I've been blogging for about a year and a half now. I realize that that's not a very long time compared to some people.
A year and a half ago, I went to NYSW with my family. I'd been reading blogs then for over a year and was kinda keeping an eye out for people I might recognize. I hope that by now Cari has forgiven me for not saying hello. Walking around with my mom on the second day of the festival, I ran into Stephanie and Norma. We talked for a few and afterwards I had to explain to my mom what a blog was. Her memorable response (it might help if you knew her and could imagine her voice) was "But what do they get out of it?"
Then about five days later, I started my own blog. I had envied all the groups of friends I saw hanging out at Rhinebeck, and didn't really know any local spinners or knitters other than the people at local shops. I've always liked to write, kept a diary when I was a kid for years. It seemed ..... well, like something to do. I can quit whenever I want to, right?
Many of my good friends now are other bloggers. People I talk to on the phone, take long trips to visit (not as much as I'd like but - sometimes), hang out and knit with, and sometimes receive packages from in the mail.
Yet my family (other than the two people I live with, and my sister) don't know about the blog. Those out of the loop include an aunt, two uncles, several second cousins, my mom and dad, and the entire extended family of in-laws in the midwest. I've often wondered, when I mention going somewhere or meeting with someone, where the hell they think these friends in Boston or Vermont or Canada have magically appeared from. But they don't ask and I haven't told. They're just "a friend from Ottawa who's in town" or whatever. I never say blog-friend or anything like that. Its not that I'm a recluse, but the magical appearance of dozens of far flung friends in my life really ought to have raised a question or two.
Then there are the local shop owners. I've only mentioned the blog to one of them, whom I consider a friend. I suppose I could consider anyone who supplies me with wool as a friend, but its more of a dealer/junkie relationship, if you know what I mean. There's at least one other shop owner that I know knows about the blog, but I've certainly never mentioned it. Yet I come dragging "friends" from near and far into the shops for the first time on a regular basis.
I dread the idea of telling my family about the blog. Some of them aren't on the internet at all (my mom for example, doesn't even "do" email), some are. Yet I've been very careful all along not to say much about the family here, in case I do tell them someday; I won't ever need to expurgate the horrible things I've said if I know they might read the archives.
I know, I know, I'm rambling (I do it in person too, I assure you). I guess what I'm trying to get at is that I somehow consider the blog private. Where I get these ideas or how I delude myself that something on the internet is private even puzzles me sometimes. I realize that just being a blogger who gets a bunch of comments doesn't make me famous (or notorious, for that matter). The knitblog world is relatively small, in the scheme of things. But when it becomes a big part of your life sometimes its hard to remember that.
Sometimes I'd like to tell my parents. It would explain my burning desire for a laptop, the reason I spend time on the computer when we're up in the country together, where all of the international friends have appeared from, as well as what I do with my free time besides knitting. And then I think that I'd wind up censuring myself if they might read it. Not mention things like, you know, all the yarn. I've told a few of my old friends (not their age, how long they've been in my life) about the blog. About half of them read it, the other half that I've told don't.
I went to sleep last night thinking that maybe I'd take a day off from the blog today - although we all know how often that happens, it did occur to me. Then I woke up, starting thinking about this, and sat down to write. And now, having written it, I'm thinking that maybe my life and perspective is a little warped. Maybe the blog is too much a part of my life, that I worry or care this much about these trivial things.
My blog is a way for me to have a private and yet very public (that's the real issue here) place to muse. Sometimes I think that its my own little thing, but I always keep an awareness in the back of my mind about the public nature of it, and that puts a lid on how much personal information I share.
The point of all of this? Sometimes I feel guilty that I've purposefully not told my family about it. And I guess that's what I've been thinking about. Because this does feel like my own private little space most of the time ..... until people start commenting and then I realize that there really are people listening. Yet it feels more like a parlor full of friends that I hang out and knit with than a public forum.
In case you're wondering, this really isn't the ramblings of coffee overload early in the morning. (Half decaf, I swear.) However, I might be willing to place the blame squarely on the shoulders of mindless stockinette and self-striping yarns giving me way too little to engage my brain.
Might be time for some lace knitting, eh?