Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner
judith

keeping a journal online

When I first started this journal, I thought it would be a good place to keep track of my exercise schedule and my writing efforts. Somehow, by having it online, I felt I was making more of a commitment. Even though nobody was reading it at the time I was making the commitment publicly, to myself.

This is still a primary reason for my keeping a journal here. I have also kept note of events in my life for a couple of reasons: to remember when certain things happened and how I felt about them; to track daily stuff in my life, as fodder for the fiction mill. It seems like I forget rather too easily. My mind becomes foggy. So by writing I keep at least a hint of an experience at hand and can look at it again and remember. Sometimes the feelings will resurface when I reread, and I need that.

As I go about my rather busy life I do think about what I am doing and often will think about how I would describe what I am seeing or doing or hearing. Trying to find a way to describe it as accurately as I can, as close to my own experience as I can make it. There is, of course, no "true account" of anything. Everything is someone's experience of it.

I have read journals by others. I particularly remember parts of John Cheever's journals. A little mention of this or that, a description of an argument, an episode at someone's house. Often it is the little entries that tell the most, when added up. Cheever was as true to himself as he knew how to be. It struck me that he wrote about his drinking defensively and saw his marriage as a burden, saw himself as a victim. Anyone reading his words could see what was really going on, even though he didn't see it himself. How terrific that he could tell such truth in such a way, not even realizing.

There is another reason I keep it online. It is a place where friends or family can look to find out what is going on in my life, what matters to me. But they don't have to look if they don't want to. In that way, it's different from my sending dozens of emails every day, leaving others with a sense of obligation. No such sense here. I don't expect comments, don't feel either an obligation to comment on others' journals nor do I feel others have any obligation to comment on mine.

Finally, if I meet someone new, I like that I can send that person here to "get to know me" - in a way. Am I trying to shortcut my way to a new relationship? Not really, more a matter of letting others find out more about me rather quickly so that they don't waste their time with me when we are not going to be a good fit. Most people will not be a good fit for me, but many of them don't know it initially. Maybe I am getting too old to be telling my story so often. I want to cut to the chase. Even knowing, as I do, that it is so easy to get me wrong, even after reading reams of this crap I write here.

I made the mistake, a short while ago, of trying to reveal a hidden part of myself to a very few others I have met online here. I was under the impression that these particular people might grasp what I had been through and why, even though it is a subject many will never understand. I had wanted to write about it for some time and this seemed a good time to tell that history. It was not well-received, was most certainly misunderstood, and I have now made those entries readable by myself only, and I will continue to tell that story only to myself.

So I continue to write the mundane along with the deeper thoughts and observations. I feel a conflict inside me about the friends I meet here: on the one hand, it is so nice to meet others who sometimes comprehend and commiserate and celebrate, who sometimes appreciate me, who sometimes have had similar experiences, who identify with parts of me. I feel less alone - I am alone, but not so often lonely, to tell the truth.

On the other hand, I feel I sometimes censor myself because I know of those who are reading this. I don't always say exactly what I want to. I go to my written journal for those thoughts. Do I still worry too much about being liked? Less than before. I'm getting over it. I have learned, the hard way, that being liked for who I am not is bullshit.
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  • The Jerry Bruckheimer Effect

    I suppose it is the curse of anyone who is musical to be unable to ignore music. I am plagued by the piped in music in stores and I choke when I hear…

  • Adventures Downtown

    Yesterday I went downtown three times. The first time I passed by the pasty place and decided to stop and get one. The second time was to pick up a…

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    NetworkedBlogs Blog: Judith's Topics: Personal, Mental Illness, Animal Rights Follow my blog