“Time to say goodbye.
Paesi che non ho mai
veduto e vissuto con te,
adesso si li vivrò.
Con te partirò
su navi per mari
che, io lo so… non esistono più,..” ~ Andrea Bocelli
I love Andrea Bocelli. He is amazing. I can listen to him for hours on end. Often I sing along passionately to the emotion with little care for the words. After all, is language not secondary to feeling when it comes to music?
For the sake of this post though, it is important that I am understood so the above is translated to English as follows:
Time to say goodbye
To countries I never
Saw and shared with you,
now, yes, I shall experience them.
I’ll go with you
On ships across seas
which, I know… exist no longer.
I am very private individual when it comes to my dealings with people I know and do life with. I prefer not to burden them with the deeper, more intense version of myself that co-exists with the chatty Cathy, half-baked comedian, devoted aunt, time-conscious friend who tends to laugh long and loud.
The former version of me is seen only in two ways, by people who live with me and/or through my writing. In the run up to our marriage and moving in together, I warned my husband that I am not always chatty. That sometimes I keep quiet for long moments or even lengthy periods for no good reason. That I can get really intense with no forewarning. “You!” He laughed. “That will be the day.” Shock on him #chuckles. My siblings know very well that the chatty moments are interspersed with my locked bedroom door, requests not to be interrupted and sometimes, just silence.
I rarely ever talk about the things that keep the “intense me” preoccupied. I don’t want to. I never did. Perhaps its that misguided notion that “they would never understand” that feeds my reluctance. Perhaps I just prefer that certain aspects of me remain private. Perhaps I would talk to a shrink because they are legally obliged to keep what I say to themselves but almost never to anyone else. But the thoughts chased each other in my head with such fierce intensity that the preservation of my sanity demanded a coping mechanism.
Enter writing.
As a teen, I kept secret journal upon secret journal. I would scribble away for hours. I was a moody and melancholy teen. My then best friend asked me to write a poem about her. I did. It was beautiful and melancholy. She read it with deep disappointment. “Its beautiful but its so sad. Why don’t you write happier things.” So I never wrote for her again because I learnt that melancholy is not for everyone ergo my writing is not for everyone.
That might be part of the reason I kept my blog a secret from family and friends for such a long time. Inevitably, one day someone who knows me found it and told a friend. And then another person found it and told another friend. And they enjoyed my writing. Imagine that. It was humbling. I was touched.
It was uncomfortable but I could live with it. I continued to write.
As the circle of familiarity grew, something new happened. People I know began to act on what I wrote and speak to me about what I wrote as though we had the conversation with each other about it. It was as confusing as it was funny.
Recently, a friend served food at a get-together. I was next to serve. She turned around and looked at me and then her plate with a somewhat guilty expression on her face. Odd, I thought as I reached for my plate. “This is how it happens isn’t it? I really shouldn’t but I will eat clean during the week,” she said to me. I was mildly confused and just as mildly interested. “What do you mean? Are you on a diet?” I asked. “No, its that thing you talked about.” Now I was interested. Did we have a conversation I forgot about I wondered. Worse still, since when do I say things to people that make them self-conscious about food??? How rude was I? Did I say something flippantly in another conversation. My mind flipped through all our recent conversations and returned a blank. “What thing,” I asked as I cautiously fished for a clue. “You know. That thing man,” she said. I was still confused. In addition, I was starting to feel a little stressed that we had obviously had a conversation that I had no memory of. She thought for a moment and then declared, “the love chub relationship!” Relief. We didn’t have a conversation at all. She read a blogpost.
This happened with 3 other women at the same event. Each one went to great lengths to explain their food choices. I felt bad.
Over the course of the past year or so, I have tried to be comfortable with writing what I really feel knowing people in my immediate circle are reading it. Once or twice I have even succumbed to sharing a post here and there. In the background, my discomfort continued to grow, fed by each “oh by the way, I read your blog. so and so sent me the link.”
I guess eventually we all have to be honest with ourselves. My heart sinks to my knees when I see a post shared on Facebook or on another blog and I am tagged. I always untag myself as quickly as is polite. Alternatively, I block the post from appearing on my wall. I feel strange but I listen politely when I receive passionate “instructions” from well meaning friends about how I should grow the blog. When I get the occasional, “you should blog about hair or beauty. It will make your blog more interesting,” I smile and wave. When people express how hurt they are that I would write about something but not tell them about it, I apologise.
While doing that, I also found myself posting less and less because my pool of “not” private subjects or subjects I don’t wish to explain is a bit thin. Things like the Novice Wife Chronicles (which I absolutely loved writing) have become a bit of a no-go because they are intrinsically private. What part of figuring out marriage isn’t? I also find myself becoming self-conscious about my writing and consequently enjoying it a lot less. Now this. This is catastrophic. This is due to no fault on the part of the reader but 100% the fault of the demons in my head.  I am bizarre, I know.
I just wasn’t ready.
The truth is now apparent to me though. My love for writing about the true, dark and raw version of myself is no longer compatible with this blog and its time to say goodbye to posts unwritten, to words unsaid and to stories untold. For the boat that would carry my words across the sea has sunk. We had a good run though.
All the very best to everyone. Thank you for taking the time out to indulge my words.
c’est la vie.