I use the term you very broadly, to connote readers of this blog in particular, and other people in general. The point here is that I am concerned, and often excessively so, about opinions other than my own.
Even now. I am immersed in an odd and wonderful time now. I am mere days out from welcoming my little girl and my body and mind are riddled with exhaustion and hormones. Depending on the moment, I feel fortunate or fuzzy or frantic. Things are going quite well here - the baby is eating and sleeping well - but still. This is a new world, a fresh planet, one that spins wildly and wistfully on an axis unique and unknown. Much of the time, I just feel like I am along for the ride. I think this is probably par for the newborn course?
So, you see, this is not a time to worry too intensely about others, about audience. This is not a time to fret about my following. This is a time to surrender. To put myself and my family first. To focus on the exquisite story of my present day.
And yet. Despite cruel exhaustion, my mind roams. To this blog. To my books, written and pondered and imagined. To dreams and doubts. And when this happens, I feel a surge of anxiety, a sinister parade of shoulds. I chide myself for this, for being weak enough to allow outside stuff to creep in now to this decidedly inside time. And then? I chide myself for chiding myself. After all, this is a tricky time and I think I am doing the best I can. (I think.)
Where am I going with this, you ask. And it is a good question, a fair one, because this is a ramble no doubt, a ramble sprung from the depths of a sleepy soul. And so, I will clarify. Or try.
I have spent a lot of time and energy and emotion creating this blog, and striking a balance between more personal and more universal posts. Maybe you've noticed, but for every post I write about my little girls, I pen one about existence. I celebrate the fact that ILI's audience is diverse - some of you are parents, but many of you are not. Many of you are women, but I have my loyal men. I adore the fact that the discussions here are broad in nature and do not readily fit a singular category.
And so. Here's the issue as I see it. Right now? I am in a little and lovely world with my baby and my family where I am filled with thoughts about just those things - worlds and babies and family. My questions have tapered in scope, for now at least, and are more domestic and familial in nature. Which isn't to say that they aren't interesting or important. Just that they are about this. This time. This phase. This slice of my life.
So what? The so what is that my instinct is to continue to post here - and quite regularly - but doing so might mean posting a bit more about parenthood and home life than I normally do. Doing so might mean a slight, albeit temporary, departure for this blog. And if I'm being honest, I fear that some of you might tire of this.
So, yes, we are back where we started 574 words ago: I care what you think. Perhaps too much.
Now it's time for you to tell me not to worry, that you like my stories about babies and sleeplessness and domestic dilemmas, that you will stick with me during this baby phase.
(Go on. Tell me what I need to hear. Pretty please.)
Do you care too much what others think? Is this avoidable or part of what it means to be human? If you blog, how much and how often do you think about your audience and crafting posts that will appeal to that audience? Will you stick with me during the next bit of time even if my blog posts largely center around this latest scene of my domestic identity and existence?