Alright, kids. We need to sit down and have a chat, and rather right quick, apparently.
First, hi! Wow. Rather suddenly there are quite a lot of you reading this, eh? Mostly silent, but you’ve still got a way of making your impact. I especially like the links and trackbacks and such, thanks.
But see, here’s the thing. Y’all are sort of this vague and amorphous mass, and well, we don’t know each other. (At least, the last time I looked, I didn’t know any amorphous masses. There might be one in my fridge by now, I did forget to clean it out before I left.) Maybe more importantly, you don’t know me – not even those of you I talk with in other mediums. (Consider the fact that the vast majority of the people I talk to on a frequent basis, I have known less than a year.) That can make things kind of weird, because you attach more emphasis on things that are just casual toss-off’s on my part, and probably don’t know what to look for in things that are actually serious.
My dear friend Michael summed it up quite well when I was laughing to him about this earlier tonight.
That’s the problem with blogs. They’re so public and wide audienced that people assume anything posted in them is of critical import, when the purpose of them has simply been to chronicle life, something everyone knows about their own blog but never remember when reading others’.
This, of course, doesn’t mean we can’t and won’t get to know one another… it just means that maybe y’all need to take a couple deep breaths and not worry so much when I post about having emotions.
This post, this one right here, is my 721st post on this blog – I’ve been doing this for a while now, probably longer than most of you, and over the years, a lot of emotion has been captured. This is a chronicle of life. My life. My misadventures, as it was so aptly and recently named. For the last couple of years, that focus has been on academia and my journey through it. But I’ve made the conscious choice that I’m not going to hide in that ivory tower. I don’t want to be your stereotype of an academic, detached from the world and busy with abstracts. Let’s face it – academics, especially those who can put PhD after their name, don’t have the best reputation for being down to earth, or in touch with anything other than their work. Forgive me if I’m trying to avoid that.
Yes, I write about life in all its adventures, mis or otherwise. Sometimes it’s about school, sometimes about my family, cancer, life – even work. But give me some credit, people. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and everything you read is quite carefully filtered. I’m not going to say things that I wouldn’t feel comfortable saying to anyone over coffee and a danish. I’m not going to violate confidences, I’m not going to say something and regret it later – half the time, you read something hours, if not days, after I’ve written it.
I have a silver cuff bracelet. I wear it every day, for reasons I’ll explain some other time. On the front, facing me, stamped in quirky lettering, it says “breathe”. A reminder, to myself, to stop when stress overwhelms me, to pause even when life is good, and center, be. Breathe.
It’s good advice. I heartily recommend you adopt it, especially as it seems to be needed. Just breathe, people. Just breathe.