Love Me, Love My Blog: On Blogging, Boundaries and Privacy

One of my initial concerns about blogging was how private I wanted to be. If this was a place for me to share experiences and explore ideas – many of which would be frowned upon by long-time friends and family members – did I want anyone and everyone to know what I was writing about? Or did I want to keep my identity a secret?

Initially I kept everything as quiet as possible. But I am notoriously bad at keeping secrets about myself. When it comes to my life, I am a believer in “don’t ask, don’t tell.” I believe we all want to feel known and understood, and if our online personas are the way we let people know who we are, then sharing that content might bring us that much closer to feeling known and understood – and, ultimately, loved.

Cyber Snooping

Reading through this post from 15 years ago, I struggle to remember which coworker this was, though I have a pretty good idea. She left a few months after I started and later helped me get an interview with her new employer, but I decided it wasn’t a good fit as the job was a lateral move in many ways.

I also realize I was making a lot out of nothing. She gave me the link to her blog and that constituted permission for me to read it. If I had told our mutual supervisor about her blog, though, that would have been a bad idea. (That supervisor was a hot mess, but I had yet to discover this fact.)

I still struggle to practice detached compassion, whether with colleagues, friends or family. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in other people’s problems, especially when your own problems feel insurmountable or trivial. Solving their issues – or helping them find solutions – is extremely validating.

Then there’s the matter of codependency. For years I saw that word as being exclusive to alcohol and drug addiction, but I finally came to accept that codependency is ubiquitous. It’s the subtext in so many songs and TV show plotlines. It sneaks into every relationship, whether with a romantic partner or a parent. In short: codependency is a bitch.

At the heart of all of this is boundaries: setting and maintaining those lines of involvement, whether physical, mental, spiritual or emotional. Knowing when to call someone on their behavior because they have breached a boundary line and dealing with the potential fallout. I still struggle with this, too. But like this blog, I am a work in progress.

It Is Done

It is done, finito, complete. I’m talking about my book summary that I have been working on since the beginning of July. I am finishing up a celebratory margarita as I type this.

You have no idea how happy I am to be done with this project. It has eaten my brain. I have dreamed about the book, the characters, the setting – and this was a fantasy novel, so you can imagine how freaky those dreams were.

I have learned a lot about myself during this process. Throughout my life I have gotten involved in projects only to manifest some reason as to why I cannot complete it. The reasons range from illness to technological malfunctions. This time around, I managed to do the following:

  • I couldn’t get the book from the library, as they only had one copy and someone else had requested it.
  • I bought the book online 2 days before Independence Day and because of the holiday, I had to wait over a week to receive it.
  • I got a sinus infection, my second one in two months.
  • On Wednesday, I fell hard on my tailbone, making it very painful to sit down.
  • On Thursday (or possibly Friday), the computer crashed while I was in the middle of typing up the summary. It is a brand new computer I bought in May that has never crashed before.

Every time I worked around one of these issues, another one would seem to pop up in its place. During the last couple of weeks I was going crazy with anxiety over getting the project completed.

As tortuous as it was to complete this project, it was a blessing, too, because I finally figured out why I get so stressed about this stuff. I have this belief that I need to be perfect in order to truly be successful. At the same time, I believe that I am completely incapable and unworthy of being successful. These two beliefs turn into this one: “The only way I can be successful is if I am perfect, but since I am too sucky to be successful, I must not be able to be perfect. And if I can’t be perfect, there’s no point in even trying to succeed.” While we all know perfection is impossible, try telling that to your subconscious, especially if it’s heavily invested in you being perfect. Nothing you ever do is good enough. It’s a hell of a way to live.

Right now I’m working on making peace with these beliefs. This means that I just accept them without making the beliefs, or myself, right or wrong. It’s a tough one, mainly because I have carried this around since I was very young. I remember getting sick with laryngitis right before a puppet show in 4th grade. I was voicing one of the key characters and my teacher was coming back from maternity leave just to watch the performance. I pushed myself to try and do the role, only to have my voice give out. I ended up sitting in the audience in tears while my archenemy, a popular girl with a mean reputation, took over my part. It still makes me a little mad to think about it now, but I realize it was my ego making sure those beliefs stayed intact.

T-Wizzle tells me that I must be ready to let go of this pattern if I am so clear on it. I think she is right. I also think that once I do let go, all sorts of incredible opportunities will come to me. And at that point, I will truly be able to say: it is DONE.