Saturday, 11 October 2008

Blogging vs. Life

A recent post by a blogger pal, his birthday post, and another by one of the Novel Racers awhile ago, both made me stop and think. Both, without going into specifics, referred to setbacks and problems in their lives, or in the lives of those closest to them, and each made me re-examine my assumptions.

When we come on here we're all upbeat, in total control. Even when we blog about imperfections in our lives it's done with humor, or at least wry self-deprecation. Yet every now and then I get a glimpse behind the veil: in the case of the second blogger, an indication that her life was in turmoil; the other, that everyone that he cared about had undergone some kind of disappointment or setback recently.

When I come on here I put on my public face, and I tend to forget that's what most of us do. When I'm grappling with tough realities, I assume that I'm alone with them, that everyone else is a-ok. I don't blog much about the fact that a close relative of my mother was shot by unknown gunmen and succumbed to her injuries a few days ago, never having regained consciousness. That neighbours of an in-law were robbed and slaughtered in their home yesterday. That everyone I know lives in terror of being the next victim of some sort of senseless violence, that I feel my heart squeeze and my breath shorten even as I type this.

And that's just the major stuff. There's the rest: the bad things that happen not just to good people, but to good people we love. The bad things that happen, or have happened, to us. Our internal struggles. Our failures and shortcomings. Our ongoing troubles and challenges.

Clicking around the blogs I enjoy never fails to lift my spirits: there's humour, sharing and camaraderie, support and encouragement everywhere. And that's great, that's the way it should be. But every now and then I get a glimpse behind the scenes and it reminds me: I'm not alone with my challenges; we all have them. Behind the light touch we're coping with birth, death, sickness, divorce, breakups, betrayal, debts, aging, tortured relationships, painful memories, raw fear - the whole gamut. For a moment I put aside my assumption that everyone else is leading a charmed life.

Then I get back into gear and try, like my fellow bloggers, to follow the advice of the Apostle Paul to the Philippians (thanks D, for first showing this to me):

"Finally, bretheren,

Whatsoever things are true,

Whatsoever things are honest,

Whatsoever things are just,

Whatsoever things are pure,

Whatsoever things are lovely,

Whatsoever things are of good report;

If there be any virtue,

And if there be any praise,

Think on these things."


KeVin K. said...

Kid, I started to write a response to this, then realized I was launching into a protracted and self-revealing essay. I'm going to consider my words a bit and write something in my own LJ later tonight or tomorrow, with links to this entry. You have touched on one of the fundamental truths about our lives in this global village.

liz fenwick said...

In the blogworld we do present different things and many times its a way for us to deal ewith things ourselves. Life is full of pain but thankfully we have friends next to us and virtual who help us through. Sharing the pain and hurt can help us through. Sometimes we need to keep it close to deal. Choice. I keep myself sane by focus on the positives. Sending support and prayers your way.


Pat Posner said...

A 'thought-making post', Liane.

Sending hugs


JJ said...

Liane, I read this on my feeds yesterday, but couldn't post because the wifi isn't reaching my office at the moment.

I was really moved by this post. I think you're right - mostly we do present our best face here but I think it's quite possible not to aswell. I know what a support it is when I'm feeling low to get friendship through the wifi. Quite amazing.

I am so sorry about the awful stuff happening in your life at the moment. Really, I don't know what to say, except that my thoughts are with you all.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

sorry to hear about your family and friends.

very thought provoking post.

wordtryst said...

Thanks for the encouraging words, guys. I'll say this: reading your blogs and your comments never fails to lift my spirits.

I've learned how to pull myself out of the doldrums by focusing on good stuff and counting my blessings. The apostle knew what he was about.

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

There are so many expressions to combat negativity - life's too short, shit happens, do unto others, etc.

If we constantly live in the fear that something bad will happen to ourselves or those close to us, we miss the wonderful things that happen around us.

Imagine all the people who don't have the support of others online when their own bravery starts to show cracks. I'm glad I'm part of such a supportive community.

Lane said...

This post struck a real chord Liane.
It's very easy to take blogs at face value and assume everyone is living a charmed life. The reality is so different.
I mainly try to keep my 'behind the scenes' to myself as I'm only too aware that there are always those with far worse problems. Occasionally something will slip through and I'm always amazed at the support. It may seem like platitudes when we give support via a blog but nevertheless, it's friendship and that's what counts.

I'm sorry to hear your news and how devastating the situation is there.

Take care x

wordtryst said...

Chumplet, I too am glad to be part of such a supportive community. It's something I never take for granted. No matter what happens in RL, coming on here always makes me feel better.

Lane, you're an inspiration. No matter what you're dealing with you always manage to put a humorous spin on things. How would we survive without humour?