Thursday, June 19, 2008

Navel Gazing

I'm really not getting the feel for blogging yet. It's a very big change for me. Up until Michael was born, I was an avid journal writer. My journal is the place where I record my thoughts and feelings about myself and my life. It’s always served as a sort of clearing house for my restless mind, and as a safe place for me to be as honest as I’m willing to be with myself. After more than 20 years of journaling, I’ve gotten very comfortable with the format and the process of writing for it.

But, once Michael was born I discovered I had a very difficult time writing in my journal. I found that I ended up writing about Michael’s antics and achievements. There is nothing wrong with that, but it overshadowed the fact that my journal was supposed to be about me.

I think this was a natural and normal progression of a new mother. When Michael was first born, he was part of me. He fed from me, he slept on me, he relied on me, and his identity became part of me. It makes sense that he would become part of my journal as well. However, as he’s grown older, he has started to separate from me. He feds himself, he entertains himself, and he has developed opinions of his own. He has become his own person. All the while, I have also been slowly separating from him as well.

I know this separation is a slow process that will take place over several decades, but each step of it requires that both Michael and I redefine ourselves. How Michael redefines himself is his own business, and I will only ever see as much of it as he allows me to see. But how I witness my own progress through this process is very much up to me. Do I return to my pen and paper and tuck my entries away in a drawer each night? Do I open myself up to whoever wants to read about it here in the blogsphere? And if so, then how do I post about myself and Michael without making one overshadow the other?

I don’t really know the answers yet, it’s going to take a while to figure out what works for me. But, in the mean time, I will tell you one thing that scares the crap out of me about blogging. Honesty. I love and respect honesty, and if I’m going to put something out here for others to read, I want it to be honest. I have no problem being honest when giving other’s my opinions, but I must confess that I’m not always honest with myself. I’m afraid that if I start getting too up close and personal, that I’m going to have too be more honest with myself than I’m used to. I don't know, maybe that’s a good thing. But, it sure does make me feel vulnerable.


London said...

I used to journal a lot too, and I wish I still had time to do it more! I understand about the honesty thing, I sometimes find that I express myself best through writing. So I often go back to read what I wrote and think to myself "Crap, is that how I really feel!?"

Zoey's Mommy said...

I think it's great when people can keep a journal. My 84 year old great grandma keeps one and she keeps all of them. I remember in 2002 I was at her house helping her out, and she had the journal out from 1998 when my grandpa died. I don't know how long she has been journaling (is that a word?!) but I really admire her.

I on the other hand, have never kept a journal or diary. Lord knows I've tried, but I seem to always forget about it. I love blogging though. I love how I can go back from two years ago and read my thoughts on being a new mom, etc.

LauraC said...

Blogging can be scary but it can be liberating. Sometimes putting your fears and failures out there helps you find people who are going through the same thing. Mothering can be very lonely sometimes... I've found being honest about things has helped me much more than the scary part of letting myself be vulnerable.