If no one knows you've posted, is it worth posting? If no one reads what you write, should you stop writing? I had no idea how much the desire to keep blogging was fueled by the opportunity to have continuing conversations about our lives with people I have connected with here, people I can truly say I have come to love. I can still comment on their posts of course, which I appreciate, but now the conversation feels a little one sided, no longer a sharing so much as a responding. But I don't know what to do about that as it became clear to me that, because of my collaborative work crafting memoirs for people who have a certain profile in the world, I need to be a ghost. Which meant making my blog private. I don't like it one bit. It feels lonely around here now. Perhaps it is just a matter of rethinking my reasons for maintaining this blog. Perhaps it has to now truly become a record primarily for myself, and no longer a way of courting the abundant rewards of daring to be known to strangers, who over time become dear friends.
There are so many people I still miss, because they stopped blogging. Many of them I meet in other places, now—on Instagram, where our dear Tearful Dishwasher still posts his deep reflections on the nature of being human, and on Twitter, where beloved Brittany shares what's true for her in 280 characters or less. I am grateful not to have lost these friends, the way I lost Deirdre, for example, and so many others. When my friend Steve Reed stopped blogging for more than a year, I was surprised at how bereft I felt. Steve was one of my first blogging friends, and my first clue of how real the connections we make here can be. Steve returned to blogging at a moment when he was completely uprooting his life, moving with his love to London, leaving behind a former life as a reporter in New York City, to work as a librarian at an international school. I jumped right back on the bandwagon, thrilled to find him again.
Yet I wonder, if I were stop posting for a while, would I lose all my friendships here? Are many of them already withering as we speak, or are our bonds made of studier stuff? I likely won't stop posting, though, because this space is still an outlet for me. And so I will continue to blog, trying to think of it as I did in the early days, a place to write without restraint, to keep fresh the practice of putting words together, to tell my story for my own record, to breathe into the void and find worth in this endeavor simply for itself. Of course, I will welcome those who happen by with arms spread wide, and love them for being here. But I can also see this as an opportunity of sorts. Nothing has to make objective sense, like the photo I'm posting here, of me at the hair salon under the space ship dryer after getting my hair cut, with my messenger bag on my lap under the super cape. Like really, why? Just because.