Integration

From January 2002 to August 2003, I kept a personal weblog that consisted of an amalgam of topics: notations about my mundane daily life, deep explorations of existential questions, self-revelation (journal therapy), and links to items of interest to me that I wanted to share.

I learned with some difficulty the danger of a) writing about people with whom I have relationship and my thoughts and feelings about them, and b) inviting those people to read the blog. They don’t mix. So I worked on shaping my public “voice” in blogging and took pains to use pseudonyms when speaking of people.

When I opened my private therapy practice, I acted on the advice of a friend, a successful businessman, who suggested that potential clients finding my personal blog before my business page might become confused. Thus A Mindful Life was born: a weblog that provided resources and ideas for living and kept personal writing to a minimum.

Simultaneously, I created an alter-ego blog under a pseudonym, in which I wrote about my crappy day, or how I accidentally laundered my cell phone, or my excitement about getting a new job. It is an informal place — a family den, whereas A Mindful Life is a parlor.

I took pains to share the url only with people in my real life whom I wanted to have access. However, web-savvy relatives with whom I did not share the url found me anyway, and read the blog without my knowledge or permission for almost a year before I found out. I found out in a distressing, backhanded way. Immediately my voice was muffled. That blog is no longer a place to pour it all out; perhaps a blog is not the best venue for deeply personal writing. (Though gods know thousands of people do it.)

For awhile I lived with this divide, but after the blog was rediscovered, I have felt the strain of compartmentalizing. The boundary served a purpose, but does it serve me best at this point? I’m no longer a practicing therapist, though I can’t rule out that I might be in the profession again someday. And yet, a sense of unity appeals, and perhaps this is because my life has enough chaos of late that the fragmentation does more harm than good. I also am weary of having two separate places to show artwork and photography, to keep a list of reading, etc.

I’ve not totally abandoned the other blog nor taken it down. I am going to live over here more for awhile, however, and see how it works. So you might find, interspersed with the poetry and quotes and snippets of articles about spirituality and life, passages about me and my daily life that weren’t here before.

Or you might not. It depends. This is the seduction of blogging: it is so very easy to sit down and write whatever comes to mind. Once a day, or several times a day. It is a medium perfect for brain-dumping and informal flights of thought. However. The drawback is that such writing siphons off material that might be put to better use in other pieces, or if left unwritten might gestate into something else creative. The other drawback is that blogging sometimes replaces communication among individuals, as people in a blogger’s life check the blog to see what’s up, rather than directly correspond or speak.

The immediacy of blogging has proven therapeutic for me. It’s also been a creative outlet, not just with writing, but with coding and formatting the site. However, the questions remain: What is my public voice? What is my intention with this blog, with blogging in general? Can one blog serve multiple needs in me? Is this venue the best use of my gifts?

I don’t know the answer. I love the theme and design of my other blog, just as I love this one. They are my creations. Yet sometimes I wish I had not made this split. Can I consolidate? Should I? I don’t know. We’ll see.

Explore posts in the same categories: Arts, Humanities, Journal, Social Science, Technology

2 Comments on “Integration”

  1. Chad Says:

    Hey, wow. Comments!

  2. kat Says:

    dude, i like comments. 🙂

    and i’m glad you’re feelin more integrated. i can understand how it would be hard to have two spaces.

    many hugs xoxoxoxo