I am asked at least once a week why I write a blog. Sure, it is easy to understand why one would have a social networking profile (to find friends and colleagues) or a personal website (personal marketing is often more important than actual work). I still have a Twitter account, and this blog is indeed hosted under my personal website, but I pay little to no attention to it. Answering that question, however, required a lot more introspection than I predicted. Whatever answer I could provide at the time would be shallow, tangential, or maybe just plain wrong. And I know that because I believe I've found the answer.
I'll begin by confessing I'm a deeply self-absorbed person. I care very little, if anything, about how other people will feel about me. Feelings are ephemeral and quickly steered by moods, hormones, and neurophysiological issues. Feelings can change on a whim. Everyone should be entitled to feel however they want, but accepting that no one should care about it.
Thoughts, on the other hand, require a deeper commitment. Rational thought, in particular, is the main virtue that allowed human beings to rise above the other animals. I care about what other people think of me, especially if I realize they took the time and energy to pass an elaborate judgement on me. I often quote one of the people I despise the most in the world, and it hurts me to agree with her:
“Do you know that one of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas.”
― Margaret Thatcher, by
This, of course, reflects an intimate opinion on myself: I spend very little time - admittedly less than I should - worrying about how I feel about myself, but I do spend an awful lot of time over-analyzing myself, how I can improve myself, how I can prevent the same mistakes from happening again, how I can do more in the same amount of time I've got every single day.
This has made me an abhorrently self-absorbed person. I talk too much, for too long, using too many words about myself, and it doesn't make me feel better about myself (oh, the irony). I try to repress it as thoroughly as I can. I repeat on my mind "this is not about me" every time I see someone talking about their experiences, because listening to someone's speech and understanding its subtleties require selflessness.
What prompted me into this train of thought was a woman I just met. She's undoubtedly fun; her jokes are hysterical; her storytelling skills are out of the ordinary. Yet, there was something off about her, as she managed to quickly drag every single topic into her comfort zone. I didn't find it annoying, but rather scary. Thinking about it gives me the goosebumps, as I wondered if maybe that was maybe a too deep of an insight into my own personality issues. I was most definitely not ready.
As I was researching for this blog post, I stumbled into this thread, from a support group for victims of domestic abuse. While this link is safe, the rest of this community is terrifying and perhaps you might want to avoid reading other stories. The arguments are fiercely aligned and well concatenated: self-absorption was a particularly typical trait among their abusers. A red flag, they say, as a way to mean a sign that allows them to easily recognize and protect themselves from further abuse. Yet, how are people supposed to talk aloud about themselves?
Which leads me back to the original question, but, now, with a properly honest answer: I write a blog to talk freely and candidly about myself. I write it here to achieve the sense of self-insight that can't find somewhere else because this world is already drowning under the weight of way too many abusers for me to pile up even more. Maybe no one will ever read these lines and I'm perfectly fine with it: they've served the purpose of helping me improve myself. Maybe someone will read them and amuse themselves with this unorthodox window of my soul. Everyone should be entitled to feel however they want, and I'm feeling good.