Sunday, December 26, 2010

Serving the Ego?

When I was in university I wrote a paper about an experience I had with something or other. It was for a theatre class (before moving to sciences I began in an arts program focused on creative writing) and I got very artsy and surreal in my paper. I got a really good mark on it. For the second assignment, I took my newly formed cocky attitude and ventured deeper into exploration about my experience with something else of importance to me. The paper came back with a very low mark stating the whole thing was self-indulgent crap. I had a great respect for my teacher at the time and this was a tough hit. Here is when I learned the fine balance between reaching out to others with your writing and serving your big fat ego.

People close to me have dubbed me a navel-gazer and I expect they are probably right. I watch myself like a hawk, over-analyzing, comparing, verbalizing, and grading my performance. Some say I take myself too seriously, I try too hard, I am an over-achiever, obsessive-compulsive, too sensitive, yada, yada, yada. It has been crossing my mind lately that this blog is just a bunch of self-absorbed drivel. I have no idea what anyone would get out of it. I don’t even know what I get out of it.

All I know is that I wake up each day and the words take form and flight in my brain before I’ve even poured my morning coffee. I need to write them down to make sense of the world. I have always needed to write things down since I could hold a crayon and string letters together. It is an experiment to take the time to share my writings in this fashion. Maybe, just maybe, these are ideas worth exchanging.

I recently read that if one begins to find facebook unsatisfying (which was true for me), a healthy narcissist will start a blog. Funny thing is facebook afforded me a much wider community in this tight knit community that we have wandered into. I set up my first meeting with my Priest on facebook. I secured a local turkey for Christmas dinner on facebook. I organized the purchase of some rare breed poultry with a neighbour farmer on facebook. I found a dear friend from elementary school that I had not seen in 20 years but now see regularly. I owe facebook a lot. But as many will attest to, it can eat up more time than it should and become addictive. What begins as a light and lively daily reel soon turns to a searching need for interaction with anyone who will sign in.

To ensure that I would begin spending more productive time on my computer (related to my own goals anyway), I told facebook that I would be gearing down my use. I organized myself a big birthday party and invited all of my facebook friends. It was kind of a goodbye to something that had given me a lot of really great new, renewed and sustained connection with people past and present in my life. That’s when I ramped up my daily writings and sought something deeper through this blog. Something I hope will one day turn into regular conversations about all of the things that are important to me.

But now I am finding it all a little lonely. Some folks have let me know they are reading and the comments so far have been so worthwhile and interesting. But as Julie Powell of ‘Julie and Julia’ blogging fame once said: ‘Is there anyone out there?’

It can be isolating rattling things around this way. I pray that it is not my ego seeking validation when I say that I really hope you are out there, whoever you are. I really hope that this is worth your time. And even if you stay quiet, just know that I appreciate that you are there.

After a couple of kids and 4 decades of growth, my navel just ain’t that great to look at anymore. I’m needing this to be about you too.

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