Being Carly

The Things I Don’t Blog About – Part One


I’m writing a lot these days. I now have three fairly large blogs that I try to keep up with. I’m still working as a freelance writer and I have a combination of little and large projects that are keeping me occupied. When I can, I exchange witty emails with my oldest of friends, to make up for the severe lack of luncheons and movie nights that have become geographically impossible. And then there’s the rest…emails from readers that turn into long exchanges, scribbling in the journals that have slowly started to take over our room, notes that hang on the wall and threaten eternal fatness if I don’t get myself to the gym…everywhere I turn there’s just words and words and words. And I’m writing them.

But what about the things that don’t get written? A friend complained recently that I never write about her on the blog and I pointed out that I very rarely receive good returns when I write about real people outside of my husband and myself. Even with good intentions, my large mouth has repeatedly gotten me into trouble, so I no longer write about my social circle. (I also enjoy irking this friend, which is why I’m referring to her as “friend” and not by her name. Oh, she’s going to be fur-i-0us!)

I also don’t write about my work very much because it just feels like I should be keeping it separate. It’s true that I’m not working in a scary, executive job where it would serve me well to have a professional image that resembles a 24/7 paper-pushing cyborg with no emotions or personal life. Still, I’m not sure that the people I work for would want to give thousands of dollars to the freelancer that eats pork uterus and didn’t even have a decent first kiss! My thin, little professional bubble needs to remain in tact…at least a little.

But there’s other stuff as well. Stuff that doesn’t come out because I do know how public this writing is. They aren’t terrible secrets or embarrassing overshares…they’re just things that are private because they are mine…or in many cases, ours. Kyle has nearly no control over these online windows into our life and although he’s a saint about it, I can’t trade cheaply in the things that are intimate to our us-ness. It just wouldn’t be fair.

I’ve been struggling a little, though, with feeling dishonest. I get so many letters from people who feel like they know me, but as a friend recently pointed out, I’m not really what I appear to be in these little essays. I’m not particularly kind, not particularly interesting, and not particularly good company. Or, perhaps, you do see me and it’s the familiar bitchiness and total loss of control scattered throughout my existence that’s actually appealing.

I don’t know…but what I do know is this: it is easier for me to do this than it is for me to do anything else and it helps me to do this, even though I’m sure it seems narcissistic and petty to keep a blog only about this little life. So, it’s hard when I can’t write about the things that are here below the surface and, in a way, I do so want you to know what’s really here. Perhaps it is the validation, but I mostly think that when I’m honest I’m also holding myself accountable for things. It sort of keeps me from burying my head in the sand and missing my life.

Is it possible, safe, or even sane to be more open on a personal blog without crossing into the land of “Why in God’s name would she ever put that on the Internet?” I don’t know…

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  • Reply Anonymous

    I think keeping some things intimate is totally acceptable – even in the blogging world. It's what makes those soul-bearing posts more believable (and keeps intimate relationships healthy).

    The only person, IMHO, who should get all of Carly is Kyle. 😉

    March 24, 2010 at 9:15 am
  • Reply Anonymous

    I understand your dilemma 100%. It's a difficult balance – sharing enough to get that feeling of community. Not sharing so much that you're completely exposing yourself.

    I love the blogs where it seems like the writers are putting everything out there. But I suspect even they keep some things sacred.

    No advice, sadly… Just commiseration.

    March 24, 2010 at 12:25 pm
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