I learned an important lesson yesterday.
Yesterday I wrote a post, a post I really liked. It stemmed from a conversation I'd had with a friend, a really close and good friend. What the conversation was about is not important anymore. But what is important is the fact that it made me think about a lot of things, things that weren't even remotely related to what we had discussed.
I pulled the post just a few hours after I published it. This is only the second time in three (3?? really??) years of blogging that I pulled something I wrote. I hesitated because there was already some really interesting, and varied, feedback on it. But I did it, for one reason, and one reason only: to protect a friend.
If you, like me, fancy yourself to be a writer, you see the world differently than most. We tend to see life in paragraphs. Every conversation, every drive to Target, hell...every shower is narrated by that little observer in our brains. My mind is constantly writing, even if my hands are nowhere near a laptop or pen and paper.
It's only natural for us to want to write about everything we see or do or touch or feel. That's just how we're wired. And usually, that works out okay for everyone. I'm sure my ex-husband would like to insert an "AHEM" right here, but since this is my blog I have the right to tell him to stick that ahem where the sun don't shine. My real life friends, and those I've had the pleasure to meet virtually through this page and other places I've written, have been really good about being part of this bizarre online world of mine. They've been generous with themselves, allowing me to describe them and things we've done and gone through together.
Yesterday I felt as if I had crossed a line. My feelings had been hurt, and I did what is the writer's equivalent to curling up in the fetal postion and licking your wounds: I wrote about it. I told my friend about the post, and assured her that it was written in good fatih, not in a vindictive or passive-aggressive manner. Nobody knows who I had the conversation with, all I divulged was the fact that it was one of my friends who has a child. The list of "who could it be" is looooooong and dare I say, rife with some pretty kick-ass women. But a few hours after I posted it...I felt icky. I felt that unsettled, all-is-not-right feeling. And while in the bathroom stall at work, I went on my phone and reverted my post to draft form. After that, I apologized to my friend and the bad feelings went away. All was right again.
Here's the deal: I cherish my friendships. The bond I have with my friends is incredibly strong, yet at the same time, it's vulnerable and fragile. I don't want to put a single one of my friendships at risk. I don't want my beautiful group of hens to ever feel as though they are being recorded when we gab, that every single thing they say is fair game for one of my random blog posts.
I don't want my friends to be wary around me. One of the things I love most about the women in my life is their ability to talk about anything and everything. We can begin a conversation discussing politics and end up crying on each other's shoulders because someone called us a bad name in kindergarten. From my friends I have learned things that will stick with me forever (for instance, fold the damn clothes as you take them out of the dryer...takes just a few minutes longer and BAM they're folded. Thank you, Leslie!) and I have felt a kinship and a love that actually takes my breath away at times.
I'm going to take another look at the post I wrote, and see if I can rework it so that nobody I love will feel exposed. Because I think it's a topic that pretty much everyone has an opinion about, and it's yet another one of my shout outs to that ever-expanding club, Single Mamas.
It may end up never seeing the light of internet again, and that's okay too. Because I don't ever want my friends to wonder:
Where does the friend end, and the blogger begin?
P.S. Don't ever play the game Ruzzle. Do you hear me? NEVER. But if you do, start a game with me. My name on there is happyhaus. I only play late at night during the week, though, so be patient.