Something occurred to me recently. I haven’t posted anything on here in a while now, and I thought it was because I couldn’t think of anything good to talk about. But the more I tried to come up with something interesting to discuss here, the more I realized just how counter intuitive that very idea actually is. A blog generally exists for someone to provide information for the public to read (whether or not they actually want to read it is a different issue). Live chat settings aside, blogs aren’t exactly the environment for ongoing dialogue. The blogger puts out his or her thoughts, the reader reads at his or her leisure, perhaps weighs in with a comment, and the process ends. Rinse, repeat.
I created this blog a few years ago as a distraction for myself as I was trying to curb some questionable behavior patterns that were beginning to arise in my life. I thought maybe if I had an outlet to put my energy when the urge to drink, or get angry, or whatever, I would become a more constructive and positive father, and husband, and general member of society. And quite frankly, I think at least in one sense it worked–I look back now at the hundred some-odd posts that I’ve published since then and I can’t help but be a little bit proud at my own sticktoitiveness (sound it out). But in another, perhaps more crucial sense, I failed in my goal. I sometimes allowed this new found avenue of expression to become a public soapbox for me to use in moments when I was pissed off or indignant at someone(s). And the world being what it is, sometimes the someone(s) realized I was talking about them in particular.
But getting back to the initial thought I had recently about my blogging, it dawned on me that I wasn’t just distracting myself with some random writing assignment. I was disclosing the very things about myself that, to that point in my life, had either gone bottled up or created some sort of dysfunctional behavior on my part. It was a new a way to open up and cash out thoughts that otherwise would have remained fuzzy in my mind (and likely forgotten about, at least consciously, shortly thereafter). But it was also an apology of sorts, since much of what motivated my writing was the internal belief that if I didn’t let it all out to the world, I would continue on the path to selfishness and stupidity. Call it confessional for the agnostic.
Some have asked me why I didn’t just write all of these musings down in a journal or a diary, and until now I couldn’t give any intelligent answer to them. It wasn’t enough just to write down what was going on inside. I needed to put it all out there, for better or worse. Only then could my thoughts, beliefs, fears, egotistical ramblings, hopes, dreams, all of it–only then could it become real. That was the point of the whole thing: even if no one actually read what I published for the world, I gave the world the chance to read it if it wanted to, uncensored, and unabridged. That was the value of this blog, again, for better or worse.
And believe me when I say, there have been “worse” moments from some of the things I’ve written. I have managed on a number of occasions to really upset some of the people who have been and continue to be a part of my life. In the names of “honesty” and “real talk” and “brutal truth” I caused as much or more pain in others as I supposedly alleviated for myself. Typically I would try and apologize as quickly as possible to those who have been hurt or offended by my comments, if only to avoid the subsequent conflict or (worse) resentment toward me–justified or not. But this time I am really trying to find a good compromise not only for the so-called “victims” of my thoughts and ramblings over the years, but also for myself in my continuing quest to maintain some sort of normalcy in my life. So there needs to be a bit more depth to how I handle it this time.
What I can say for sure is the following: I am truly sorry if anything I have written here caused more pain or suffering to someone than would have been created if I had discussed the same exact topic with that person face to face. In other words, while I don’t necessarily feel apologetic or guilty about the actual thoughts and convictions I expressed in these posts, I am certain that there have been times where the public expression itself has been a conduit to more negativity than needed to exist in the first place. Often I would allow the frustration I was feeling in pondering some of these topics to propel me into a writing frenzy, and before I really thought through what my occur after clicking “Publish” the post was live for the world to read at its leisure. This is a true flaw of mine, to act and speak quickly, and rely on my intelligence and (lack of) experience to decide in the moment whether something should be said or withheld. It is bad enough in private, where I have had to remove my foot from my mouth with family, friends, and strangers more times than I would like to admit. But in a =forum like this, where I have the advantage of time and editing, there really is no excuse for something like that. So again, I want to apologize in the same public setting that has caused the unnecessary pain that could have been avoided. Despite what some may think, it really isn’t ever my goal to hurt someone even if it makes me feel better in the process. Even if the thoughts I am having are justified, and even if I can’t find a better way to express them. It is wrong. I am wrong, and I’m sorry.
In closing, I want to make sure I am clear about a couple of things just in case anything has been left at all ambiguous. I am not apologizing for the feelings–positive or negative–I may have expressed throughout the course of this blog. I don’t say that with any conceited “I am always right” belief about myself. Trust me on that. Sometimes I am right, sometimes I’m wrong, and sometimes I’m just feeling something without an associated truth value. Regardless of the feeling in question, I have become comfortable enough with myself from an internal standpoint to know that apologizing just wouldn’t be genuine. I feel how I feel on this stuff, and even though I do my best to ensure that my feelings aren’t absurd at the core, I can’t rule the possibility out. So there we are with that.
What is most important to me is that the people–and you know who you are at this point, I think–who have been affected negatively by my public declarations of these feelings can rest assured that I know I should have acted differently, and going forward, I will try my best to do just that. We have enough real drama in the world today, and we don’t need my passive-aggressive confessional for the masses adding to the mix. If I feel negatively about something in the future, I will confront the person about it myself, in person, to deal with it like adults. And if I can’t do that, I’ll write about it in my journal. I have one now.