Friday, June 16, 2006

What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?

I think it's time to admit that my book binge has turned into self-medication. I just came back from the library with The Sandman Presents: The Furies and two Love and Rockets collections: The Death of Speedy and Blood of Palomar. I also bought Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex and Jill Nelson's Volunteer Slavery: My Authentic Negro Experience for a dollar and a quarter.

The job hunt continues, unsuccessfully. My parents are having financial woes, as per usual, but they've spent their whole lives having to rob Peter to pay Paul. This, combined with several other things, means I'm not unhappy (I know unhappiness and this, thank god, ain't it), but frazzled, overwhelmed. Slightly freaked out.

Basically, I feel more or less like I did when I arrived in France. So I guess I do have reverse culture shock after all.

And one of the things I'm dealing with is this blog. I think I'm having some sort of blogger identity crisis. Figures. I just finished several years of actual identity crises. Now I get to have a virtual one.

Basically, I've been writing Busy Nothings for nearly three years now, which is a heck of a long time on the internet, and I think I've outgrown it. I started this blog my junior year of college. It actually started out ostensibly as an online version of my now-defunct book journal. But what I really needed was just a space to talk, to make sense of things. Because my life was really fucked up. I had just come out to myself, I was completely closeted to everyone and all alone in this small conservative town in fucking nowhere, I had crappy social skills, I was trying to pull myself out of a serious depression that I never told anyone about, I was just totally a mess. So eventually this blog became a means to, pardon the cliche, Find Myself. Cheaper than therapy, at any rate. So this blog is an archive of a really transformative time in my life. Even though it's mostly made up of "busy nothings" (that's an obscure Jane Austen reference, for the record).

But things are different now. I know who I am now. I like who I am. I know what kind of life I want to lead, even if I'm not too sure how to go about it. And I'm constantly suffering my new, updated version of Catholic Guilt: Liberal Guilt. How narcissistic of me to just sit here and ramble on about my life and musings, like it's some grand revelation. I should be on the streets! Making revolution! Taking down the Patriarchy, not just blaming it! How selfish to waste my time blathering on the internet when so many have no access to water, nevermind blogspot! If I'm going to blog, I should be a serious political blogger and talk about Important Things, like elections! Blah blah blah ad nauseum.

The thing is, though, that blogging changed my life. It was blogging that introduced me to feminism, not academia. Not that I didn't have exposure to feminist ideas in my education, but I never would have taken a Women's Studies course if I hadn't stumbled across feminist bloggers. I think feminist bloggers are the modern equivalent of the conciousness-raising groups of the 70s. Suddenly there were ordinary people in the world who were saying things that I had intuited but could never articulate before. They made sense. I told one blogger, it was like I had spent my whole life living in a house with dirty windows, and you all came over with vinegar and newspapers and let in the sunshine.

So yeah, maybe it is priviledged to have a personal blog, but the personal is political, right? I like to think that maybe someone who's going through the crap I went through will stumble across this silly thing and find something useful or comforting. And I love the people I find online. I love the access to communities that I can't get in my "real" life. It's necessary to me, honestly. Especially at this time in my life, when everything's in flux and I don't have the ability to create concrete support communities just yet. This past year, actually, has been the first time in during my blogging career that I've had regular commenters, online friends, and I value that so much. I want to keep that (and get better at reciprocating with comments, because I do read you all too).

So I guess what I'm saying is that I'm not going to quit blogging. But I am going to be experimenting, searching. My interests are too varied for me to keep this a single-topic blog, so it will continue to be a mish-mash of politics, poetry, silliness, geekiness, feminism, queerness, thinking out loud, and memes. I've also thought about talking more openly about my spirituality here. I've taken a few baby-steps. I really, really need the community of pagans online, because again, I'm not only isolated, I'm in the broom closet, as they say. But frankly, and I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this, I'm a little afraid to. For one thing, spirituality has always been a very private thing for me, even when I was a devout Catholic. I'm afraid of alienating some of my online friends and being seen as flaky and wierd and escapist and just a plain kook. Whatever the spiritual equivalent of internalized homophobia is, I suppose I have it. It's not that there's anything wrong with being a pagan, I just don't want anybody to know! I color a little too far outside the lines, and I'm worried about, well, being too different. There isn't alot of crossover between Janeites and dyke porn and tarot cards, you know?

But, I'm going to try anyway, come hell or high water, because I can't separate my politics and my sexuality and my spirituality. They all led into and reinforced each other. And it's just stupid of me to let my insecurities control me, when I know better than that.

One thing's for sure, this template's gonna change. Bo-ring. And probably the name too. I want something less self-effacing. Don't know what just yet. So please bear with me folks.


At 10:07 AM, Blogger reasonably prudent poet said...

"There isn't alot of crossover between Janeites and dyke porn and tarot cards, you know?" -- Probably more crossover than you think. What's not to love about Jane Austen, dyke porn and tarot cards? You gotta get outta Missouri, or where ever it is you are, and into this big, wide world. Or *back* into this big, wide world, as it were. And hey, glad you're not going to quit blogging. And also, personal blogging (well written, of course) is such a necessary balance to political blogging -- they support and nourish each other. All politics all the time is dull and misses such a huge, important chunk of experience... and vice-versa. So... yeah. Thanks for what you write.

At 1:31 PM, Blogger Andygrrl said...


Thanks RPP. You rock.

At 1:06 AM, Anonymous kristel said...

I must say I almost freaked out reading the beginning of your post, because it did seem like you were going to quit for a moment. Thank god it isn't so, because you do manage to bring comfort into people's lives and make them giggle disturbedly considering the mad randomness that is your life. Thanks indeed!

At 1:53 PM, Blogger Winter said...

Actually I agree with you about the blog title. It is a great title, but it does sound self-effacing and we want none of that now I think! Oh no.


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