Over dinner last night, A. asked about my writing. (I should tell you that he’s having technical difficulties and hasn’t been able to read my blog for some time, so unless I tell him, he doesn’t know what’s going on over here.) I told him that it’s going well, because it is. And I told him about my tiny little readership and the connections I’m making through blogging.
And then he asked The Question. (No, not that one—he already knows where babies come from.)
‘So why are you putting all this stuff on your blog if you don’t want anyone to see it?’ I’ve been waiting for him to ask me this.
‘I know, I know.’ I felt this huge need to defend myself, but what I told him was this: ‘It’s confusing to me, too. I’m writing about all this stuff I’d normally reserve for therapy, but since I’m on a hiatus, it’s sort of coming out in a different way. Or maybe I’m just used to having an audience for all of these thoughts. Someone to share it all with.’ I know A. would know exactly what I mean. He’s heard most of these musings before. In fact, he encourages me, pushes me to think more deeply about, well, pretty much everything.
‘So you’re just used to peeling off the band-aid in front of someone?’ (I’m paraphrasing here, but this is exactly the sort of thing A. would say. Forgive me for misquoting.)
‘It’s more like stripping.’ I figured if I switched up the analogy I might confuse A. enough for him to back off so I wouldn’t have to explain my own contradictions.
But A. is smart, and he knows me well. ‘So you’re using your blog as a place to practice stripping?’ He asked.
‘I guess I am. It’s like I’m doing a little strip-tease,’ I explained. ‘I’m baring parts of me, but not all at once, and definitely not long enough for anyone to see all that’s normally, um, concealed. They’re just getting, I don’t know, a glimpse.’
In traditional fashion, A. pressed me even more. Why would I want to perform a strip tease, especially on the Internet, a venue the whole world can attend? It doesn’t make sense for a person like me, someone who’s held on to so many feelings, who’s hidden herself for so long, who’s tiptoed around delicately cradling broken bits of herself, to suddenly bare it all.
This is what it comes down to:
‘I’m in training,’ I told A. ‘I’m in the process of writing a book that reveals some of my darkest secrets. And eventually it will be available for a lot of people to see. At least, I hope it will.’
The thing is, if Acceptance is published, I will be naked. The things I’m writing will be Out There, and, as a result, I will be Out There for all to see—scars, calluses, warts, and god only knows what else. The things I am writing about for this project make me feel incredibly vulnerable, and sharing is a huge risk. To me it makes perfect sense then that I practice baring it all in front of a small audience. It’s safer this way.
So thank you, dear reader, for watching me undress my Self in this rather awkward way.