Sunday, 8 May 2011

Express yourself don't repress yourself...

...So sang Madge years back on an artful tune 'Human Nature.'

This song has been looping round my head this week. It's been a bit of a strange week - one I thought I wouldn't write about. But I'm waking with anxiety dreams and have a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach so I need to get it off my chest. Here. On my blog - my little corner of the world where you don't have to click on in - you don't have to stop by, its just me doing my thang and hoping that someone somewhere relates, and is maybe even comforted in reading, by feeling not so alone.

I think I'm a good person - not in just that I make chat with anyone that glances my way, that I help old ladies with shopping bags and smile at the world that passes me by - but I genuinely don't like confrontation (unless in a complaints way - where I am kick ass at writing those steaming letters/telling a restaurant manager that the service is poor and there's a fly in my soup and all that jazz) and I try in all areas of my life not to offend folk, or hurt any one in any way. This blog has never meant to hurt anyone or upset anyone - except maybe Gwyneth with her oh so perfectly smug life. A fan of the Paltrow I aint - although I am sure she is a lovely woman with fabulous abs. So I was kind of stunned to find out this week that one of the many reasons a good friend of old decided to drop me from her life was because I had dared to blog about my own life being a bit tough when in fact she was going through a personal tragedy. Like she should have a monopoly on sadness - and that me blogging about losing my job last year was clearly a sign I wasn't a good enough friend!! Eh? Are you confused? Makes two of us.

This all gnawed away at me. Mainly because I really try to be good friend. I'm not perfect - who is? But I value my friendships - they are my surrogate family - and some I have watered for 32 years. They've had their ups and downs but they matter to me - being a good friend matters to me - and I would always beat myself up if I thought I had let someone down, or failed them in any way. I was a Samaritan for two years and think that this helped my empathy skills, my keenness to be a shoulder to all my friends at crucial times of their lives. I know for a fact that a problem shared is a problem halved - and although I am the biggest mouth in the world, I have kept and still keep many confidences. In fact I pride myself on these enduring relationships and I strive to maintain them - even when life is busy and responsibilities weigh us down. It disturbed me that someone who had once been a dear friend (I was this woman's bridesmaid!) had simply cut me off - closed the whole thing down without even bothering to tell me why. Clearly I valued the friendship more than her - I don't think I'd ever ditch a friend without telling them why. Even now I don't quite know what I did - but I have to draw a line and actually, I no longer care. Because my blog is MY BLOG, my little oasis. And everything in life is relative - so some readers may be going through illness, or loss, or bereavement as I blog about fluff like Tim Riggins or bitching about a diet or such nonsense - but that is my right, and they don't have to tune on in.

I think I felt frustrated - unfairly targeted, because I feel I haven't in any way deliberately done something wrong, something wounding. Sure, I'm a gossip, I can sometimes force my over inflated opinions down someones throat - hey, I know my faults well, but I am not hurtful, I am not cruel. I can't control how someone else feels, I just have to live my life by my values and do my best. I think its a bit crazy to expect the world to stop because of something that happens to you - we all have our struggles - some bigger than others, but everything is relative. I thought long and hard about my blog and the ramifications of writing it. I know friends read it - I know folk who don't like me read it - lots of people I've never met know me damn well through it - what responsibility do I have in writing this? Should I continue?

The answer is yes I will. Because I write for me most of all, to try and alleviate the incessant chatter in my head; to reach out to like minded folk and basically to express myself. And as Madge herself sings in the song above, I'm not sorry.


jkelsofarrell said...

It would be nice if people's personal tragedies and down times could all be evenly spaced so that no two people's dark times overlap. Unfortunately, that's not how it works and it's a shame that some people are unable to maintain perspective on that. I hope your friend, after a year of introspection, is able to understand the situation better. And if not, then, as you said the friendship meant more to you.

Your writing is inspirational to many precisely because everyone goes through crappy moments and difficulties. It's nice to know we're not in a vacuum and that others have struggled as well.

Just my two cents.

Keenie Beanie said...

CM - I'm sorry that one of your dear friends chose to terminate the friendship for what feels such an unfair reason. I too, have a few treasured friendships, and I have lost a few old friends that I counted as "true" until the relationships ended over an issue that shouldn't have been terminal. But as hard as it is, such "friends" aren't worth mourning for too long. Wish I had figured that out sooner.

Chaos said...

I hope you never stop expressing yourself x