Revealing Words

A read­er recent­ly sent me an e‑mail. This was the last para­graph:

Lastly and please don’t take this as being bold, I want to keep read­ing and one day read that you are noth­ing but hap­py and ful­filled. I would nev­er post a com­ment because I am too shy and also pret­ty prone to being embar­rassed by peo­ple who are cool­er than me (and I con­sid­er peo­ple who blog as peo­ple who are cool­er then me), but many times when I read your entries I feel like I am watch­ing a pro­tag­o­nist in a favourite movie or re-read­ing Siddhartha. Does that make any sense to you? I’m cheer­ing you on and I’m in your cor­ner.

It made me won­der: if she wants to read that I’m hap­py one day, does that mean that I’m not hap­py now? It forced the real­iza­tion in me that the answer is no. Obviously no. Life isn’t great. But do I only write about the bad stuff? I’ve always believed that you have to suf­fer to cre­ate. I’m one of those, so maybe this is the case. I imag­ine it’s the oppo­site with my Tai Chi or table ten­nis part­ners, who must think my life is per­fect, because of how hap­py I am when I’m doing those activ­i­ties.

It also made me won­der how much of myself is revealed here. Someone once told me that she sees two dif­fer­ent sides of me: one who is seri­ous and intim­i­dat­ing from the things I write, and anoth­er who is easy-going and relaxed over the phone.

So what comes through in my words? Certainly not every­thing. But it’s the same as any­thing else, because it’s hard to get a total pic­ture of some­one, unless, per­haps, you spend an appro­pri­ate­ly uncom­fort­able amount of time with them.


  1. dif aspects that come out in dif­fer­ent activ­i­ty and com­pa­ny. that’s impor­tant to note. noth­ing is ever a total pic­ture.

    if I spend too lit­tle time doing my life’s equiv­a­lent of your table ten­nis, then maybe I’m choos­ing to throw myself off cen­ter? I try to be aware of what effects I’m caus­ing.

    when I write (in per­son­al jour­nal­ing not online stuff) I ask myself am I exac­er­bat­ing myself or work­ing some­thing thru? or just not think­ing out the options.

    each con­text high­lights a dif part. a way around my voice was to set up par­al­lel blogs. For exam­ple, Humanyms is like the local news­pa­per col­umn and Pesbo is like the nation­al news­pa­per, as far as emo­tion­al range allowed and per­son­al­ness and per­son­al dis­tance.

    >unless, per­haps, you spend a nec­es­sar­i­ly uncom­fort­able amount of time with them.
    yes, I think so. then all the pat­terns and deci­sions about Who A Person Is and all the per­for­ma­tive car­i­ca­tur­ing of self falls apart with con­tra­dic­to­ry info.

    • The com­pa­ny part you men­tion is espe­cial­ly true. I often find myself adapt­ing to the peo­ple I’m with. Parallel blogs is a good idea to have as dif­fer­ent out­lets. Although even in our per­son­al jour­nal­ing, there’s still only a lim­it­ed view of our­selves, even when it’s only us who reads them.

  2. The way I see your blog is only a frac­tion of who you are, although I tend to think it is an impor­tant frac­tion nev­er­the­less.

    I like to think that like me, our blogs are the out­lets to the parts of our­selves that we can’t real­ly reveal in real life. It’s not that there are two sides of your­self, it’s just that what makes you tick in the real world, your motives and moti­va­tion is more revealed here. If that’s true, then I under­stand it well, I’m not sure why no one else under­stands it that way.

    • I think you see a slice of me that oth­er peo­ple aren’t even aware that exists, even when it’s only through words and we’ve nev­er met, because we’ve been through the same things.

      I agree that our blogs become out­lets to say what we nor­mal­ly can’t (or per­haps don’t want to). That’s one of the rea­sons I start­ed this blog in the first place. Your idea that the two sides aren’t actu­al­ly con­tra­dic­to­ry, but form one com­plete per­son, is very good. I think it’s changed the way I view myself. Your insight­ful­ness con­tin­ues to amaze me.

  3. Funny that you men­tion what I said to you cause I was going to com­ment repeat­ing myself. You do seem “heavy” here but so much “lighter” when I talk to you. I hon­est­ly look for­ward to meet­ing you in per­son. I’m so curi­ous to see what you’re real­ly like.

    I would also like to talk about this idea of hav­ing to suf­fer to cre­ate.

    • I’d say that in per­son, I’m more like the one you know on the phone, although, left to myself with the right cir­cum­stances, and I can become with­drawn and intro­vert­ed, more like the per­son you read online.

      And I’ll add the “suf­fer­ing to cre­ate” idea to the list of things we already need to talk about.

  4. What the hell is an appro­pri­ate­ly uncom­fort­able amount of time???

    Is it the same amount of time I’m using to fig­ure out what you mean by that?

    I don’t have time for this…


    • That would be the amount of that’s enough to be uncom­fort­able, and appro­pri­ate enough to fig­ure out how a per­son tru­ly is.

      I agree, it’s a some­what unclear sen­tence.

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