Monday, September 05, 2005

Dear Diary... or not

To write or not to write... what was the question?

I'm having a little dilemma. My first glimpse of Blogs was when I looked at
my cousin's blog and thought, "Ooh, what a great idea! Now I can put pictures and stories of my travels, etc, on the internet so my friends and family back in SA can take a look - much better than clogging up mailboxes all over the planet with unwanted gunk!"

And that's how my Blog started.

Before I knew it, someone, a complete stranger, left a comment on one of my posts. Cool! So I followed the link to their blog. And read the comments. And followed the links on the comments. And the next thing I knew, my Blog had evolved into something completely different from its intended purpose.

So where's the dilemma? I'm getting to that.

Having sent the URL for my Blog to a select few people who know me, my readership is now beyond my control. For some reason I don't give a toss who reads this thing... as long as they are strangers.
But, me being the repressed person that I am, I find myself editing my thoughts because I'm not sure who is reading this... meaning people who actually know me.

Now, from previous posts you may be forgiven for thinking that I am referring to my Mother, however that's not entirely accurate. I mean, I had to get my rather odd sense of humour from somewhere, right? Yep, you guessed it - dear old Mom... and I use the term 'old' in the loosest possible way :-)
I'm quite happy to share my thoughts with her.
So no, Ma, you're not the problem.

In fact, even those few people who have bothered to go to the trouble of commenting, and even setting up their own blogs are not the problem. I feel flattered that you care enough to make the effort.

The problem is I don't know who else is reading my drivel... and who else are they telling?

To date I haven't written anything terribly revealing or soul-baring, but occasionally I get the urge to do so, but I don't necessarily want everyone who knows me at home to start giving me the "I-know-what's-going-on-inside-your-head" look the next time I see them. 'Cos let's face it: there's some scary sh*t going on up there!
You see, in my experience, you just can't trust everyone you know, to not use personal information they know about you, against you.
Cynical? Maybe. More like experience.

Let me tell you a story.
When I was about 8, my grandparents came back from their annual trip to France & Germany after visiting their respective siblings, with a gift for me. It was a purple diary. I like purple - in fact I have TWO purple notepads at the moment. But I digress.
It also has a big bad-ass lock on it. I am now... a good few years older and the diary isn't full yet, because I only ever wrote in it when I had things I needed to get out of my head but couldn't say to anyone else. It contains my most private and honest thoughts from the last twenty-something years. Or it did, until someone I trusted, some years back, got their grubby little paws on it, broke it open and read it.
Way to break a girl's trust, or what?!

Trouble is, that diary has now also lost my trust because I can't really be sure when something like that might happen again. (Well it makes sense inside my head - bear with me here.) So now, when I have something really personal that I need to put down on paper, I write it on any paper I can find and then promptly destroy it. That way I can be sure no-one will ever read my thoughts.

Back to my dilemma. In some convoluted way, this Blog is almost like a diary - but one that talks back. How cool is that?! Except... I don't know who reads it.

Now, you might think, "But Terri, you KNOW who you gave the URL to!" and you'd be right. However, I DON'T know who THEY gave the URL to. Hence the dilemma.

So what is the point of me telling you all this? I don't really know. I'm like that. Sometimes I ramble on in the hope that a point will make itself clear to me.

What I DON'T want to do is come across as saying, "If you know me, bugger off and don't read this anymore."
Because I actually feel absurdly pleased to have made contact with some people I haven't seen in a long time, but who mean a lot to me, because quite frankly I can use all the friends I can get while I'm stuck here on this Godforsaken island on the other side of the world.

Perhaps what I would like to say, in my own clumsy way, is please be judicious in who you tell about it... although having said that, I'm sure you are because chances are, you'll be going through a similar thought process as this (perhaps not quite as long-winded and convoluted, but this is my brain after all) at some stage in the future.

'Cos basically, on days like today, I'm little more than the same fragile teenager I once was, and I've had enough hurt and backstabbing to last a lifetime.

And to end this uplifting post, here's my thought for the day:

"Life is like a box of chocolates..."
Nope, sorry I don't have a thought for the day.

I can't believe I'm reduced to quoting Forrest Gump!


anne said...

From a purely mental perspective (and I use mental in the loosest possible way :) ), I completely understand. I even thought of setting up a separate, anonymous blog where I could rave and rant at will.
From a more practical perspective, you could maybe use your stat counter (if you have one) to make sure that your thoughts stay where you want them?

DelBoy said...

I'm with anne, set up a completely different (anonymous) blog and then it won't matter who reads it.

I've often wanted to rant and rave about my boss and the company I work for, but then the big question always pops up, "What if...?"

And no, I'm not telling you the address of my 'other' blog! ;-)

Underachiever said...


OK OK I'll stop writing your URL in bathroom stalls.

If you do get an anonymous blog. Let me know. I won't tell. I promise.


PS I truly understand your worry. i feel the same. As a high ranking official in Guam, I have to be careful.

LiVEwiRe said...

I think we all have faced that to some degree. For instance, when I started my blog I gave the URL to my mom, a couple of coworkers, a few friends - typical. Well, I only know slackers and no one cares about anything, therefore no one cared to read it more than once or twice. At first it bothered me, then I came to realize that it afforded me more freedom. I know my mom still has the link and if she ever chose to look at it one day, she'd most likely flatline in a matter of minutes. In all honesty, it's my blog and I'll write what I please. I won't make another blog (although it makes sense) to maintain utter anonymity and just make more work for myself. I want all of me, the complete folly, anger, and idiocy that resides in my head to have it's own home. I've come to terms (mostly) with what's up there, if someone else can't - the best I can do is stay strong in my convictions and not apologize for what I think and say. Hell, people don't like me much lately anyway so apologizing wouldn't help. If they don't like it, they don't have to read. Furthermore, if someone wants to stab you in the back and use your blog contents as the means... they'd do that with or without the blog. If that's who they are, they'll find a way. That's the way people work, unfortunately. I say blog on. Plus, I'll be sad if I can't find you! =)

LiVEwiRe said...

I don't know what's come over me. I've been leaving comments longer than the posts. Sorry. =)

Terri said...

Anne I have thought about running 2 blogs, but maintaining them would be too much - hubby hardly sees me as it is! Will look into the stats thing though.
Del You dark horse you!!
Undr LOL! Ok then, you can be the Keeper Of My Secret ;-)
LiVEwiRe As long as your long comments keep making sense like this one does, keep 'em coming. You really do have a way with words - and we like you! Maybe I must just start pretending that Everyone who reads this is a complete stranger, nobody knows it's really me... and start letting my repressed self go a bit.

Bosbefok said...

If you had another Blog - You could always be 003 (licenced to Bullshit). If it was "Undercover" your hubby wouldnt know whether you were missing in action as Terri or a secret agent of Jamisie Bondi type fame .... also you could tell ALL your dark secrets and no-one would know who you were. So It could be your Alter Egos Blog :-)
But I still say Fuckem ! Tell all and let it all out - the wankers you want to hide from probably cant read anyway...

chitty said...

I'm with LW and Bosbefok on this. Fuck 'em! This is your blog and if someone wants to use what you wrote against you, well then they were never your friend to begin.
I have posted enough "sacadals" and said enough about my co-workers, family and friends on my blog to guarrantee my day in hell.
Keep blogging, Terri, and let the chips fall where they may.

chitty said...

Keyboard's on the blink... I meant to say "scandals". Oh boy!

Ben O. said...

Hey Ter - who was that first anymous person who surfed on over?

Isn't it strange how someone can all of a sudden appear from out of nowhwere?

These blog thingies are great.

Ben O.

Terri said...

bosbefok Cool! I always wanted to be a spy! I like it.
Chtity No worories about hte spleling. Good point though & don't worry, I'm not going anywhere!
(Ja, I'm sure that was keeping you up at night)
Ben Her name was Mutts and she's never been back.
And yes Blogging is great, innit?!

BUDDESS said...

I was devastated when I read this. I promise I will take your URL off the biking email list!! Just kidding about the list, you know I'd never do something like that. You got me started on this blogging thing and I agree with the guys - fuckem!!! Write what you want, when you want and how you want. After all, you and all the other regular commentators on your site, have given me a new lease on life, hell, I can't wait to get to work to see what you've been up to. Keep on blogging!!!!

Fence said...

What about password protecting some entries. They'd still be there, but no one could read them? Or just saving them as drafts. You'd never really need to publish them?

And don't worry, I'm a total stranger ;)

kyknoord said...

I also faced this dilemma some time back. The people I managed to annoy are no longer my friends, so the problem actually solved itself :)

Terri said...

Buddess LOL! and yes, I know.
Fence That would be a form of non-blogging then? Interesting concept but unpublished entries just sit there irritating me.
Kyknoord a novel perspective, as always :-)