coming out of a closet

When I first started this adventure a few months ago I basically only told my friends about my blog. I suppose because I have had friends traveling with me through different stages of my life I am closest and most vulnerable with them.

I have always had an average, at times rocky, at times peaceful, not especially intimate relationship with my family. I have always been a bit paranoid about appearing on top of everything, successful, poised and together in front of my family. Perhaps to evade questions, perhaps to keep a distance, perhaps because of some childhood desire to do everything perfectly.

I know I’ve taken a different route to do many things in my life and I’m not sure I really care about their opinion, but it’s easier sometimes to not hear the opinion you fear. I know my opinions about many things contradict those of my parents and my family in general. I also feel that our life experiences are very different, and that the opinions of youth are generally discredited because they come from youth. As I have grown up I have sometimes been too outspoken and ended up hurt, so I sometimes try to lay low, stay quiet, even though I hate that feeling. I am not trying to say that I have felt especially put down or that somehow my life experiences have been more worthwhile or more alive and real than anyone else’s, I am just fumbling towards my confused thoughts about family.

All this rambling to say that on some level I didn’t tell my family about my blog because I wasn’t quite sure if it would be acceptable to them. I wasn’t sure how it was going to be, what I would write about, what sort of things I would share, if I would even keep it up. I know my family loves me and supports me, but keeping an online journal makes a person so vulnerable. Now that my little subconsciously kept secret is out in the open, I know I have to strive to write with the same honesty, clarity and reality.

You see, I’m starting to think of myself a little bit as a writer. At work I have become a person people frequently tell their live stories too and I imagine how I would frame them in an article. Whenever I am alone, driving usually or walking somewhere or watching people at a coffee shop or listening to NPR or music, I am thinking about things I could write about. I am thinking about stories of real people, things I might like to research, my own life or friend’s lives, how to capture it with words for others to comprehend. And right now this blog is my outlet. I have no idea if my writing will ever be anything to anybody; for now it’s just something for me, and I guess as many of my friends, family and acquaintances who can stand to read it.

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5 Responses to coming out of a closet

  1. Jack says:

    I’m having a hard time starting this, so I’ll begin with the easy part.
    I’m Laura’s father.

    There, that wasn’t so hard.

    As I read her writings here, I see thoughts and emotions that I recognize in
    her, and that I suppose I knew were hers, but seeing them written down
    affects me considerably. Describing how it affects me is difficult. As
    Laura said in her 12/9 posting, writing a journal makes one so vulnerable.
    And vulnerable is one thing I’ve never wanted to be. If I were forced to
    describe what I’d like to be, I would say strong, sensible, stable, responsible,
    independent, impervious, certainly not vulnerable. I think when faced with
    an intrusion into my innermost feelings, I’ve usually resorted to a quip,
    or silence, or changing the subject, or anything to avoid having to delve
    into the part of me I’d rather leave alone. I don’t think I’m afraid to go
    there, just very uncomfortable. I imagine that makes it tough on
    immediate family members.

    Anyway, Laura’s 12/9 post stirs up all those kinds of uncomfortable (for me) feelings in my mind.

    A few observations about what I see here:

    1. Laura is a very good writer. She has improved significantly since her days on the Cardinal, and she was pretty good then.

    2. I’m glad she thinks of herself as a writer, and I trust she will continue to pursue it. I imagine that many very successful writers started out much in the same way she is now, with notes and scribblings on personal feelings and observations.

    3. It takes a lot of courage to post ones feelings and inner thoughts out in the open for all to see. The temptation to hold back or insert filters must be strong. I understand perfectly why she neglected to inform us when she started this blog, and yet she knew we would see it eventually. I encourage her to continue to write with, as she puts it, the same honesty, clarity, and reality as she has been, even if she thinks some of us might disapprove, which, by the way, I won’t.

    3. The internet is perfect for this sort of thing.

    4. I’m very proud of the independence Laura has shown in her life, and in the depth of feelings she exhibits in her writings here.

    That’s it for now. Merry Christmas.

  2. Mary says:

    that was the best dad comment EVER. i know my parents have been reading my blog for awhile now and they both always comment to me, saying, “i feel like i’m learning so much about you, i didn’t know you felt like this, etc.” it’s a sweet gateway into real discussions between parents and children. i’m glad it’s happening for you guys, too.

    merry christmas.

  3. wipegut says:

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