I used to do it for attention or because I was bored. I really wanted to meet someone special, too. I thought maybe some guy would fall in love with me. I hoped it wouldn't be a long distance thing, but I was just so lonely, I would have settled for just about anything that came along. Oh, and I did, believe me.
Sometimes I wouldn't talk to anybody at work all day, and I felt like I didn't really have that many friends to e-mail. When my relationship with CT ended, I realized he was pretty much my whole world. I hadn't cultivated any other friendships, and certainly I did not have even one gay male friend.
So I started doing it. Blogging.
First I copied other bloggers I enjoyed. I tried to be really witty like Joel Derfner. And I tried to be scathing and hilarious like Margaret Cho.
It was fun getting e-mails from people I'd never met. Oh my god, you can't believe how flirtatious some of these e-mails got. At one time I felt like I was having a long distance relationship with about three or four different guys. Then one of them sort of inched to the front of the line, won my heart, and we began speaking (and doing other stuff) on the phone. I went to visit him, and we had quite a time together.
I started examining everything about myself. My dating habits. My neediness. My romantic nature. My anxiety. My fears. My joys. Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven (do you need me to link it or can you find it okay?) became a sounding board. I stopped trying to entertain and started trying to be real.
Some bloggers (bitches) said I "jumped the shark". They started making fun of me (I see all and know all) and formed secret little clubs of Toddy Haters that weren't really all that secret. It's not their fault. I gave them all the ammunition they needed. Instead of talking about the cool new technology gadget I bought or about the musclegod stud I went to bed with, I just shared what was on my heart.
Sharing my heart wasn't a problem. Nobody minded, until I shared thoughts about other people that didn't necessarily match the image of themselves that they worked hard to reflect in blogger world. I learned what it was to be told, in so many words, to shut up. I rocked the boat, which is something I've always avoided. I didn't rock it on purpose. Honestly, I was just so damn uncomfortable sitting in the back of the boat trying not to make waves. I wanted to move up front where I could see better - where I could, maybe, figure some things out.
So many people were mad at me for rocking the boat. Maybe people have always talked about me behind my back, but at least I never knew about it. The sting comes when you find out that they are talking about you. That's what you should avoid, if you want my advice. If people are talking negatively about you behind your back, you are probably better off remaining blissfully ignorant about it. But for some reason truth always seems to bubble up to the surface in my life, whether I want it to or not.
The funny thing was that all kinds of stories were invented to explain my "crazy behavior" of being too honest. Some friends in Portland reported to others across the country that I was an alcoholic and on this incredibly self-destructive path. Others speculated that the people who left encouraging and lovely comments on my blog were people I had to pay to be my friends. (That's the only reason he has this ridiculous following - he pays people to be in his entourage!)
Eh. It was stupid and stifling, and I went ahead and just let the boat tip over. We all swam for our lives. A bunch of them huddled together and clung to the wreckage, but I decided to let the current carry me away. Being talked about and getting lots of attention wasn't all it had cracked up to be, and I decided I couldn't trust anyone if I couldn't look directly into their eyes while I talked to them.
That pretty much ruled out any friendships based solely on e-mail correspondence or drunk dials or blog comments. And I retreated into - um - well, reality, I guess. My real friends were the people I could touch and hold and feel. My real friends were people who would talk to me if they felt I was drinking too much instead of talking about me to others. My real friends asked me why I took certain actions, and they listened to my explanations without judgment.
Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven (just Google it if you're still having problems...) started getting pretty "boring, boring, everything is boring". I don't know - maybe some of my posts were still okay to others, but I knew I was writing trivial mundane words. Who cares what I write. I certainly don't.
Why didn't I quit? Maybe I would have. Maybe I was just a week or two away from quitting. Then Thor came crashing on the scene and my total disorientation required something safe to hold onto. My writing has always been my safety net. I can control it, and I can command my words to express what feels impossible to describe. Never in my life have I felt happier than when he held me and told me about all that we would share together. I never felt safer or sexier. I never felt more reckless or rough. I never felt more kinky or gluttonous.
I guess it is only fitting that, when it ended, I never felt more afraid or ugly. I never felt more timid or broken. I never felt more undesirable or dead. Still, Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven (it's right here, idiot) was mine. I would write and somehow wish that my words would heal me. If one of my readers happened to offer a piece of advice that could possibly help me to postpone finishing myself off, well, that would be convenient as well. And it happened. My heroes, my readers, rushed to my aid. (And I didn't have to pay anybody, you bitches). I couldn't dismiss what I was being told. Too many people wrote to tell me that it wasn't hopeless. Too many people assured me the pain would go away. (Wait - does that mean that it is actually possible I could have true friends I'd never met in person? COOL!) Too many people told me to keep fighting, and I had no choice but to listen.
Since April, I have lost 10% bodyfat. I don't even need to go back and look at the posts from April. I remember it well. That was when the world started coming back into focus. That's when I opened the door of my house right after it completed the cyclone spin cycle, and I saw the Technicolor world. April was when my hope came back.
Why do I do it? Why do I share this stuff with strangers? Why do I write about what is going on even when I know that it is read by my college friends, former boyfriends, and other bloggers? Why do I scribble my URL (I'm not going to tell you again - just look in the Address field above - you are getting on my last nerve) on a napkin and hand it to anybody at the bar who expresses an interest?! Am I just looking for attention? Am I still hoping to meet somebody by attempting to portray myself as this amazing catch?
When I was a young teenager, I used to write my own porn. See, I had a crush on my French Teacher, and I fantasized about having sex with him. So I'd write stories about our imaginary encounters. After I wrote the stories, I would use them to get worked up. My words created visual images in my mind that would help me to climax. After I got off, I would rip the stories into a million little pieces and flush down the toilet so nobody would discover my secrets.
That's why I do it. That's why I blog.
Yeah, that probably doesn't make much sense. It's not a very good explanation. Needs elaboration. Please develop this idea further.
Nah. I don't feel like it. You either get it or you don't, and either way is okay with me. I guess I'm writing this for myself after all. Who knew?
Thank you to my friends at The Magic Geek for inspiring this post with your latest podcast!