I started this blog one year ago today, on January 1, 2007, mostly without any prior planning, and mostly because I’d been looking at other people’s blogs, thinking “I could do that…” Of course it takes a lot more work than I’d anticipated, and I ended up with a personal blog without much focus. I’m down with that. If I had to blog about what I ate for lunch every day, I might make some money, but this is way, way better.
So, all things considered, it’s a pretty self-centered thing, this blogging. I like sharing things with people, and I like keeping in touch, but really, this is about me, what I like, my life. Does my opinion need its own platform? Not really. But no one forces anyone to read it. I kind of like the passiveness of a blog — no one’s feeding it to you through your inbox, it’s just here when you feel like visiting, and still here if you don’t. Also, strangers can discover it, and I think that’s fascinating.
It started off a little more introspective, swung public (lots of posts about other people’s stuff, partly because people actually started reading this and I freaked out a little), and maybe, I hope, it’s at a happy medium now. I’ve intentionally kept some things off of the blog, like the greater part of my dating life… But I’ve found that when I do write about these more personal things, nothing awful happens (so far). It can even feel really nice.
This is the biggest thing the blog has done for me: Here I have a record of myself, and it’s a public record. I have a lot of friends who are very different from me, and very different from each other. At some point I started to wonder if this was because I was particularly accepting, or because I was malleable and could just mold to anyone’s expectations, losing myself in the process. The worry was probably needless — of course I have a core self, and of course I’m influenced by people around me. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But did other people really see me? In the first months of the blog, a close friend said “that’s not the Leslie I know,” and it hurt. I wondered who this person thought I was. It also made me think that maybe I was too quiet about my thoughts and feelings and preferences. Those don’t always come out in conversations, even with my closest friends. I tend to listen to (and do) whatever someone else chooses, quite happily for the most part. I like being exposed to new things, but I need to have the confidence in my own ideas and preferences and experiences to expose others to them. And at its core, that’s what the blog has been. Part online, public journal, part confidence booster, part platform for whatever I want. It’s about being okay with being seen.
So, thanks for reading, even when you tire of my impersonal “look at this” phases, my incessant posting about food phases, my occasional whining. I’m having a lot of fun, and I hope you are, too… I’m looking forward to another year.