Blogging is hard.
I know that sounds like the complaint of a whiny teenager, but I feel stupid writing here again after a six month hiatus without acknowledging this.
My book club just read “A Visit From the Goon Squad”. I devoured this one over the course of a week on Lake Michigan, and it rocked me. It restored my interest in fiction. And I knew I would love it early on, somewhere around Chapter Two, when Bennie was introduced and immediately characterized by his ruminations about shameful moments in his past. I do this. I have a mental reel of stories I turn on sometimes, titled “WHY WOULD I SAY THAT OUT LOUD?!”. The trailer would show scenes of me disclosing my sexual history to an entire classroom of future colleagues and speaking candidly about my history of depression to a shady news group that exploited my naiveté. All of these vignettes go towards a truth about me that I love but resent at times: I am not just an open book, I am a loud and reactive one as well.
So when I received some criticism about this blog, I shut down. I worried that I had done it again—put my self, and my sense of it, too far out there. I felt like the lesbian blogger equivalent of the Kardashians*, deluding myself into thinking that my personal experiences were somehow helpful to the masses. Despite all of the encouragement I’ve received from day one of this project, all it took was one flippant comment to derail my belief that this blog was a worthwhile exercise, and to create the fear that I was being perceived as self-serving and histrionic.
And then Lindsey left town for two weeks, which means I watched an excessive amount of Netflix documentaries. The topics ranged from Dr. Tiller’s murder to a small protest movement in support of a gay teen forced into inpatient reparative therapy, but the theme underlying each story was the beauty of standing up for what is right, no matter the obstacles. Each time the music swelled under the narrator’s motivational concluding message, I cried, and thought “Good for them. The world is better because of what they did.”
I don’t think the world will be better because of this blog. But, I will be better because of this blog. And if the issues I write about here inspire one person to get involved, that’s enough to outweigh the possibility that I sound like a politically-minded Kardashian.
*I totally watch the Kardashians.