To be personal or not to be personal?

Back around 2000 personal blogs were de riguer. They disappeared because of Facebook, because they aren’t profitable, because sometimes they revealed too much. While it wasn’t conscious or deliberate I sort of went along with that – in part  because my blog Fat Chic hit a nerve to a degree I didn’t understand and wasn’t fully prepared for. Before that I had a Diaryland that traced my life up to and after 9/11 – since I worked mainly with Hindus and Muslims in 2001/2002, most of my entries were punctuated with “AAAAAUGHHH!” and “Gah!” Then I made the heartbreaking decision to divorce my ex; the OntheRiver blogspot traced my change of self-perception as I realized that a)my own plans for my life had been the right ones and way too many people that supposedly cared about me had dragged me way off track  b)with one marriage done it was already too late to backtrack on any of that and c)I had a real illness/disability that could either consume my life or be managed, if not overcome – but I had to make the choice before the illness did.

I was not kind to myself during those years. There was no Woody-Allenesque self-forgiveness for atrocities committed. But it wasn’t all dour and angsty. My father told me before he died that he was sad when I cancelled that blog and moved to the lockable Livejournal, because he found OntheRiver hilarious – especially when I wrote about politics.

My contempt for all that… it remains eternal. There are guys in my poetry group that are, however, relieved that I have altered my attitudes about philosophy…and, well, poetry and poets.

So when this blog got set up, I was kind of at a loss. I’m not one of those authors that refers to myself as “a brand.” ((Because seriously? Ick.))  But I’m not going to lie to myself or you and say that I’m “just Di.” The stuff I’ve written about on this blog so far I have had sincere interest in – it just hasn’t been infused with as much of my personality as it could be.

My life isn’t simple. It never has been. I spent until I was 25 surrounded by people that made plans for me – without my consent. Running away actually can solve some problems – but it will always cause other ones. In my case the new problems were well worth the trouble of escaping. I don’t regret running away when it could legitimately be called that and I need to remind some people that read this for all the wrong reasons: leaving after age 18 is not “running away.” It’s called “moving out.” Also, refusing to spend time with people that have been awful to you is the normal, sane thing to do. I am a sane person – believe it or not – who has been subjected to a lot of crazy bullshit. While it pains me to be able to identify with Franz Kafka *shrug* there it is. I suppose it’s preferable to living life as a character in an O. Henry novel.

I haven’t run away in a long time. I’ve even lived with the same man for ten years. Monogamy, as it turns out, isn’t exactly natural to me – but loyalty is. So we work off of that.

So perhaps distancing myself – pulling my life offline for a bit – served me well for a time.

But I miss my own voice. I was once accused in graduate school by a professor of using my writing to hide my real self. It was far from the only place I used to do it. At the time it was one part not wanting to hear/see myself think because I was really unhappy with my life at the time – but it was also me digging my heels in at the rushing narcissistic trend in higher education that I just knew would eventually consume culture.

It is ironic, of course, that as we finally have a relieving turnabout as more people turn dark on the “selfie” that at least half my career is tied up in stuff that requires frequent selfies. At least I’ve made peace with my appearance – and I was right, I did age better than the kids I grew up with that were pretty/popular/mean little assholes. Fat or not, I’m pretty. And being fat and pretty is amusing as it makes me a walking mindfuck.

The core audience I want to draw here is of course Pagans/polytheists, especially those who are comfortable reading ideas that differ from their own, can appreciate that I practice acceptance of others but only rarely adopt the customs of others,  ((hospitality: it’s probably one of the few Pagan universals)) and those who get that magic  – the discipline and practice – are very much a part of my daily life. There are a select few people from my past, old friends since lost, that I wish would read here but probably don’t. In one specific case, that person just isn’t a reader. In other cases … well, some are just mortified that someone labeled as utterly inflexible turned out to be a moral relativist.

Once in awhile I will probably get all worked up about a specific topic. And I do want to do a few blog series – Pagan and Wicca 101 stuff, a second series on magic during Mercury Rx – but first I want to put myself back here. The “real Di” has been gone for awhile and it’s time for her to come back. She always does make things so much more interesting.

Relax, I’ve got a fire extinguisher right here. I do learn.