I wrote two weeks ago about Freudenschade, I have been thinking a lot about Lindsey's comment on that post. In her characteristically eloquent way, she wrote: "Most of the things people say to us, most of the criticism, judgment, or, even, approval, is about them and not us. We are mostly screens for other people to publish their own issues onto."
I have thought about the truth and wisdom of Lindsey's words, and the ways in which they apply to my life, particularly in the context of blogging - in the blogs that I choose to read and the comments I leave there. It occurs to me that my life in the blogosphere is really about seeking validation. Do I simply search out people who reflect back to me what I want to see in myself? And, if so, is that a bad thing?
I have been blogging now for one month and one day. During that time, I have found a number of bloggers whose words stir me, whose stories resonate with me. Almost all of those writers are women; almost all of those women are mothers; almost all of those mothers seem to share my general ideas about balancing selfhood and motherhood. So when I read their words, I often think to myself, "Oh yes, that is so smart." But perhaps what I really mean is, "Oh yes, that is just what I think so it must be right." Meanwhile, when I follow a link to a blogger whose writing style, basic beliefs, or realm of experience is far different from my own, I don't usually stick around too long, click, click, clicking my way back to safe territory.
In other words, I don't spend much time in this world challenging my assumptions; most of my time is engaged in assuming my assumptions are the valid ones.
And I think that is both good and bad. It is good because I have started to uncover a community of like-minded people, an audience to listen and voices that need the affirmation that I want to give. I have written before about the need to share vulnerable information; never would I have imagined the immense satisfaction I have found in doing so here. So I have no interest in or intention of disconnecting from these writers and their words.
But I also question my own tendency to fall into the trap Lindsey outlined, my preference for a pot unstirred and waters untroubled.
I wonder what else I should be reading. To rock my boat a bit. Maybe even to rock yours.
And here's where you come in. I have two questions for you today, followed by, in the fashion of academia, a call for submissions:
What types of blogs do you read? Do you think it's natural, productive, dangerous, or all of the above to seek out only the type of writer you yourself wish to be?
Please give me the name and url of a blogger who is going to challenge me and the other members of this community to think outside of that proverbial box and maybe even invalidate some of our assumptions.