the trouble with honesty

Make new friends, but keep the old

One is silver and the other gold

I’ve run headlong into a situation a lot of other bloggers will recognize, mostly those who blog in a painfully honest way.  I have recently begun to blog about subject one of my readers isn’t very happy about reading.  And she’s not just any reader, she’s someone I love deeply and I hate knowing that my honesty and openess are causing her pain.

My goal with this blog is to write honestly and openly about my life, my loves, my victories and my mistakes.  Writing like this can be theraputic, but if I only wanted to get it off my chest, my offline journal would be enough.  That would be the way to keep everything private and buttoned up.  But that would rob me of something I can’t get offline:  feedback.   People leave me comments praising and critiquing what I write, commiserating with what I’m going through, sharing my happiness or my frustration.  Whether it’s ego boosting or criticism, I get responses and they help me to process what I’m going through.  Through blog comments, emails, twitter and IM, I’ve gained a community and new, close friends.  So being open and painfully honest in public has its rewards.

The downside of all this honesty is that I’m alienating someone I love, the woman who was my muse and inspiration in starting this blog.  She’s my friend, lover, coach and co-conspirator.  I have enjoyed her feedback, her pride in my labor of love.  And now it hurts her to read what I’m writing.

My wife doesn’t read this blog either, she is happy for me, proud that I have a venue and audience for my writing, because she knows how important this is for me.  But except for a few posts, here and there, she doesn’t read Butchtastic.  She is very supportive and wonderful about my other relationships, but doesn’t particularly want to read about them.  If she were a writer, and had a blog, I don’t think I’d want to read about her adventures with others, either.   

So why do I do this, why do I continue to reveal myself and open myself to this kind of pain and struggle?  For you, dear reader :-)  No, really, that’s one big reason, and here’s what I mean.  When I come across a blog that reads like the inside of my own mind, or asks questions I’ve been asking and proposes answers, well, that’s something money can’t buy.  I’ve been guided, informed, challenged, provoked and counseled by blogs and the comments people have left on them.  I guess I feel like I’m paying forward.  Someone, somewhere is going to find my blog and read something that they can connect with.   Maybe they’ll comment or email me and we can make a more direct connection.   But even without that, someone out there is getting a benefit from me spewing my interesting and messy life out on the screen.

I blog this way because it meets a craving I have to connect and communicate.  It appeals to my exhibitionistic side.  It gives me a way to publically document my journey.  It leads me to real connections with other people:  friendships, love, comraderie. 

And that is why, dear reader, I will continue to expose myself to you here.  I’m going to hope for the best and keep doing what I’m doing.  I realize that means Jaz may stay away, but maybe she’ll come back at some point.  I sure hope so.

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