Thank goodness it's only happened a few times because I don't react well to that kind of social situation. I'm incredibly uncomfortable being the center of positive attention, probably because it's something that so rarely happens to me. I smile and blush, then stumble over my own words until I manage to spit out an "Uh.... thanks you. Um, I mean, thank... to you" or something equally as charming.
Then I stand there silently willing the ground beneath my feet to come to life and swallow me whole, just to break the awkward silence that inevitably follows a conversation like that.
I mean, obviously I know that a few people read this blog because there's a handy little widget somewhere over there to the right that says 'Followers'. See it? Pretty neat, huh? There are even a handful of people who comment somewhat regularly (thanks for that, guys).
I just never expected more than a few people to read this blog. Even when I started to gain a small following, it consisted mostly of my fellow cystics (people I only know online) and a few of my family members. I guess I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that people I actually know... like, in real life... might be reading this. It's not that I mind or don't want them to. The opposite is true, really, I'm flattered. But when I find out that someone I know (outside of my close friends and family) has been reading, I immediately think a couple things:
1) Why are they reading my blog? I've known some of these people a long time, but it's not as if we've ever been great friends. I went to school with some, church with others. Some are neighbors of mine and some are old acquaintances. So my question is this: why are they taking an interest in my life now? If I wasn't important enough to want to know back then, why take the time to read about me now?
Again -- I can't stress this enough -- I love that they are reading, I just don't understand their desire to. My life isn't anything out of the ordinary, really. Do they read simply because I so willingly put it all out there? Maybe. Is it because I'm just that damn funny? Highly doubtful. Is it because every single one of them has a secret crush on me? I like to think so.
2) What do they really think of what I write? Do they really like it, or do they keep coming back because it's so grotesque and they enjoy discussing it with their friends over a Sprite later? (What? It wouldn't be realistic for me to say they'd chat over coffee or beer since the majority of people here are Mormon.) Maybe I'm better off not knowing what they think.
My blogging friend The Unknown Cystic hit the nail on the head when he recently said
"If there’s a blogging downside, it’s finding your own internal editor to tell you when you pushed too far, what’s gold or crap, and whether to hit 'Publish' or 'Move to Trash'.”I never used to worry about that. I didn't care what people thought of my writing, but that was before the real world started reading my posts.
Knowing my family might not like what I write is fine because, well, they're obligated to love me anyway. But knowing that I might actually run into someone on the street who hates what I write is a little scary; they don't have to love me, and they may or may not feel like hitting someone in the face with a brick today.
So, if you happen to see me and you make a comment about my blog, please don't be offended if I don't stick around very long to chat. Please understand that I'm just trying to figure some things out. What other cliche can I use? I need some time... It's not you, it's me... That's a good one.
It's not you, it's me. Except that it is you... a little bit.
P.S. I really am grateful that you come here
and whatever your reason is for reading,
I hope you don't stop.