I stayed up late and was searching for a specific post I wrote a few years ago (it was a post I wanted to revisit and compare to how things are nowadays), and a Google search directed me to an online forum that is pretty much all about different blogs that people hate. People post about bloggers and then everyone joins in with specific things they dislike about the blog or the blogger. Very harsh (often petty) things, which make you wonder who spends their time spreading such negativity. I'd been to this forum before, because a while ago they'd posted something hurtful about a blogger who I'd become friends with.
The fact that these websites even exist make me lose just a little bit of faith in humanity, for the record. But, anyway.
Someone had posted about how they liked my blog, and then there were several very harsh, very hurtful, very unfair things said about me. The original post was from earlier this year and I hate (hate, hate) that I even happened to find it. I honestly just wish I could take it all back and go to bed early like an old woman and never see these awful things.
I know the rule is that you should brush it off, that you shouldn't let these things get under your skin or hold any weight. I know that these people don't know me, and obviously aren't happy themselves if they choose to spend their time being so awful and hurtful and generally negative human beings. I know that this blog is mine and mine alone—and that I shouldn't have to defend myself or explain myself or anything of that nature. I know these things.
But you know what? I don't have a thick skin. These things hurt. Things that shouldn't even hurt sometimes do, let alone blatant insults thrown in my face (or, as it turns out, behind my back). When I read those words last night, they knocked the wind out of me. My heart raced and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I care what people think about me…even if I shouldn't care about what that specific handful of people think about me. It was less about thinking their insults were rational or legitimate as it was feeling so grossly misunderstood and misrepresented by these people.
I'm a people pleaser. I'm nice. I try to be as genuine as I can here on my blog because—as I've mentioned before—I've written about my life (in journals or on personal blogs) for nearly twenty years, only a handful of which have been shared with all of you. I didn't start a blog for people to look at me and say, "Oh, what a shiny, perfect life." I blog to remember these tiny pieces of my life, to calm myself, to share creativity, to connect with people.
Which brings me to a few things I'd like to address, which shouldn't really need to be addressed, but I'm going to anyway. After last night, and how hurt I was, I just need to get it out of my system, to be completely honest. (And perhaps none of these people are even reading my blog after so long—especially considering I bother them so much.) So, here I am, writing this post while simultaneously watching Felicity reruns in the hopes that one of the two will cleanse my emotional palate.
To put it simply (and as many bloggers have written before) what you see here is only a tiny fraction of my life. If you think my world is small, and you're basing that exclusively on my blog, then I understand how you could think that. I don't blog about everything. Rarely the big things. Hardly even the small things, lately. I've hardly blogged at all in the past year because it's been one of the most challenging years of my life—one that I didn't necessarily feel like sharing with the online world. Truth be told, if something isn't mine to share, I will not be sharing it here. Which is the way it should be, really.
I don't write about everything I experience, everything that fills my weekends or the errands I run throughout the week. I don't write about much of what goes on specifically because I never want to be someone who experiences something only to feel the need to immediately share it with the world. My moments and experiences are sacred to me—something I've learned in the past couple years, which perhaps counts for the shift in the way I write and what I write about. (Although, I must say, I've always been a more introspective writer, as opposed to someone that writes about their day-to-day experiences.)
When it comes down to it, I'm not here for anyone's entertainment. I write for myself, I share what I want, and if I don't feel like blogging, then I don't. I'm content with the place I've reached when it comes to my little corner of the internet. But that doesn't mean that hurtful words don't, well, hurt. Because they do. And it's just disheartening to be reminded of how many unapologetically cruel people are out there in the world.
You simply don't have any idea what is going on in someone's life, whether or not they choose to share some of their story on a blog.
To the people who never fail to encourage me, to understand me, and to show me the beautiful side of the internet: Thank you. You make blogs and Twitter and my email inbox and all the rest of the internet a nice place to be. So, thank you.
— Further reading: Introversion and the Internet