Blogging is very important to me. It is my outlet. My place of comfort. A blank canvas waiting for me to do something with. My day just isn't complete without writing something down on these pages.
Yet, yesterday, for the first time EVER, I actually considered shutting it down. Closing it off from the world. Never publishing another blog post. That was before I realized that I was just over reacting, and that I just needed to clarify a few things with the people that choose to read my blog.
Some bloggers write opinions. Some bloggers write reviews. Some bloggers write articles or stories or online diaries. I am a mixture of all of those things, I guess. But, one thing I definitely do is write from emotion. I'm an emotional writer. Many bloggers are able to keep their personal feelings or emotions out of their blogs. I'm NOT one of those people.
One thing I've learned since becoming a blogger 4+ years ago, is that MOST emotional bloggers are also anonymous bloggers. Meaning no one knows their true identity. They write behind a persona or alias that keeps them protected and shielded from people that know them in real life.
Up until about a year ago, I thought that concept was weird. Why on earth write an emotional blog without letting the world know who you really are? Then, it hit me like a ton of bricks why people do that. So, that they can say whatever they want to say, and not hurt anyone's feelings in the process. One area that I have had extreme difficulty with in the past year.
How many of you have ever received an email or a text message and, after reading it, thought "Wow, I've done something to upset that person. The way they wrote that email/text tells me they are definitely NOT happy with me", then found out that you read the email or text completely out of context and the sender had absolutely no problem with you at all?
Blogging is EXACTLY the same way. There are often times I write something meaning it one way, but it's perceived by someone else in a completely different way.
Let's take yesterday for example. I wrote something along the lines of "I have a few frustrations going on at work that I wish I could scream from the rooftops, but I'm going to be professional and keep my mouth shut". That's not exactly what I said, but I don't remember exactly what it was because I edited it later in the day.
Not long after hitting the publish button I started receiving messages and text messages from friends and co-workers asking me WHO I was having issues with at work. I got questions asking me if everything was OK with my team, if I had gotten in to trouble for something, or if there were people that were being unkind to me.
The answer to those questions was simple: I'm not having issues with ANYBODY. The statement was in no way, shape, or form directed at anyone I work with. I had written that statement with one thing in mind, yet it was completely taken out of context by whoever read it. My purpose for that statement was my beef with the government and the mandates and rules that swirl around standardized testing. By making the statement that I was going to "be professional" and not scream out what I had to say merely meant that I wasn't going to bash the education system or speak badly about the laws/rules that govern our schools...regardless of how I really feel about them.
It was NOT a personal dig at anyone or anything going on in my school or with the people I work with.
Thankfully, I work with people that have no problem coming to me to ask me if I'm OK and if I'm having problems. It helped me realize pretty quickly that I needed to make some quick edits in order to set the record straight. And, I love the fact that I work with people that are able to ask me questions about my blog and help clear up any misconceptions they might be having. It makes my life a lot easier for being able to write posts like today. I have come to count on them for being my editors and critics to help keep me in check and help clear up problems that occur, such as the one from yesterday.
Which, by the way, I will also throw out there that I wasn't speaking about the people I work with when I made the statement that some of the kids I work with are fed constant excuses as to why it's OK for them to not put forward their best efforts. I was speaking about kids, in general, that come from less than perfect living situations. Again, a general statement about society as a whole. Kids being fed excuses as to why it's OK they don't do as well as others. I in NO WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM believe that anyone I work with enables or promotes these kinds of excuses with the kids we work with.
At the end of the day, being an emotional writer can have plenty of downfalls. When I'm writing, I'm saying what I have to say how I want to say it. At least, that's what I'm thinking as I'm putting the words on the screen. What I don't, and often can't think about is how someone else may read what I have to say.
While I may be writing something with a specific purpose in mind, someone else may read it and completely misread what my intentions are. That's not their fault, it's mine.. in a way. Except, I often don't realize or know that I've done something to upset someone UNLESS they tell me about it.
Like I said, yesterday was the first time I've ever considered shutting down my blog. Keeping it completely private and not allowing anyone else to read it. Only because it's absolutely IMPOSSIBLE for me to read my blog after I've written it and come up with all the different ways that it could be perceived. When I write something, I have my feelings and emotions in mind, but have no way of truly understanding how someone else might take what I have to say. I can read for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and punctuation, but there's no "perception checker" in my tool bar.
The only thing I can say is that if I ever write something that you feel weird about, or are wondering about, or you feel I may mean something completely different to how it sounds after YOU read it.... PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE let me know. I am not soft skinned. I can take constructive criticism. I have absolutely no problem clarifying, editing, or explaining what I meant if I need to.
I could say that I won't ever write about my family, work, or my personal life in order to avoid situations like this.. but.. well.. then there would be nothing to write about. My family and my job make up my life. All the good stuff, anyway, so why on earth would I not write about those things? But, with the good there is always some bad. Sometimes I need to write about some issues or frustrations... and sometimes, when I do that, the words I say don't match the meaning that I'm trying to put out there.
OK. I think that about wraps it up. If not, don't hesitate to send me a message or comment.
I have to get ready to be at the school by 4:30. YAY!!
Thank you, again, to the people that reached out to me yesterday. It warms my heart to know that I have such caring people in my life, even if there's nothing bad actually going on.
Have a great Wednesday!!