I was talking to one of the older ladies at church on Saturday and asked her about a medical procedure she had undergone last week. I followed the question with, “If you don’t mind my asking.” She laughed and said, “Of course not. My life is an open book.”
Mine, too. I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently, particularly in regard to this blog. The truth is…I’ll tell you the truth about just about anything. And I can’t figure out whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. There have been a lot of discussions in the wider culture about the exhibitionist world that the internet has spawned, and the loss of the private self. I hear those concerns, and I think I understand them. But as for my own life, I just don’t have much of a filter. I don’t mind sharing my spiritual struggles, my battles with body image, my parenting-fails, my embarrassing mistakes. I fancy, I guess, that maybe someone can gain something of value from my life stories: if not encouragement or insight, at least a laugh at my expense.
The catch is, my life intersects with other lives. At least three times in the last couple of weeks I’ve had to stop myself from blogging about things that would have offended or embarrassed people who are close to me. Just because I’m willing to lay my entire life out for public inspection, it doesn’t necessarily follow that my husband and children and friends feel the same way. They are entitled to their privacy, even if I don’t value mine. And yet, how much great material for blogging is lost because of that complication!
I used to be horribly jealous of David Sedaris because he writes in such fulsome detail about his family – and gets away with it! It was something of a comfort to learn that he does have one sister who insists that he not write about her. Now I can fantasize about all the stories David Sedaris has been robbed of by that one, discreet sibling.
So it suffices to say that there are lots of things going on in my life right now – from the ridiculous to the…well, not the sublime, that’s for sure. But these are things that a wise person understands are not for public consumption. I am not that person. Fortunately (I guess), I live with and listen to some who are wiser than I.