June 10, 2002

Who Knows You Blog, And Who Doesn't?

And what would you do if they did?

Over the last month, I've become more and more convinced that we're writing for each other. Which means, if you are not a blogger, or a blog reader at least, I’m not writing for you. Which means, I'm not writing for my family or three dozen of my closest friends.

Are they missing the core of who I am? Probably. But perhaps some people don't need to know my core. That not knowing gives me a certain amount of freedom. And I think I like it.

You and I, we've been together a while now. I know what it takes to surprise all of you--something like homicide at this point, or at least conspiracy to commit murder. You might say, "Gee, I didn't know Jeneane was that far gone." Aside from some gruesome revelation like that, I'm not sure I could surprise any of you--disappoint any of you--with prose and poetry that tells you "who I am." I continue to try to titilate you (breast feeding post, exhibit A), but beyond that, it's just me out here saying, "Hey."

For those who know me in the realworld, though, you know, parents, siblings, aunts, old-school friends, it's a different story. The fact is, they would be very surprised by just about everything I've written here. Like the last post. And the one before that. And probably the one before that. Yikes. Surprised may be the wrong word. Disturbed might be closer.

What does this mean? It means that I ask myself, once every few days, what would I do if Aunt Marian wrote and said, "I saw your website." (She's a nun and my aunt.) Or, what if my brother's wife, who is quite net savvy, found me here and said, "Hey, I saw that weblog you have…" Or worse yet, my boss: "What's this site you have? I've been looking at it but can't really make sense of it--what is this thing?"

I don't want that. I don't want them to know because I love the freedom of having NO ONE on my shoulder. No one checking my posts from inside my head before I press publish.

My husband, sure, he's there, but he really does live on my shoulder and that means nothing here much surprises him. And if it does, he will most likely ask me, "Hey, what was that post about?" And we'll talk about it. Besides, he's blogging himself now, so he falls into *our* camp.

But it does raise certain questions for all of us: Who doesn't know you blog and would it change how you blog--what you write, whether or not you self-censor--if they did?

Mommy, did I ever tell you I used to be a really good shoplifter? How about that I wish I would have tasted George all up and down his body after he fell through the ceiling instead of being so practical and worrying about the repair bills? You taught me that stuff, you know?

See what I mean?

But still, as I grow more confident in my voice, in how I say what I have to say, and in the power of what I'm saying, I'd like to think I wouldn't change much. Not anymore. Well, maybe the "tasting" part. Well, okay, I might not want to talk about the alcoholism thing either.

So you see, the truth for me is that I really don't know. Because it hasn't happened. Yet.

And you?