The beau had been traveling for work last week, so after he got home on Thursday night I told him about what Angie and Clare and Aisling had put together for International Women’s Day. I told him about the post I wrote for In Her Own Words and the tweet chat I participated in.
And then it all just came spilling out. I shared with him some of the horrible stuff that’s been floating around the intertubes this week, and we talked about it. It slowly dawned on me that we’d never really done this before. We talk about politics frequently, sure, but the conversation usually stops there. My blog reader is stocked with feeds on women’s issues, history, and pop culture analysis. The beau tends to be drawn to articles about science, research, and technology. Reading material is simply an area where our interests wildly diverge, and that’s okay — if we always did, read, and watched the same things we’d have nothing interesting to share with each other.
But that’s just the thing: I wasn’t sharing. I saw my online life as a completely separate thing from my offline life, and so I never really felt the need to fill my husband in on the details of which links I’d clicked in my browser that day. I wasn’t holding anything back on purpose — it’s just one of those patterns people fall into with each other. But then something kind of broke inside me this week. It was the news that did it, I think. That relentless wave of negativity about women, about race, about culture and politics and religion and, hell, even nature. It finally surged so greatly that it burst through my monitor screen, gushed over the keyboard, and knocked me flat on the ground. It was too big to keep inside anymore, so I found myself talking to the beau, word after word tumbling out so fast that I almost couldn’t keep up. I turned myself upside down and shook myself out, and all the words that had piled up inside me over this past week, this past month, this past year came tumbling out.
He listened. He read some of the articles that had undone me, and we shared our thoughts about them. We talked for a long time.
I didn’t know I could do this with him. We have known each other for nearly six years now, and we are still learning to see each other in new lights. This gave me great hope for the way our marriage might continue to unfold, even at a time when I wasn’t looking for or needing hope.
Have you ever had a similar thing happen?
Something about participating in International Women’s Day helped changed me this week. I’m not sure how or why, but I feel different. It’s like that metaphorical wave that came crashing through my monitor this week also washed away the crumbling barrier between my separate lives. At this point, after blogging, commenting, and tweeting for so long, I feel like I’ve put so much of my personal life out there online that I am online. I am the internet, in some bizarre future-dystopian fashion. And it’s becoming increasingly difficult to continue pretending this part of my life doesn’t exist in front of certain people. I came thisclose to telling my mom I have a blog yesterday during our weekly phone call, but the old fear stopped me. If they knew about it, they would read it, and then I’d have to stop swearing so much and step away from squicky topics like sex. And I couldn’t ever really write about my relationship with them, not without honey-coating the saltier parts of it, or completely leaving stuff out altogether. How could I explain why I’ve kept it from them for so long without hurting their feelings? Moreover, just what the hell would they think?
What would they think indeed. I clicked over to my blog and scanned back a few pages with a critical eye. Oh, god, it was embarrassing. Cringe-worthy. My content has been shit for at least the past month. I blame the new job? Is it okay to blame the new job? I’m gonna just blame it, anyway. Even still, how did I let it get this bad?
This is my apology to you: I’m sorry.
And this is my promise to any of you who are still reading: I’m going to try harder. I’ve been trying harder, actually. Lately it’s taken every ounce of my strength to focus on my work during the weekdays, because all I want to do is write. So whenever I’ve had free time I’ve been putting posts together bit by bit, and some of those are nearly done. I’ve got some pieces coming that I actually feel proud of for once, so at least there’s that. Hopefully I can prove myself again.
Because even though I may neglect it sometimes, this space has become important to me. The people I’ve met through this space have become important to me. Anytime anyone leaves me a comment, it’s like Christmas up in this bitch. Unless it’s a mean comment. Then it’s despair up in this bitch. But so far the good far outweighs the bad.
I’m looking forward to making a few modifications around here over the next few weeks. I plan on moving this space from WordPress.com to self-hosting, so the ads that WordPress sneaks in here and there should stop. I’m also excited to rework the look and design of the blog for the first time.
Change is coming.
In the meantime, I’m simply buoyed by the fact that change is possible.