Why expose my family -- my wife and kids in particular -- to the world for its viewing judgment, and for potential public ridicule. (It’s not that public, no post of mine has ever gotten more than a few hundred hits). But seriously, why would anyone blog?Why put yourself out there, like an open book, to be judged, or liked, or defriended. Are bloggers just masochists (not that kinds of masochist), or a narcissists, or some other “ist” I’m not even aware of yet?
Thinking about it makes me wonder why any of us do the things we do, especially the public things. Why do we sing, or act, or take pictures that we share, or aspire to cook for large groups of people? Are all these, in some ways, just self-aggrandizing endeavors?
Then, the other day, I was watching one of my favorite writers, a self-described “essayists,” who was talking about his own version of this affliction. The essayist was Anthony Bourdain. He doesn’t know me, but I consider him a personal friend. And, yes, I know how stupid that sounds.
To give an understanding of my level fondness for Bourdain -- one I’m sure I share with many friends of equally good taste in writing, food and drink -- he makes my short list of the people from all of history I’d have dinner with, given the chance. The list: Mark Twain, Cal Ripken and Anthony Bourdain. If nothing else, we’d tie on a good buzz -- after Cal went to bed, of course.
Tony, as those of us who know him well call him, said the following describing what exactly he does for a living:
Hearing that, something clicked. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do with this dumb blog. And to say I wanted to isn’t even accurate. I can’t help it. It just comes out of me, like it really needs to get out and into the open air. It's cathartic.
It’s like my brother who has to bring his guitar to every campfire he attends. Or my photographer friends can't walk away from a gathering without a memory card full of pictures. Writing about my life, about what I think, what I see, and what I feel, is all I know to do. When I don’t do it, I feel less whole.
It may annoy some people when I put up the umpteenth story about my too-cute-for-words kids. (I know, that alone is barf-worthy). And I may have caused some friends to block the incessant self-promotion of these so-called “bits.” But writing is part of who I am.
I see stuff. I write about that. I write about how it made me feel at the time. If I can do it honestly, that’s about all I can hope for ... I think.