I don't like profanity. But I do like mushrooms. Interestingly, this post is about neither.
This post is about something else. Something that's a bit hard to pin down. About promises. About vows. About expectations. About guilt. About saying one thing and doing something else. About being (unwittingly or no) full of, well, shiitake.
A while back, I wrote a vulnerable piece on my periodic insecurities in the context of this blogging world. In this piece, I committed myself to blog on my own terms, to make blogging fun, to make it the delicious icing on the good layer cake of my life. I wrote,
I am going to stop letting this blog add to my insecurities. I already have plenty. I am going to make this a fun and philosophical haven. A joint for anyone who is up for big questions and good conversations. And, in this renewed spirit of Ivy League Insecurities, I am going to try to answer every single comment that is left on this blog.
I read this now - a mere six or so weeks later - and certain barbed questions zip through my mind. To enumerate:
- What is wrong with me?
- Why do I make promises I have no way of keeping?
- Why do I sometimes operate under the apparent belief that there are more than twenty-four hours in the day and that I am a robot and not a harried mother and writer who is a guilt machine? Why?
And if I am thinking these things, these critical things, I can only imagine what you are thinking. Liar. Manipulator. BS Artist. Lowly blogger trying to get traffic.
Or maybe I am just human. My vow to respond to comments and to visit blogs came from a good place. It did. I think that responding to comments and visiting loyal bloggers is what makes this endeavor enjoyable. This is not just about words splashed on a screen. This is about connection and conversation. On the level of principle, I also believe - and fervently - that responding comments and visiting loyal bloggers is the right thing to do. I like doing the right thing. I feel guilty when I don't do what I deem to be "the right thing."
There is this little thing called Life. A Life full of little creatures and big dreams and endless lists. A Life full of gray questions and rainbow wishes. A Life full of logistics and practicalities. And this Life has gotten in the way. It needs me. It pulls me. It demands me. And sometimes, like now, like so often, I barely have time to write a blog post, let alone pen responses and visit other blogs. Sometimes, like now, like so often, I don't have time to do the "right thing."
And this feels crappy. Because I care about you guys. Those of you who make yourselves known by leaving your words here. Those of you whose voices and blogs I've come to know and love. Those of you who have supported me through the soggy and sunny days of this past year.
I look back at what I said, the contours of a far-fetched and rookie aim, and I notice one important word, tiny in its three letters: try. I said I would try. And I have. It's just that I have failed. And this is never fun.
So I apologize to all of you for making promises, foolish promises, I've been able to keep.
I apologize to Me for making promises, foolish promises, I've been unable to keep.
I apologize for being full of shiitake.
- Do you consistently make promises to yourself and to others that you can't possibly keep?
- Why do we so often hold ourselves to standards we'd never hold others to?
- When you do not meet your own expectations - in blogging, in parenting, in living - do you feel guilty?
- Are you a fan of profanity and/or mushrooms?
*The winner of yesterday's giveaway of the early copy of my novel LIFE AFTER YES was... Emily!***