Average Jane

Called Into Question

It’s funny how life can be so thematic. Just last week, I spoke of the amazing power of strangers to affect change in my life. This week, I let a stranger knock me off emotional balance and call this entire project into question.

I made the mistake of telling a stranger about my blog.

Now,  I should stop and say this entire interlude was inspired by his pronouncement that he had no interest in being “material” for my blog. And while this post is going directly against that mandate, I think he’ll appreciate the spirit in which I invoke his anonymity.

So I told a stranger about my blog and he said that essentially the archetype that I represent disgusts him. That blogging anonymously and with, I assume he’d say, some malice is mean spirited and wrong. I’m starting to wonder if he’s right.

For the last… 5 years or so, this has been my safe space. The place I can go to vomit up my thoughts, feelings, fears, excitements about the people and places that have made my life what it is. To offer up my completely inconsequential thoughts, opinions, and general musings about the little things and big things in life that I was compelled to share. I have never lied to you, the reader, about anything but my name. I have kept it that way because I didn’t think it mattered. That my experiences are in some small way your experiences. That the people I know are the people you know and the things I’ve done or said are, in some small way, the things you’ve done or said to someone at some point along the way in your life. It’s been a selfish exercise in self-expression. But have I hurt more people than I know? Does the potential risk outweigh the actual benefit I’ve felt by having you as faceless friends?

I’m torn. For the first time I’ve called it all into question and wonder if the best idea is to just shut it down. Start a new blog. Or not.

I’m hurt. I shared this space with a stranger whose opinion I felt would benefit me, and perhaps it did.

I’m ashamed that I may be implicated in a crime that has gone on for a very long time.

I’m sad that I could be losing yet another friend.

If I’ve hurt you, I can only offer my sincere apology.

But… If I’ve made you laugh, I can only thank you for sticking with me. Let me also tell you that you have a sick and twisted sense of humor. And I love you for it. 🙂

Not really sure where to go from here. I guess you’ll soon find out.

220 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

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  1. * vvk says:

    Keep writing.

    There are anonymous blogs that are mean spirited and wrong. After reading them for a bit, you can tell that they exist simply to allow the author(s) to demean others.

    Yours is not one of those blogs. As a long time reader (since about the time you moved), I have never considered your blog mean spirited in any way. Sure you complain about life, and occasionally vent… but that’s life. We all complain and if we didn’t vent we’d explode.

    I can’t say why this stranger came to a different conclusion than I did… but I for one encourage you to keep doing what you’ve been doing. If it bothers this one person, well he can simply not read this blog.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 4 months ago
  2. * Gina says:

    I have been reading your blog for a while, not sure how long but you hadn’t moved yet when I started. Your blog has never been mean spirited. I think that you should remain anonymous, too many weirdos around. Do your thing your way and don’t worry about what this person said.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 4 months ago
  3. * Andi says:

    I’ve been following you for ages and I adore you. You’re intelligent and entertaining and you have a way with words that often makes me laugh and occasionally breaks my heart. But I have never once thought you were mean spirited.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 4 months ago
  4. * Emily says:

    I agree with the other commenters! Keep writing. Realize that not everyone will agree or like it, but you’re doing it for you (and for us, your loyal readers).

    I’ve never met you in person but enjoy reading your perspective. I recently had a similar thought about shutting down my blog after 5 years but decided to keep it up…for now. I don’t think you’ve been mean-spirited or used it to intentionally hurt others. If it serves a purpose for you, I say keep doing it.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 4 months ago
  5. * chris l says:

    Jane, you need to do what you think is right for you. If it’s blogging here, then fine and keep it up. You’ve never been mean spirited, not even when you found “odd things” in the apartment laundry room. If your head & heart tell you to blog elsewhere, or even not to blog at all, then so be it. We all enjoy reading what you write, but you write for you, not for us.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
  6. * Catherine says:

    I agree with the other commenters on this… I’ve been reading since this summer and can’t say that I find your writing to be mean spirited or cruel. But, do whatever brings YOU bliss. Best of luck 🙂

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
  7. * Ceres Harker says:

    How can you be completely open and honest when you blog under your real name? I’ve tried, and I ended up pulling 75% of my punches at least. To talk about what you really want to talk about would be too close to showing the world deep wounds and allowing anyone who passed by to either apply salve or sprinkle salt.

    You’ve never really seemed mean spirited or full of malice. You remind me of me and everyone I know because you want a lot of the same things.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago
  8. * Debbie says:

    When I first started blogging, I didn’t keep it anonymous and I was stalked. There a reasons why people blog anonymously, especially when writing personal blogs. You shouldn’t take the opinion of a stranger so personally. Respect what he thinks, but also respect what you’ve been doing for 5 years.

    Keep writing the blog. It’s your space and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 3 months ago

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