Living and Learning

I was wrong, and I’m sorry

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I hear gossip

This week, I got it wrong. I wrote about an observation I made of someone else. It was not her best moment, and it was not my best blog post. Worse, though, I realized today that I was doing exactly what I had criticized in her; I was being passively aggressive.

Gasp!

I know!

I have always thought of my blog as a place for reflection; a journal that I can share with family, friends, and anyone else who cares to visit. Sometimes, though, I struggle with what to share and how much to share. Now I feel bad. By writing negatively about someone else in a public forum, I was basically criticizing her behind her back, which is the behaviour I had found offensive in her.

So, I’m sorry, anonymous person. You didn’t deserve that, and I have removed the post.

This realization has made me rethink the purpose of my blog and whom I perceive to be its audience. As a single person, writing a blog provides me with a social link that I would not otherwise have. It also provides me an opportunity to practise writing and to find my voice. Sometimes I am able to express my humour, and sometimes my angst. Always, though, I intend to be kind.

About a year ago I stopped writing about my dating life because it was not fair to the men I met; they didn’t know they might be subjects for my public musings. Now I feel the need to expand my self-censorship to stop writing about…well, everyone.

If I can think of a way of writing about the world and its inhabitants in an entertaining way without being a hypocrite, I’ll let you know. With humility.

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13 replies »

  1. At least you have the intelligence and the sensitivity (even if it surfaces late) to realize that there are more ‘chemical weapons’ than gas that should be controlled. I speak specifically of the “caustic pen”. Please do not give up your Blog !!

  2. It sounds as if you need a little time and space, but please don’t stop writing. I find your musings great fun and occasionally an echo of my personal observations.. Please don’t call it a day!

  3. As I read your post Anne I remembered what I would say to my children as they acted poorly “is this how you wanted me to feel after you said/did that?”. It gave them the opportunity to reflect on the outcomes of their behaviour. As I blog, and before I hit “post”, I ask myself how I would like the reader to feel. For me, it’s not so much about writing ‘for’ others, but still keeping in mind that once out there, my words can reach further (and deeper) than I might at first think. Please don’t stop writing. It gives me so much pleasure to read your words, and gives me so much food for thought.

  4. Anne, if you blog regularly it’s difficult not to be influenced by what’s currently on your mind. I have had to be reminded a number of times by friends and family that I have crossed a line. It has taken me a little longer to re-write the post but I usually find a creative way to say what I want without crossing that line. I am sure you will find a way too.

  5. You can do it Anne…you have what it takes to write, reflect, and give yourself a voice. You have something to say, and we want to hear what that is. You have a good and kind heart so I know you can do it.

  6. As one who frequently errs on the side of wit rather than kindness (and thus, stages my own transformative suffering) I am of two minds on this.

    First, your observations were true, even if they weren’t true of that particular person. There are women who are mean girls. There are men who make bad dates. Of course, there are often reasons why they are the way they are as well. I think musing or portraying the first is fine (and you’ll learn to do it at a bit more distance that will make you less uncomfortable with the juxtaposition of real life and writing.

    Second, if you limit yourself to only writing what is kind, you will stifle some truth. You will put your creativity into a box that has limited oxygen.

    Life is often frustrating. People are frequently dissapointing. You will find a balance between recording your observations of life for public consumption and journaling the specific incidents that create those observations. between truth and grace, if you will. I, too, think you have a unique voice and an interesting perspective. I admire your kind heart and your good intentions. But, I would seriously miss your truth.

    • I am very grateful for your thoughtful response, LBMM. I like what you said about somehow writing with a distance between the lived experience and the written, more generic, reflection. I am going to try to do that.

      What you said about “my truth” struck a chord with me, too. Thank you for encouraging me to continue journaling.

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