I don’t often reread my posts, but sometimes if nothing surfaces after I sit for a few minutes, I go back and read the post from the day before to see if anything flows from that.
A phrase in yesterday’s post, which I just reread, stuck out to me. It sounded so sure of it self. It sounded like progress.
From #40 : My own particular brand of weirdness stems from wanting to be private–which is what started this project.
And then I compared it to what I said in #1: I’m a very private person.
I’m trying to figure out how to say what I mean by private, and I’m not satisfied with it but here’s a start: I’m comfortable being by myself and comfortable off on my own. I’m not comfortable sharing what I feel and what I think. I like to take care of myself and my business. And this doesn’t sound very nice, but I don’t like people knowing my business. Like I said, it’s a start.
Not weird at all. I would say that you are pretty normal. I’m pretty much the same way.
Or we’re both weird, Mary : )
I prefer to think of myself as unique and special. 🙂
It is very interesting to see you exploring “the private” in public, here on your blog. I very much identify with this seemingly contradictory project, this is how I define my own act of blogging:
My private thoughts and writings, following my day-to-day reading almost as in a diary, is by this blog made public. I wonder – is it possible to be deeply personal and almost anonymous at the same time?
I write to make my own thoughts visible to myself, but understand now – over time – that thoughts and comments from my readers really enrich my own thinking and writing in unforeseen ways; as totally unexpected gifts.
Sigrun, I’ve read that description on your blog before. I love reading your blog. I do think you succeed in the deeply personal, but it doesn’t really seem anonymous to me. Do you feel anonymous? Making my own thoughts visible to me is one of the reasons I write too. And especially recently with this project, I’ve experienced the gift of readers’ thoughts and comments. Many thanks for this one.
Food for thought… at low tide the sands are exposed… 🙂
yes, they are : )
To me, Cythia, if you being a private person isn’t hurting anyone, including yourself, or any important relationship, I wouldn’t think it’s an issue. Is it because you feel you shouldn’t be as private? Or is there a part of you that really wants to be more open?
I have a cousin who actually doesn’t know when TO be private. A lesson he should’ve learned by now, I think. I’m a mix of both, I think, though I’m not excessively private. Only with things that really are no one else’s business and are better kept that way. Other than that, I’m a pretty open book except, of course, as I think I voiced once before—I stay away from certain subjects online.
Donna, the problem is that I got so used to being private and so comfortable with it that I was losing a sense of who I was. I began to realize this over the last couple of years. I was becoming less and less able to talk about myself when I did want to and unable to say anything about myself that wasn’t a fact or a figure. With this project, I’m trying to do a kind of reset. And it seems to be working. Thanks, as always, for sharing in the conversation : )
Ah, now I get it! And I’m glad it’s working! 😀
From Colm Toibin’s Nora Webster: Nora says, “I don’t like people knowing my business.” (p. 158) No wonder I liked this book.
Do you fear expressing opinions/thoughts that can be attacked or mocked? Do you fear expressing half-cooked opinions/thoughts that don’t accurately represent what you really think/believe? Do you fear that you might invite tension unless you’re sure to demonstrate respect for all points of view? I have always appreciated your ability to hear and sympathize whoever happens to be making a case in that moment. I wonder if you’ve allowed a good quality–the wish always to be evenhanded–to trump your own need (and right) to determine what you believe about any given question/issue. I have certainly backed up (a little) on a very strongly held, carefully formulated, thoughtful opinion on some issue or other merely b/c a friend disagrees, and I don’t want to highlight that disagreement lest it feel like disrespect.
My other thought is whether you’re always fully distinguishing the meaning of “alone” vs. “private.” Being alone for long periods will erode your social skills, so wanting to express yourself in conversation might be more challenging at times simply b/c you’re not getting enough practice, and might have little or nothing to do with an instinct to keep your business to yourself. ???
Claire, YOU are so articulate. I think this is true, that I’ve allowed a good quality–the wish always to be evenhanded–to trump my own need (and right) to determine what I believe about any given question/issue. And because I’m a private person, I’ve avoided social situations whenever I could, especially in recent years when I feel less of an obligation to attend things, plus the introvert thing–social situations drain the heck out of me, so I’m not getting any practice… well done. Thank you.