Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The post where I ignore my usual restraint and say what's on my mind

This site is my journal, it's where I come to do a literal mind dump...to clean out the junk in my head so that I can be (somewhat) normal in the rest of my life. This might sound strange but I want to state it explicitly: I'm an all-too-real human being, not a character in a drama that unfolds on these screens. We all are.

I don't know with absolute certainty that everyone we read on the web is a real person...some could be writers testing out their material on a willing audience...but there are a core group of folks here that I know on a deeper level than just reading their websites, and those are folks that I consider friends. They are the people who are on my Christmas card list, who sent me cards or letters (or gifts) when I got married last year, who cry with me when I write about how much I miss TCB, who write to tell me that I'm not alone when I spew my frustration with my unwillingness to change my life and go in a healthier direction - they are, in short, my friends. Lori is one of those people.

Lori was the first person who replied to a comment I'd left on her website. Hers was the first journal that sort of looked and sounded like mine that I found after I started writing on the web. Of course, hers was far more popular and more prolific, and I wanted so much to be like her. She patiently explained to me how to get people to read your site (read other sites, leave comments, join web rings with like-minded writers). I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Lori and I hope she knows how much I appreciate her.

Perhaps part of the connection I feel to Lori is because our journeys have taken some similar turns. We both started our journals to document our weight-loss successes (and we were both REALLY successful!) and then had the wonderful good fortune to meet the men of our dreams on that journey and watched as the weight-loss slowed and the rest of our lives took off in wonderful, new directions. Conflicted emotions? Um, YES! And then we both got married. And we both became stuck in what has charmingly been nicknamed the "mortgage meltdown" or "real estate bust". If you haven't had the wonderful experience of holding title to multiple properties that are "underwater" (another nickname, this one means that you owe WAY more than the property is worth and/or what you paid for it) while also trying to figure out where you're going to live, you haven't really lived. Stress much? Um, YES! And yet, even in the midst of the real estate quagmire, there were and are moments of exquisite joy that kept and keep us going, keep us looking toward the brighter future that we know is just around the corner.

So it hurts me when I read that people are talking badly about Lori. She's not a character in a play, she's not some celebrity that you read about in People or In Touch. She's a young wife who is trying to get settled in a brand-new house, struggling with infertility, and who goes to her journal to write about the things that she's too scared or uncomfortable to talk about in her real life. (I'm assuming that last part because it's true for me...forgive me if I've said too much, Lori.) How is it productive or helpful to you to trash someone else behind their back? Do you do that in "real life"? (By the way, this IS real life, it just happens to be written online.) Would you say it to her face? And to those that sit by and watch it happen, perhaps even secretly enjoy watching someone who has been so successful brought low, think about this: how are these people talking about you when YOU'RE not watching?

I'm putting a stake in the ground right here and right now - if it's not productive and positive, keep it to yourself. If it's not something you'd find helpful in your own life, keep it to yourself. I can't control what goes on beyond the walls of this site and I know it's pie-in-the-sky to hope that anyone would listen to what I have to say and change their behavior, but sometimes you just have to stand up and be counted on important issues. Supporting each other and celebrating our victories together instead of tearing at those who are successful and rejoicing when they are brought low ought to be our goal and I'm committing to promoting that in what I write from here on out.

If you don't like it, there's the door.

3 comments:

Nell said...

I never understood why people bash bloggers. If you don't like them or what they're writing, don't read them...hellooo. Some people I read just cause they're a big ol train wreck but I wouldn't bash them.

JessiferSeabs said...

Word.

(and I found you via Lori, BTW -- after reading "Tales from the Scale")

neca said...

I agree with your post! I was very upset to read Lori's last post. She was one of the first bloggers I started reading regularly. I identified with her for many reasons, and even though her blog has taken a different direction, I continue to read because I care. Why bash her for honestly discussing what could happen to most any of us?