Sarah Dessen says:

sarah dessen“Everyone has their weak spot.
The one thing that-
despite your best efforts,
will always bring you
to your knees, regardless
of how strong you
are otherwise.”

Advertisements

To Blog Or Not To Blog

blognotoThat is the question,
ain’t it ?

This here post is gonna try to answer that age old question:

“Why Blog?”

Well….
ok….

it’s not really age-old

…. considering blogging is a relatively new phenomena…..

Ummm….

Stop being so literal, buddy.1

I spend a fair percentage of my very limited free-time working on my blog,

— and I’ve been asked several hundred times why I do it…

….after all,
I could be doing much more constructive,
productive,
profitable,
or otherwise DIFFERENT things….

1111well, for one —

I enjoy it.

But more than that,

I have a need,
that blogging somehow fulfills.

blogtheblogCertainly, an important part of it is self-expression –

sublimating those creative and aggressive drives that would otherwise be expressed in less …

err…
friendly or socially acceptable ways.

My sense of humor can be a lot like a bad doggie—-

if I don’t give it a sufficiently large back yard in which to run, it tends to yapp on incessantly, gnawing upon the furniture of my personal life, tearing to shreds business relationships, and generally making itself quite a nuisance to the unfortunate residents of my real world.11

A leash — what most people would call a filter, is completely lacking in my case,

…..and in face to face communication, I’ll make a joke regardless of ‘appropriateness’ , because I simply have never convinced myself that I’m really not all that clever to begin with.

With a blog, I can consider all the attributes and liabilities of what I’m saying, before I say it……

I still usually offend people, just not as recklessly.

I can take my time, say what I want to say, (sometimes what I NEED to say).. and thoughtfully (or NOT) choose the tone and verbage that suits the WAY I want to say it.

111Another important factor for me is personality development –

I have always been an introvert – what some students of psychology would call a Promethian personality type –

….and as I have matured, I have found myself lacking in many of the finer points of social interaction, to the point that I really had to work hard on it – and I have started to open myself up more to people.

This has had both positive and negative consequences – but has certainly been illuminating and interesting. As far as my social interactivity is concerned, I have improved a good deal – I am now functioning at about a 9th grade level, instead of where I was about 10 years ago -( let’s just say it was almost pre-school level. )

I have learned much about how to talk to people instead of talking AT them… and a lot of this is because of what I have learned from blogging and online interaction.

blogMany people think the WWW is ‘impersonal’…

but it is as personal or impersonal as you make it…

face to face communication is actually easier— because you have the benefit of visual and aural cueing, via body language, inflection, facial expression, tone and volume, etc.

You also usually share the same space, acquaintances, or interests, so you have something in common that you might not have online.

But, the diversity of people online, and the variety of potential experiences, make it a worthwhile effort.

borderAnother part of blogging I enjoy is when I get a reaction – positive or negative – to one of my blogs.

In real life, I’m one of those people who loves to provoke a reaction in people I first meet….

– I’m ‘acquainted’ with too many people already – (so much for being THAT open, right?)

thus most of the time, I start out not caring whether they like me or not –

so, I will usually say something that I think will cause a reaction, and then sit back and watch –

often, their reaction is predictable and downright boring –

it’s when someone reacts unexpectedly that I’m particularly interested in them and what they have to say.

cartoonThe same goes for blogging –

when someone responds with a comment or question, or especially when someone comes up with a sharp observation or witty insight,

I am reminded of just how much FUN blogging can be.

Self expression, self-improvement, self gratification – certainly it has a very selfish aspect to it –

–no one ever said that blogging had to be a public service –

but it does serve the function of allowing people to understand each other better- and that is a good enough reason to do it – even if it wasn’t enjoyable and fulfilling.

1It gives each man a voice – a mode of expression –

…. extremely valuable in an era where the individual voice is usually drowned out by corporate claptrap, political correctness, societal propaganda, and the din of the crowd.

So, here’s to the noble BLOG – the vox populi !

Alrighty then….

Lecture over…. you’re free to go!

new-yorker

The Bent Mirror

aI’ve been trying hard not to stress about an upcoming competition…

… and so, as I usually do in these situations,

I’ve been playing a kinda mental dodgeball game with certain thoughts / emotions..

— what usually happens when I try to block out anxiety about one thing is that it manifests itself in other ways….

and in particular, I get over-analytical.

A person can say something to me on a average day,
….. and it’ll have absolutely no impact…

but on THESE days,
I ask all kinds of questions about the many variations of what that person could have possibly meant, and the ramifications,

and what it says about them,
and what it says about me,
and what it says about society,

and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah……………………. ad nauseum.

I try hard not to let these kinds of things change the way I see things…
… or relate to them…..

A friend told me something today at the gym that really made me think.

Think hard.

It made me contemplate on how malleable a thing self-image can be.

I know plenty of people who can tell you what they aren’t.

I know plenty of people who can tell you why they’re not good enough.

I know plenty of people who can tell you what’s wrong with themselves.

Did you ever ask yourself who TOLD them this stuff?

And why they chose to believe it?

Could you be answering that no-one told them that their body is not ideal…

or that they’re not smart enough..

or good looking enough…..

or personable enough……

or successful enough………

Well, maybe you’re right…. but…. think about this.

I’m sure you’ve heard about how the Barbie doll’s proportions are so off-kilter that young girls often get the wrong idea about what they should look like when they mature…..

Do you think there might be plenty of other examples like that out there?

Sure….

I think that we all tend to view ourselves,
at least in some ways,
based not from the perspective of our own choices and chosen priorities,
but from the perspective of how others view us.

So, we’re getting a distorted image –
— one that is corrupted not only by our own fears and prejudices,
but those of others as well.

It’s like we’re seeing ourselves in one of those trick mirrors they used to have at the state fair…..

where we look fatter, or weirder, or uglier………..

I guess it sounds obvious enough…. but why?

Shouldn’t our self-image be determined by a comparison of what we are to what we want to be, instead of how others compare us to what they think we should be?

Someone can say something hurtful to us, and set us back emotionally miles and miles….
—  if we let it.

I have this friend (you thought I forgot about her, didn’t you?) at the gym who has a very pretty face, nice body and skin, and a sunny personality.

Well, some idiot in her real-world social life told her the other week that she dressed ‘dowdy’.

Since that time, this lovely, well dressed lady has gone out, bought expensive new clothes, changed her makeup and hair, and has adopted a new ‘attitude’ in which she is trying to project a sophisticated ‘fresh’ persona….

but…………………whose perspective is setting her self-image?

Don’t get me wrong-
— there’s nothing wrong with improving yourself –
—  if you’re the one who decides you need to do it.

But, just taking some mean-spirited creeps’ off handed remark and changing everything around based on that, well, isn’t that worse than no change at all?

Isn’t that really taking a step back?

I mean, the purpose of change is self-improvement, right?

Can there be self-improvement without self-fulfillment? Without Self?

And what is SELF without making choices for you- based on your own interests and priorities.

Making judgements based on what is right for your SELF. Not somebody else’s.

Do you see what I’m getting at?

I think anything’s worth changing – if it’s for you that you’re changing it.

And anything’s worth doing – if YOU want to do it ..
———- not ’cause other so and so thinks you should.

So, am I being over-analytical?

Mebbe so……. but, my friend, please…

…… I’d love to see you live a happy life… and I can’t give you money, or fame, or a big car…..

(……. I don’t have any of that stuff to give, and the truth is, I never wanted it……. )

But I can give you a gift that someone gave me, that’s made a huge difference in my life……..

These simple words……

To thine own self be true!

Oh….
and, “STAY AWAY FROM THE SNACK BAR !!!” 🙂