Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hindsight

I really should have thought this thing out a little more clearly. I am kind of an enigma in the fact that I am a planner, and yet I'm not. I can be compulsive, and yet I can think things through, debate the pros and cons, and then come to a decision. I like spontaneity, and yet I don't like surprises. Are you following me?? No?? I know, I am nuts.

So when I started the whole blog thing, I never really thought anyone but my friends and family would read it. I thought it would be a cool way of keeping people informed about the happenings in our lives. And I also really felt it would be a great creative outlet for me. I could get all the jumbled thoughts and tangled mess out of my brain. I have always loved to write, so what a great way to expand that hobby, right? Right?

Well, yes and no.

There are two things I wish I had thought out.

First, and I realized this almost immediately, I should have stayed anonymous. I should have done this for me and me alone. My little secret world. That way I could vent about the things that irritate me. And when I say things, I really mean people. I could have given everyone code names that match their personality. I could have talked about this person, or what someone said when that happened. I could have said all the things I want to but can't.

Do you know why I didn't do this?? Because, and this may surprise some of you, ha ha, I am way too much of an attention whore. I know! What an embarrassing thing to admit! But I want to be myself, I want to be honest. I am not a meek, mild little girl. I am loud. I am boisterous. I am extroverted. And while I hate to say I thrive on the attention of other people, I do tend to bloom when I know people are paying attention. There I said it. I admit it. I just put it all out there and now you know. The thought of writing all these posts and not receiving back any positive reinforcement made me feel like a dried up, wilted flower. And I can't have that, now can I? So of course the obvious thing to do was tell my friends. "Hey, I started a blog! Come read it!" And then sit back, and bask in the glow of their adoration.

The second thing I did not think about, and this is the most important, I never realized how it might affect my family. I never took their feelings into consideration. I was so focused on my new form of free therapy, I didn't even realize they might be a little uncomfortable with me revealing personal information for all the world. Yes! The world!! As you can see, I now have a dot in Africa. There are a whole lotta strangers reading about my life. And that doesn't bother me. But it may bother some people close to me, and that hurts my heart a little.

Now I have never posted anything too personal. And I think my lovely husband was a little terrified that everything he did, everything we discussed, every embarrassing or intimate moment had the potential to be my next post. I always kind of felt there were some topics that were completely off limits. But my idea of what is private may be different from my family's idea of what is private. I will still talk about them. I will still tell the funny stories, provided they are not hurtful to others. But I won't refer to any of them by their real names anymore. I realize it's a little late and I already have named them. But from this point on, my husband is Uberman (yeah, I totally came up with that name on my own), my oldest son is Junior, my middle son is Mac and my daughter is Boo.

And yes, I went back through my old posts and changed their names.

My family is my top priority. I would hate it if something I said or did hurt them in any way. But if anyone out there is reading this and is thinking of starting a blog of their own, my advice is to stay anonymous. I really wish I had.

14 comments:

Caitlin said...

Oh, April! Sometimes I think we share a brain. You could have written this post about me. I have even contemplated beginning an anonymous blog, just because there are times I feel I need to 'journal' something out. And I feel like in a way, it's much more artistic that way because it's more raw and real. And yet the immediate satisfaction of having a 'funny' blog that your friends read has it's place as well. I started mine partially at the urging of friends who read my occasional blogs on MySpace. And yes, I enjoy the attention and feedback, and the "oh, you're so funny" comments.
But, sometimes I just want to vent.
No reason you can't start an anonymous blog and do it on the side. If you do, email me the link. I still don't *really* know you or your family, and I am pretty sure I would still love you anyway, so I think you'll be okay :)

Becky said...

I am pretty sure that people would describe me as an attention hoochie too, but I don't think I would say it is because I want attention as much as I am comfortable on the front lines. That, my dear, is a gift.

We are the future comediennes, speakers, hostesses, emcees, whatever.

We have to be comfortable with that stuff because God gave it to us and wants to use our many gifts someday, some way, eh?

So...you know we have talked about this and it is true...so if you ever get an email from me, "Check out this lady's blog, it is a riot."

It might even be anonymous little old me. HAHAHAHAHA

I need a spot to "vent" about the stupid people and irritating family members!

:)

Chris H said...

I think there is a fine line between revealing too much and not enough in blogging... I have not had too many problems with this luckily, only had a couple of instances where family have got a bit annoyed... but then the same thing can happen when you are chatting to people too, if you can't be yourself then it's not worth doing I reckon. I have named all my family... not had any problems so far either... I would hate to go back and rename everyone, it would take me weeks!

chandy said...

I can totally understand keeping a veil of privacy. You've only been blogging for a few months and you've already got a dot in Iceland, so who knows where this could go. Isn't it weird that I could be sitting next to you in church sometime and I wouldn't even know it was you?

Chris H said...

Hey I just added you to my blogroll, hope you don't mind... but you are a hoot!

Katie said...

Oooh...I'm intrigued. What sparked this post? Did something happen? I want the dirt when I see you Monday.

I went back and forth about this, too, then finally took my blog off the search engines. That made me feel safe "enough." I also limit descriptions about what part of town we live in or naming places I frequent, just in case there's a creepy stalker who wants to swipe my adorable children or something. Hey - I watch Dateline! I'm blond but I'm not stupid!

PS Love the code names, you should add a list on the side for new readers.

B Wiens said...

Hello, I just found your blog through your comment on another blog, and I love your sence of humor! I will be checking in more often and in case your wondering, I am the dot in the middle of South America....

Me_Again said...

So you thought you'd get away with only having one blog?!?
Make an anonymous blog, you'll have twice the fun and attention =0)
*goes off to make her own anon. blog*

April said...

Caitlin - I am still thinking about it, I'll definitely let you know if I do. And vice versa! :)

Becky - I always say God gave me a big mouth for a reason. But maybe even he thought I should have stayed anon? :)

Chris - Luckily I only had a few posts where I talked about the kids, and I've only been blogging a few months, it wasn't a huge deal to change the names. And heck yeah on the blog roll chick! I added you a while ago.

Chandy - I have seen your picture so I would know you. If I see you at church I'll be the girl screaming across the room "Hey Chandy!! It's me!! A-P-R-I-L!!!!"

Katie - You are so funny! There's no dirt and it was no big deal, we just had a talk about what was blogable and what wasn't. It was funny yet eye opening at the same time. And I thought about my kids and how my oldest is getting older and could be embarrassed by stuff. That's all.

B Wiens - Thank you!! Welcome and I am so glad you are here!

Me-Again - Let me know how it goes! The only thing stopping me at this point is time! :)

Coffee Bean said...

I totally understand. I deleted my first blog after 3 months. In fact, I'll have to come back to this later since... I decided if my family is wanting my attention that I would shut the computer.

kristen s said...

Okay, so now I feel even worse about revealing your middle name before. You should have included me in your Stupid People post (which I wanted badly to comment on, because BOY, do I have some stories! However, the issue you brought up in this post is exactly what kept me from writing. I was afraid the person responsible for being so crap-all stupid on a regular basis would somehow, someday, read what I wrote and never forgive me.) Anyway, when I comment on your blog posts, I tend to think of it like I’m writing you an email..... only I somehow forget it’s an email that everyone in the world can see if they choose to look, so I promise to be more careful in the future. You’d think after the countless lectures I’ve given my kids about internet safety, that little tidbit about not revealing personal information would have sunk into my feeble brain. Go ahead... call me a dumb-ass. I won’t be offended.

You can just think of it as payback for years ago at work. Do you remember the time you answered my mean spirited email about a coworker you and I were mutually irritated by and accidentally sent your reply to HER and not ME? Here is a reenactment of the horrendous moment when we both realized what happened:

Me: (evil laugh) Did you get my email?
You: Yeah, ha ha...I sent you a reply...
Me: (getting worried) I didn’t get anything...are you sure you sent it?
You: Oh &$*@, Kristen! I think I accidentally sent my reply to HER!
Me: $^@#!!!

Then we both had to run to her office with our tails between our legs and apologize. I ran into that person (who will probably never read any of this, but will remain nameless nonetheless) a couple of times long after I no longer worked there, and I was never able to look her in the eye again. So there you go. Now we’re even, but I do promise to think before I write in the future. Please pass my apologies on to “Uberman” as well.

Sue said...

April, I love your blog, is it ok to add to my favorite's list?

Bogart in P Towne said...

I am sure they appreciate the change and will continue to enjoy what you write.

Anne said...

I gon from public, to private - then back to public. Hard to know where to draw a line. A few of my 'private' entries really just spilled out my feeling at the time, it helped writing but I didn't just want anybody to read. Sometimes a lot going on in people around us lifes, affects us, but I don't always feel it can be shared. I've toyed with the idea of chaning our grandkids names... will be a bit of work involved.