Anne Notations

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nothing but the (partial) truth

When Sigmund Freud's nephew passed along an editor's proposal that he write his memoirs, Freud demurred with the scruples of a scientist. "A psychologically complete and honest confession of life," he responded, "would require so much indiscretion about family, friends, and enemies, most of them still alive, that it is simply out of the question. What makes all autobiographies worthless is, after all, their mendacity."

In a way that's how I've been feeling about this blog – this poor, neglected, cobwebby blog. This beloved blog.

I've loved writing here and sharing my thoughts and modest adventures as I fumble my way through life these past six years. The problem is, I've begun to self-censor to the point of verbal constipation. I'll think of something or someone to write about and then shut down: "No, that wouldn't be prudent." Because it might cost me a future job or recommendation. Or jeopardize my severance package. Or simply make me look like a colossal whiner.

So here I am in mid March, up to my eyeballs in a Norovirus that has knocked the stuffing (quite literally) out of me since Sunday night and also, much more pleasantly, in freelance research and writing. For the first time in my life, I have no employer except ME. I think I'm happy about that. I know I'll be much happier when I finish clearing out my workspace at home and making it more like a real office. I'm completing a smaller writing project that has been rewarding – Oh, how I've missed interviewing people! – and am launching a year-long family history book project on behalf of a dear, admired friend.

While my health insurance situation is taking a nose dive and I no longer have either a pension or a free RIPTA bus pass, I'm lucky to have any sort of work, and I know it. Also on the plus side, our kids are doing well in their respective colleges and careers. I lucked into a fun if hectic six-month creative gig at Hasbro Inc. that ended last month. A scary biopsy in December came back clear. The death-row shelter pit bull I adopted impulsively in November has settled in, not without some major drama, such as a terrifying fight between Daisy and Yogi last month that I managed to break up with my bare, trembling hands.

Yogi's adoration (something I truly need right now, even from a dog) and his silly antics, our growing bond, and my walks with him and dear old Daisy on the beach every morning help salve my loneliness. Michael, newly a college president in New Hampshire after nearly two years of living and working in Connecticut, comes home on weekends when he can. These years apart undeniably are changing our relationship. Most of the time I live as a true empty-nester, a role that doesn't come naturally.

Where does all this leave my blog? When my most regular contact with friends happens via pithy status updates on Facebook, what shall I say here?

I have written something tonight, the hardest step of all. I hope I'll be back.


  • We've missed you! Please come back!

    The self-censoring is an issue, it's true. There are places I don't go in my blog -- places I probably will never go -- because I don't want to hurt the parties involved, so I fully understand what you mean.

    And yet, there's something about taking the time to write -- to write just for yourself, and for the internet travellers who might stumble across what you wrote and take something from it -- that is so lovely. Writing for no reason but for the joy of it? That's something to cherish, and enough of a reason to keep on going.

    By Blogger Danielle, at Thu Mar 17, 08:16:00 AM EDT  

  • I have wanted to hit the eject button on my blog for a long time due to revealing too much. But life is real the peole are real and sometimes one must have diarrhea :) it soothes my soul to write. Tap in when you can your friends await patiently. PS it's hard to write while life is changing give yourself some time and material to work with x

    By Blogger Cheryl Leigh, at Thu Mar 17, 05:58:00 PM EDT  

  • I killed off my blog for the same reason you mention - self-censorship. I miss it. The writing I do for work is not rewarding in the same way as my blog was, but if I were to be an honest writer, I'd have to expose my life in a way that others might not appreciate -- or in writerly ways that I haven't figured out. Though I love your Facebook musings, I am glad your blog is still here.

    By Anonymous tracie, at Sun Mar 20, 09:30:00 AM EDT  

  • I was so glad to read this post! I've missed your blog so much.

    I get the self-censoring. I have trouble posting on Facebook because of it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Mar 20, 03:55:00 PM EDT  

  • HA! "verbal constipation", maybe I have diarrhea on my blog. I don't care though. I decided long ago it's a choice to read my blog so if it makes peeps cringe they don't have to read.

    My life makes ME cringe so... writing about it helps.

    By Blogger Have Myelin?, at Mon Apr 04, 06:26:00 PM EDT  

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