I’m going to be honest about something here.
I haven’t posted in a while. Almost two weeks, actually. Maybe you noticed, maybe you didn’t. Maybe you wondered if I was burned out on the sport of writing (partially true), got pregnant (false), stopped drinking beer (definitely false), got swept away by a tsunami (false, unless you count that recurring nightmare), or just plain didn’t have anything on-topic to say, given that I’m not running as much these days (definitely true).
But the real reason I haven’t been blogging is slightly more embarrassing. It’s because I’m afraid of being judged.
Unless you’ve been living under a jumbo-sized jar of organic nut butter, I’m sure you’ve heard of GOMI and the like. Considered by some to be a big ole cesspool of internet meanie bullydom inhabited by the fat and jealous, the site (and its forums) call out bullshit in the general sphere of mostly-female-driven internet journaling: fashion blogs, “healthy living” blogs, running blogs, “lifestyle” blogs, mommy blogs, etc.
I think GOMI is great. I’m a regular reader of the main site and its forums and occasionally participate/comment. The blog world needs a place where readers can voice their opinions and reactions to a post without being censored by its author. Call it a cruder version of letters to the editor.
And of course, most of those opinions and reactions are snarky, critical, or negative. It’s called Get Off My Internets for a reason.
But as I’ve lurked and laughed and snarked, my subconscious has been a little sponge, soaking up a long list of things that people (including me, apparently, as I’m right there complaining too) don’t like on blogs.
The result of this is that I sit down to write, and a little voice in that part of my brain – the GOMI sponge part – shoots down every idea I have.
Your track workout? NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR SPLITS.
Your dinner? PROBABLY LOOKS NASTY BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT A PHOTOGRAPHER. ALSO, YOU ARE NOT A PROFESSIONAL CHEF.
Your weight room session? YOU’RE NOT A TRAINER, THAT’S DANGEROUS.
Your latest house project? IS PROBABLY SOMEHOW RIPPING OFF YOUNG HOUSE WHATEVER, EVEN THOUGH YOU’VE NEVER READ THAT BLOG.
Your outing to the (way cool, BTW) international Farmer’s Market? WHICH YOU DID AT 10 AM ON A TUESDAY, NO ONE WITH A REAL JOB WANTS TO READ ABOUT THAT.
I’ve never (I don’t think) been called out on GOMI. I actually have had a couple of shout outs on the SOMI thread – thank you, whoever you are! But somehow that makes facing the minefield of potential blog-content bombs even scarier. People like you, says that little voice. Don’t fuck it up.
If that voice had a body, it would be a twelve-year-old girl hugging herself awkwardly in the adidas windbreaker that she begged her parents for months to buy her, because everyone else had one. She’d be clutching a three-ringed notebook with a clear plastic cover, used primarily for displaying the folded Xeroxed invitations to birthday parties and other exclusive gatherings distributed judiciously by her more-popular classmates.
It makes me cringe. I’m 31 years old. Why am I acting like a seventh grader when it comes to caring about what other people think?
Here is the truth. There are many things about my life right now that are probably GOMI-worthy. I’m a running blogger who is not running much. I don’t have a real job at the moment and I spend a lot of time at the gym. I take 9:30 AM yoga classes. I devote most of my free time to reading, writing, overseeing major home repairs, performing minor home repairs, undertaking DIY projects, and decorating our (very nice) house.
But I’m different! I assure myself. I’m not a so-called professional blogger complaining about how OMG BUSY my life is while filling my days with fitness classes and iced coffees. I don’t make a cent from this blog. I’m not one of them.
I’m different. Really, though…am I?
My friend Gesina is fond of quoting a Modern Family scene in which Jay speculates about what Gloria does all day. “I’m guessing the gym and one other thing,” he says. Yep, pretty much.
(Of course, this isn’t permanent. I’m still figuring out my grad school situation. Depending on how that shakes out, I’ll figure out my job situation. But I can take my time to do that. I’m aware that I’m very lucky.)
When I started this blog almost three years ago, I wrote every day. Fairly banal musings, for the most part, on my day’s run, inexpensive wine, and whatever meal I’d managed to cobble together in my tiny NYC kitchen. I started commenting on other blogs, and started getting more comments on mine. I started adding the ubiquitous QUESTION to the end of every post. More comments! Oftentimes, the most superficial and banal content + question generated the most comments. I MADE BROWNIES! DO YOU LIKE BROWNIES? OMG, I LOVE BROWNIES! THOSE LOOK SO GOOD!
Nothing wrong with that (who doesn’t love brownies?), but at some point it started to feel a little contrived, so I cut the Q&A thing and tried to focus on making my writing a little better. And a little more me. I’m not sure if I succeeded or not, but I’m very proud of some of those posts, the ones where I branched out and wrote about something I was experiencing or thinking rather than eating or drinking.
But lately, I’m afraid the things I’m experiencing and thinking will be snarked on. It’s been really tempting to go back to OMG BROWNIES.
Deep down, I know that my insecurity over being judged by internet strangers stems from being judged by me. This Real Housewife of Atlanta thing is fun and relaxing but as it stretches on, it’s becoming sort of humiliating. I’m capable of doing more with my day than the gym and one other thing.
In the meantime, I’m trying to get over it and just write.
I hope that you’d like to keep reading.
And that’s why I haven’t been blogging lately.