on a blog is another room, and as we read them a little more of the writer is revealed. Perhaps there are sometimes things we see in the visits that we would rather not know, at other times there are things that delight or educate us. If you don't mind me mixing my metaphors let me say that each post is like peeling another layer from the onion and if we keep going we will one day get to it's heart.

So when you come into my house, do not judge me too harshly. If for some reason you do not like what you see then you need not come back. When you do though, perhaps you should be prepared to learn a little more about me each time. One day perhaps you will be comfortable here and rather than feel confronted or affronted by what you read you will look forward to the visits.


Josie Two Shoes said...

I have never felt confronted or affronted when I visit here, Loz, from the beginning what I saw was someone who was intensely honest and introspective, and trying hard to become his inner vision of what is meaningful. I have learned from you, I have learned with you, and I look forward to more of it. Of course we all hold corners of ourselves back from everyone, and we are certainly different here than is our public image. I like to think I am far more real, and you all know me far better thru my blog, than does nearly everyone I interact with in my real life. It is here that I feel I can really be myself. Don't let they naysayers rob you of the joy and purpose of blogging, Loz. If it's meaningful to you... then it's real.

paisley said...

many of you also have fragilities that you reveal on your blogs but that are not necessarily the same as the ones you reveal to the people you know in the real world.

for me... this is the heart of the onion.....

terri said...

I think there will always be those that think you don't have a right to express certain things through your blog. But I agree with your sentiment that for many of us, it is a means of expressing much of what we are unable to express in person. I can really relate to this. Regardless, no one else has the right to try preventing you from doing so.

Anonymous said...

I feel very comfortable visiting 'your house' Laurie. Perhaps I am confronted at times by the issues raised. Makes me step back and have a good think.
But that is good. Very good!
Helps me to grow and move on.
I also believe we never release all of the 'real us' to those around us, and that perhaps this forum is the way so many feel they can do that. For me though it is through my personal journal. I don't think I could ever do that on this type of forum. But then who knows. One should never say never.
I like being a constant 'visitor' and hope I will always be welcome.


mariano said...

nice post!!

I have new posts, pass if you want to


Lady Penelope said...

I pealed away the layers of the onion as I read this post. I found the reduced me to tears.

I know that was not your intention at all.

It was the moment in time when "listening" to someone elses journey through life, that gave me the ability to face some of my own.

Thank You

HappyStill said...

There are a few blogs tht I visit regularly - this is one - because I can hear the cogs of my own life turning there. We never see ourselves as others see us. We can only imagine what people really think about us. And if you are presenting a 'partial' picture to the blogging world then it's because we can't ever show the whole picture. It would probably be too painful for ourselves and everyone around us.
I love visiting you.. you have a nice wee house where, I think, people are made to feel welcome and valued. If that's not the real you, don't tell me.... I don't want to know

Loz said...

Josie - I think people are surprised when they actually start to see the layers peeled.

Paisley - and for me Paisley, one difference is though, that I am not anonymous here.

Terri - I think you may have picked up that there is a reason behind the post that I cannot reveal.

Jen - Of course you are always welcome.

Lady Penelope - No it was not my intention, but I always hope that what I write can be a mirror for people in which they can see some small part of themselves.

Happystill - this is the real me - warts and all.

Anonymous said...

i am the same.. i havent known you too long..but never feel confronted or otherwise by any of the blogs i read.

M said...

Well said. When I first started posting, because of the truth I was sharing, I posted secretly using a nom de plume and only told a handful of friends.

I have been posting for a year now and not too long ago decided that I would let my world of readers know who I am. It was not an easy decision. Sharing my heart and the responses that I get to my writing has helped me find my bliss.

Most of the people reading my blog are strangers. My friends typically do not read and I have been told they find what I share to be surprising and too intimate. And so to my new online friends like you, I say thank you. When the nay sayers find they can look as deeply within as you do and share their heart they will begin to find their bliss as well.

Anonymous said...

I read blogs to learn.. from every post there is always something to take away with you...It's an excellent way to express yourself....and something I enjoy...I don't know why I blog I didn't start with a purpose in mind.. it's just a way of expressing what goes on behind my eyeballs...:)

kellypea said...

Each post is another room, indeed. I find it interesting that people have actually said those things to you -- have questioned your motivations. Would they say this to your face? Most likely not. I enjoy your frankness.

FindingHeart said...

I think we visit blogs, and sometimes post, because we feel comfortable there. I watch movies that make me feel a certain way, although I know they aren't real. Blogs don't 'sell' anything except a version of a person's reality, whatever that reality is to them.

In spilling my guts during my divorce, I found an outlet and a way to get things off my chest. Many of my commenters would offer up support and encouragement, even though they only had my side of the picture. I would often get statements assuming I would hate my ex or offer blind support as if I were a saint.

People see what they want to see and write from their own perspectives. Writing does peel back the onion a bit and let people smell the you they may not get to smell in 'real life'. But the perspectives are their own and only they control that.

Sorry so long-winded. ;)

Dorothy said...

Oh Loz, one day quite a few years ago, remember I'm older then you...someone said something very bad about me. It wasn't true. However, I was crushed. I asked a very dear friend why the criticism..he simply looked at me and said. When your up'll find many who want you down here...get use to it..and go where you dare to soar...and so I did, and I never ever, looked back. I wish you will too. Your blog is wonderful, filled with life, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Care about what you think is right. You will never please those jealous of you. And I think is what most of the criticism is related to. Best of luck..I'll be back...and into each and every room..

Dorothy from grammology
remember to call your grandma

Gypsy said...

Wonderful post Loz and yours is a blog I will always enjoy visiting. Why do I enjoy it? I am glad you asked. I enjoy reading what you write because I sense your honesty, I feel you questioning yourself and your life and I find you to be a breath of fresh air. It's hard to be so honest when you know there are people reading who will be tearing everything your write to ribbons but try to pretend they don't exist or you won't be true to yourself. I have had to overcome the same problem until I realised it is THEIR problem, not mine. No one is holding a gun to their head and making them read what you write. To put it harshly....screw em. It's your blog, it's your little place in the world where you don't have to be anyone but yourself. If people don't like it they simply don't have to come here. Sermon over.

Anonymous said...

Hey Loz! I found you! lol somehow i deleted you link and had to ask around thinking no way would I be able to get back and lo an behold someone on a blog not that owner but a reader saw my query and shot me a link...woohoo

Loz said...

Well thankyou very much for caring enough to find your way back Hope ;)

Linda and her Surroundings said...

We cannot always be exposing our inner sanctum to those we live with each day, each moment. Those who can do, those who cannot - well they Blog.

Sometimes "head thinkers" are stressful for those who are not. Blogging helps to empty out what needs to be processed.

Don't stop it.

Maxabella said...

I never think too much about the 'whys' of blogging, Loz. I just write because I like it. I love the comments, but I don't write for anyone but myself. People judge you silently in life, in bloggerland they comment sometimes. It's good to give them a voice just as you have found one yourself. x

Loz said...

You're right Maxabella - This was a time when I was dealing with a lot of crap which has now passed. But blogs are very much a snapshot of how we feel and who we are at the time we write the post. I found a sense of cimmunity in blogging at a time when I was being wiped by many people who had shared my life.

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful piece to re-read.

Beautifully written.

Again, I can't believe this is 3 years ago.

I think many bloggers can relate. I have shared so much with blogging mates that I have not shared with family or even my closest friends.

Interesting we can do that. Seeking acceptance, confirmation, approval.

A release putting it to paper?

Whatever the reason, blogging is wonderful. It shows us others can be feeling the same. It shows us others have been through similar things. Their confirmations, their advice can help us and show us we are never alone.

I was actually chatting to someone last night and we got to talking about blogs.. He said... 'Life's too short for blogs"...

I said. "Is another way of sharing and learning."

He said.. "sharing I'd agree. but not so for learning.. in my veiw"

I look forward to challenging him on that one, because for me I have learnt so much from others and heaps about myself through blogging.

I'm glad you are back blogging Laurie. I had missed the blog.

Jen x

Michelle said...

I have slowed down a bit on my blog as well. During the height of my blogging (aka personal crisis) I was heartened to find Loz's blog. We're of the opposite sex and on opposite ends of the world and yet we shared a common thread. I welcomed reading about and receiving comments from Loz, so far away and yet so close to my head and heart.
Michelle xxx

Loz said...

Jen - it's interesting re-visiting some of this old stuff. I keep expalining to people that blogs are like audits - a snapshot of a point in time, a perspective that in another time and place may be very different. Thanks for being on the journey with me.

Loz said...

Hi Michelle - thank you too. One of the inetesting things about this post too is the number of people who commented originally who have now fallen out of the blogging world. People who were true friends to me in dark times. Thank you for coming back and I promise I'll do the same :)

Findingheart from old said...

Loz, My inbox got a blast from the past, getting this post update and seeing my old ID still on your site. I have to agree with statement here again. Funny, been almost 4 years since I was a frequent visitor, having the need for male viewpoints for divorce survival. The 'share' was important to me, but I did 'learn' as well. Learn from those who traveled that road before me. Being anon benefited me and blogging was a great tool for that time in life.

Glad that your life seems to have continued to improve.

Loz said...

Hey Finding - thanks for coming back - this blog has changed, just like I have, not as introspective as I was when struggling with the separation and divorce. My ex and I both have new partners and are both far happier now than then - even though for a long time we didn' realise we were unhappy. Thanks for coming back. Are you still blogging?