This time, it's deliberate. Though good things have been happening, the need to protect my privacy, re-establish autonomy, and create safety for freedom to speak and write openly have become too pressing to ignore anymore. Something I've considered for a long time is to take my blog private, or start a new private invite-only one.
I hate that idea. One of my favorite things about blogging is discovering the casual readers for whom my life is certainly not worth enough to bother with a sign-in of any sort, but might occasionally be worth a quick check-in. I've so enjoyed discovering who finds my ramblings interesting -- many completely unexpected. Every so often I discover that my musings bring a flicker of interest or even joy to the most surprising parties, and these discoveries are instants of glory to writers.
But my blog's open availability has become a liability, weighing on my freedom to express, to be honest, to explore my thoughts and feelings, to reveal a painful or amusing backstory behind the events I document. I think my introspection and free expression has long been my blog's best asset -- for me as well as for its hapless readers -- but I've felt too exposed for too long now, too restricted, too conscious that my words could be turned against me. It really struck me when I realized I felt more relaxed on Facebook of all places, where I have a thin illusion of control and choice, where the medium affords me a tiny bit more autonomy. It just isn't satisfying, and is a lot more work, having to edit carefully (mentally, and in the archaic composition window Blogger clings to) for fear of repercussions.
Throughout my life, writing has been the primary medium I use to develop thoughts, to focus ideas, to make false starts, follow insights, form connections, to eventually synthesize feelings into understanding. That certainly happens aloud too, but only at the graciousness of a good friend or family member who is prepared for an onslaught of rapid speech, scattered thoughts, and emotional energy. I've always purged my addled brain in writing, and so enjoyed blogging as part of that -- but now, the very freedom and openness that enables that cathartic exploration, has been compromised by memorialization, by awareness that my words are made permanent by the blog, and could be interpreted later as the way I am, rather than just how I was feeling at the moment.
(It reminds me of one of my all-time favorite movie lines: "Can anyone prove that they're sane?")
These days I'm not known for efficiency -- heck, I'm now three years behind on summer-visit photo books! -- so updating my blog method will likely have to wait until a wild hair strikes. But it'll happen -- writers can't help but to write after all -- and when it does, I'll have found a way to feel free to write and be myself again and feel safe in some privacy and autonomy, hopefully while still managing a way for casual readers to peruse photos. I realized it's a little self-indulgent to assume that anyone might actually miss my daily check-ins, but throughout my life, any sort of stillness or inertia from me has always demanded explanation!