Sometimes I sit here, fingers poised above keys...ready to type...ready to feel...and I stay frozen, paused for just a moment.
Because you know so much about me.
I've bared my soul. I've gone philosophical and introspective. I've explained and over-explained. I've put myself out there. Every day (with very few exceptions) for the last almost 365 days.
I've talked about my past, my present, and my future. I've talked about my goals, my dreams, and my fears. I've told stories and I've shared secrets. I've given details about the serious and the humorous.
You know so much about me. It's a strange one-sided relationship really. You feel like you know me and I don't know much (or anything) about you. You read about my day, but I don't know how yours went.
The counter at the bottom of my blog goes up, up, up. 144,000 and counting... The outermost circle of readers is vast. Strangers click in from different cities, different states, different countries. And you know so much about me.
Then there is the next circle of readers...a little closer...a friend of a friend of a friend perhaps...people I've never met, but who are connected to me by several degrees of separation... I go to a baby shower and a woman who recognizes me sits down next to me to whisper, "I read your blog." A relative of a friend I know. Or I go to pick up routine fluids and special cat food at my vet to be told that I have a $300 credit from someone who reads my blog. Or an email comes in from a local stranger who tells me: "A high school principal told me, 'There's this woman in Northampton who writes this blog you should read...'" And she's talking about me...but I don't know a high school principal...though somewhere out there, in my own region, she's reading my words. Or an anonymous local widower sends me kind packages. You know so much about me.
And then a smaller circle. I pass you in the halls at work perhaps. You know my story, you know my thoughts. You know me well. But I don't know you the same way. I bounce in with a chipper "Good morning," and we exchange hellos, but you also know that I cried last night or that my house is for sale or that I went for a run. You know I got a package in the mail or that I met with my attorney or that I'm getting happier and happier. Sometimes you mention something I wrote on my blog in an offhand way - working it into conversation - and surprised, I make a mental note that yet another person I work with or live near or went to grad school with or see on a regular basis is reading my words though I never realized. You know so much about me.
And I don't mind.
I'm still writing.
And I'm not scared of the vulnerability or the openness.
But you know so much about me.
So be gentle. :-)