I feel like my blog has become a diary lately. I write posts and hit save instead of publish.
The value of a diary is that it allows you to process things. It also gives you an opportunity to look back and see how far you've come, to remember where you were and recognize how you've changed. Blogs are different though. Unlike a diary, a blog has an audience.
Blogging is valuable because it connects you with others. You feel less alone when you recognize your sameness and challenged when you discover your differences. It creates an outlet to get thoughts onto paper about what is going on in your life (and the world). Blogging can help keep you balanced. Blogging, unlike journaling, allows others to chime in and add their perspective.
I have good friends who challenge me, but because they also love me, challenges are usually tempered with kindness. As my readership has grown I've found myself fearful---afraid of being misunderstood, attacked, rejected, or worst of all---of making someone else feel that way.
But there is another reason I haven't been posting much lately.
It's okay, we all are. Being honest about our brokenness is a good thing. It is the thread that connects us and when you read anything honest, you can't help but see the thread and feel a little less alone. But...
Sometimes I feel like a fraud. Am I portraying my life honestly? Am I claiming to know too much about something? What happens when someone "finds me out"? When they realize that my life doesn't necessarily match up? What happens when I make a fool of myself? And honestly, I have felt like a fool more than once. Hindsight has allowed me to see how I was deceived. It's shown me how callous I was about things I didn't yet understand fully. I've looked back at my past self and said "how could you have been so stupid?"
And in those moments all I feel is embarrassment and regret about having shared all my thoughts and feelings so publicly.
I'm okay with being flawed. I'm okay with being honest about those flaws. I think I'm growing. I hope I'm maturing. I believe I'm coming to know less and more all at once. I'm comfortable with being a work in progress...
...I'm just not sure how I feel about having an audience.