Sunday, March 22, 2009

Project Honesty

I recently heard an author comment that he found, in writing his memoir, that the more intensely personal he was in his writing, the more nakedly honest, the more universal he found that his message was. This was really a powerful insight to me, and I've been thinking about it a lot. Deep in our cores, we as humans are all really similar. We differ from one another in a lot of ways that are very important as well as in ways that are not at all important. But we are all afraid, we all want to love and be loved, we all want to matter. In the most important ways, we are exactly alike.

So in that spirit, I hereby launch Project Honesty. In each entry, I will discuss something about myself in as honest and open a way as I possibly can. It won't necessarily be of the "tell me something you've never told anyone before" variety, but it will be true. I will attempt to strip away all the things I usually say that make me look better, or that make me sound wittier, or that I just don't want to admit to. I will attempt to simply be honest.

Today's entry: No One Knows About This Blog

It's true. I have a husband, a few friends, a mother, a father, a sister, a brother; and none of them know about this blog. If anyone has read it, ever, it has been a stranger who either found it accidentally or who followed me here from a post on another blog. At first, I was just not sure what I was doing, and I was embarrassed that someone I know might read my words--sort of like my mom reading my diary, which is silly since you don't publish your diary on the internet if you want to keep it a secret. I was also concerned about how honest I would be able to be if I knew the people in my life were going to read it. I mean, it's a little hard to talk about my dad leaving my mom for a woman who was formerly my best friend... if I think any of them are going to read it. I read several other blogs, and I'm regularly amazed at how open they are with the details of their lives, not only with things like pictures of their kids but with being honest about things that I don't think the people in my life would love me sharing. I'm just not that comfortable with the idea of how unhappy people might be with what I'd say about them.

But now I just feel kind of dumb. My dad (who, despite having married my friend, is someone whose opinion matters to me) commented recently that he thought I ought to start a blog--because I'm such a good writer that I ought to easily become one of those people whose blogs gets read. Now, to be 100% honest, I think I'm a so-so writer. I read enough to have a good sense of what words look good together. I think I have a decent sense of humor, enough to recognize when something is witty though not necessarily enough to produce it myself. But mostly, I'm really good at spelling, commas and knowing when to use "your" and when to use "you're." I'm not really sure that makes me a good writer, it just makes me relatively good at passing for one.

So I'm trying now to put my words out into the world, to feel like the things that I say matter... but I'm not telling anyone about it. That must be some major kind of statement about my emotional well being. If you're reading this, thanks. If you comment, thanks even more, because it's the only tangible evidence I have that my words, sent out like some sort of sonar, have hit something and returned. I promise to be as honest as humanly possible, though not necessarily as entertaining as I'd like. But I'll work on that too.