Recently, someone said that they think I share too much on-line.
I paused when I heard this because I realized that I probably do share a bit more than is comfortable for some.
When you're part of the Foreign Service "blogosphere", you get real cozy, real quick. There are so many of us and we are, without exaggeration, a family of sorts. It's easy to think of that particular audience and feel safe sharing your feelings without hesitation. You know that there is this special group of people out there, literally speckling the globe, who understand your deep, deep need to feel a part of something. When you're so isolated, as we all are, it's huge relief to be able to vent to people who can relate to the lonesomeness and to our very unique struggle to find connection.
For instance, the minute you/your spouse joins the Foreign Service, you are catapulted into a life defined by uncertainty. First, you are uncertain about what your temporary life in Virginia will be. Then, you are caught in the purgatory of waiting to find out where you will be posted and then of course, you have no idea what to expect once you get to post. No amount of travel literature, personal post reports or even correspondence with people at that post, can create a clear picture of what your individual life will look like. We all try very hard to imagine, but there is no possible way to uncover the specifics until you arrive at post and begin to peel away the many layers of a new place for yourself. And that's just the first time around. For many of us, we will go through this process as many as 10 or 15 times in a lifetime! So, what do we do with all this uncertainty? Well, we think a lot... we speculate a lot... we talk a lot... and of course, some of us blog a lot.
The sheer number of bloggers out there are proof enough that it is part of human nature to want to share our feelings and experiences. And the range of what people will share online is literally staggering-- bloggers share everything from our sexual proclivities to our strategies for saving money at the grocery store to our political views to our failings as parents to our favorite restaurants and on and on and on. There are as many different blogs out there as there are personalities to write them.
So, add to this obviously very natural desire to share our feelings, the unique characteristics of Foreign Service life and it's no wonder that so many of us do it--- if for no other reason than it feels completely natural and fills an ever-widening void in our hearts. We are a lonely group (particularly the trailing spouses among us) and we spend most of our time, online and off, looking for people who can understand how we feel.
This is why I blog. I blog to feel a part of something and I blog to feel that people actually care about what I have to say (because in my physical life, there aren't very many people around to listen). And for those people out there who think I sometimes go too far in exposing my intimate feelings on everything from my mother's illness to my insecurities about my marriage to the sense of loss I feel at the sale of my family home, I want to say this: if anyone actually spends the time to read what I have written, then I firmly believe that they are worth sharing it with.
From what I can tell, there are two basic groups of people who read our blogs-- the friends and family who love us (and want to understand what our lives look and feel like) and our Foreign Service families-- hopeful members of the community and actively serving members. Those are two groups that I feel very good about and I don't much care about the people who think I am doing something wrong or inappropriate. This is what I need to do now, to get through, to get by and to feel like I am part of something beyond the walls of this house that isn't mine, in a country that isn't mine.
(and of course, as with every blog I write, this is just another unabashed plea for validation... )
Again with This
6 days ago