This blog has served many purposes since I started it earlier this year. When I first started writing, it was mostly just a way for me to vent and share my war stories about the dating battlefield. It was purely a relief to pound out my frustration and utter disbelief at some of the crap I was encountering date after date.
After a few on-line bitch sessions, I discovered yet another benefit. The more I wrote and realized that people were actually reading, the more conscious I became of what I was saying. Suddenly this wasn't just an e-journal where I could babble endlessly, feeling sorry for myself. No, I had to have something to say. It had to make sense. That storytelling aspect of the blog made me realize just how little sense my actual emotions were often making. As my mom always says, "Just because you feel it, doesn't mean it's true." The same goes for writing.
My writing process now begins with me furiously typing out everything that comes to my head. I call this "verbal vomit." Then I go back and read what I wrote as if I were an outsider like you. This comes pretty easily to me, especially if I let a little time lapse between writing and editing. I am able to quickly see exactly where I am simply full of shit. Not that I'm intentionally lying, just basically trying to pull one over on myself. Trying to justify every b.s. emotion that I encounter instead of thinking it through.
We all do this, get caught up in our own emotional crap. That's why shrinks recommend "journaling" to get your emotions out of your head and onto paper. But what they should be recommending is "journaling and EDITING."
When I spot an unnecessary element to the story I'm telling, out it goes. Click, DELETE. And it's not just deleted from my blog entry, but also from my emotional memory of the event. Basically, this blog has became a cheap form of therapy. I have since discovered that after writing, editing and finally hitting the "publish post" button, I feel immediately clearer of mind and just downright more cheerful.
Perhaps that's why I'm writing here tonight, even though I'm so tired from travelling (yet another day trip up north for work). Plus I spent most of the evening crying and in a panic over my never ending money worries and an ant infestation that was the LAST thing I wanted to deal with when I got home from the airport. Tears still on my face, half asleep before I even put the vacuum away from ant sucking, and here I am typing away. And I'm already feeling better.
All of that is benefit enough. But yesterday I discovered yet another value to this blog. But it requires me admitting to you that I've been a bit of an emotional wreck the last few weeks. Money troubles (anyone have ideas for making some extra cash that doesn't involve any form of Internet porn?), health issues that may likely involve some pretty major surgery and long-term rehab (nothing life threatening, just a major inconvenience), and that pesky thing called trying to build a relationship on the shaky foundation that is my faith in men.
Let's just say that Wine Guy is putting up with a lot of Trooper emotion, and I know it's bringing him down. The other night we were lounging on my patio listening to the crickets chirping in the canyon below when he told me how upset he was after getting off the phone with me the previous evening. I was particularly down and overly mopey and he hung up asking himself "Who is this sad girl I'm dating?"
As I began to profusely apologize (ugh, poor guy), he interrupted me saying, "But then I read your blog and I felt better." Huh?
He told me that reading a few entries helped him recall that "funny, happy girl" he has let into his life. He said he could hear my voice while reading my words and that helped him remember who I really am. Not this sad, stressed out girl on the other end of the phone line.
Sure, I'm relieved to know that my genuine voice is coming through in these entries and that this helped Wine Guy overcome a tough night of dealing with me. It also was a pretty harsh realization that I need to start being that funny, happy girl again in real life, not just in a blog. Because I'm pretty sure Wine Guy wouldn't settle for reading me on a Saturday night, if you know what I mean.
So I went back and read a few entries and it helped me remember too.
I like to think that what you are reading is the "real me," but that would probably be a stretch. However, I can say that this is the "real, edited version of me." The person I would be if I could freeze time and edit exactly what I wanted to say and how I wanted to react or behave in real life, in real time. But I guess that would make me a super hero or something, wouldn't it?
By the way, the one thing this blog shouldn't do is serve as a way for my real life friends to "keep in touch" with me. Sure, you'll get the gist of what's going through my mind at that particular moment, but if you really want to know about me beyond a (hopefully) entertaining few paragraphs a couple times a week, I suggest a phone call or email, OK? :-)