And this is why we can’t have nice things.

I continue to participate in the #52Essays challenge, the challenge to write an essay a week for the year. I’ve been attempting to meet that goal each year since taking on the challenge in 2017. Last year was my least successful year. And yes, I could say that was because of Covid, but that would just be an easy cover. I mean, I did write less last year than I usually do, but I still wrote quite a lot. I posted 12 essays last year — half the number I posted in 2019 — but I wrote many more essays than that. Covid was part of what kept me away from this space, but it wasn’t the main thing.

I jokingly call myself the Queen of Oversharing. It’s only sometimes true. I talk a lot, and can definitely talk too much, but I don’t always share the deep stuff, expose my tender underbelly. Except on this page. For whatever reason, I often share things here that I haven’t found a way to talk about with the people I am close with.

Most of the people who read here don’t know me in person. Some of my friends and family read here, too, however. So do a few of my coworkers. And that’s fine. And it’s also strange sometimes. Strangest of all when lines blur and someone who falls into the surprise category of “strangers I know” starts reading here, starts interacting here.

And that’s what happened last year. Someone I’ve never met but to whom I am connected started reading here, started interacting here in a way that felt judgmental and mocking. And I was trying to manage being in quarantine and found that I couldn’t also manage even a quiet confrontation — couldn’t or just didn’t want to spend the energy on turning a conversation I didn’t want to have into something that wasn’t a confrontation. Instead, I chose to leave this space dormant for the better part of the year.

Which pissed me off. And made me sad. This page is one of my preferred release valves. Shutting it down because someone I didn’t want to see walked into the room wasn’t the best self-care I’ve ever practiced. If ever I needed a proven release valve, I needed one last year.

Last night I posted about my history of not settling in the places I’ve lived, posted about the fact that I am not settled in the place I currently live. And today the name of that “stranger I know” dropped into the inbox of my work email. And I had a stomach ache for the rest of the day. I don’t know if they are still reading here. But I am annoyed to find that I am still made uncomfortable by the possibility that they are.

This space is mine. These stories are mine. That person holds no power over me, and I refuse to give them the power to silence me again. If they’re reading here, they are. If they choose to share my stories with their coworkers, that’s just what will happen. All of the ways that I am ugly and flawed here are all of the ways that I am ugly and flawed in real life. Keeping myself away from this space, not posting the pieces I’ve written expressly for this space … that’s like writing lies in my diary to protect myself against someone else reading it.

Saying all of that out loud is a good reminder to me to keep standing in my truth and holding my space and, really, to hell with anyone who chooses to mock or judge me for any of it.

And this is why I will have nice things.

It’s the 14th annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!
Head on over to Two Writing Teachers
and see what the rest of this year’s slicers are up to!

Original Slicer - GirlGriot

9 thoughts on “And this is why we can’t have nice things.

  1. See: look at you unpacking boxes! Such courage and strength, claiming your home and settling in.
    As a blog newbie, this really resonates with me: I am struggling with what to share. The purpose of this SOL challenge for me is to deepen my writing, to do more than skate on the surface, and I hesitate. I hesitate because I want to write about those most important things, but I don’t know if this is a space in which I want to be vulnerable. I appreciate your candor and your claim to your space.


    1. My first SOL year, I took on the challenge to get comfortable with blogging, to start figuring out what I wanted my blog to be and how I wanted to share myself. Now, all these years later, I think I’m realizing that “figuring out” anything about this online presence of mine is an ongoing task. I hope you’re enjoying the SOL challenge!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True to life, then: the figuring out goes on and on. I am enjoying it. It’s felt good to give energy to something creative, something separate from teaching (or at least somewhat removed), and to challenge myself in something that I’ve always been drawn to, but haven’t pursued consistently or confidently. And I appreciate reading the blogs of slicers who’ve been at it for awhile, who’ve committed to the work (and joy and discovery) of writing. I’m glad I came across your blog.


  2. carwilc

    So sorry that someone is doing that to you! That’s so, so crappy! I hope you keep writing and sharing. I wonder if there is any way to block a person from your blog or email.


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