Last week a girl stayed at our house. As part of the application process for the school, applicants are required to spend a week here, taking classes and getting to know people. It's a good idea. This place is so unique, and a person really needs to get a taste of what they are getting themselves into before they commit to being here for 8 months.
This girl was the oldest scout we've had so far and I really got along well with her. My parents were here too, and while I was doing other things my mom talked to the scout and got to know her a bit. We all ended up going out for dinner which was nice. Because my mom was here, blogs came up and mine was mentioned in passing.
When the scout was leaving, she asked me for my blog address. Actually, what she said was, "Oh, you'll have to give me your blog address!". I laughed. It wasn't a laugh of happiness, it was the kind of laugh that happens when someone does something that displays their ignorance, that shows how little they know about you. It was a 'wow, are you ever presumptuous - I haven't even given my brother my blog address yet' sort of a laugh. I thought it was funny that this stranger would assume that I would give this almost-secret to her. I suppose that to some people a blog is just a way to share some thoughts with the world, but to me it is a vulnerable space. I said something non-commital and then went to my room and thought furiously for a few minutes.
Did I want to share this part of my life with a stranger? Granted, a stranger that I like and that I wouldn't mind getting to know better, but a stranger? Did I have the guts to say, actually I don't want to share this with you, sorry? Or did it matter that much to me?
I eventually decided to give her the address with the by-now-customary "I alone can give this address to people so don't share it" tag line. It might seem a little strange to be so tight-fisted with this site address when it could randomly come up when someone hits the 'next blog' button on another site. I know that some would argue that I spread this site around by posting comments on other blogs (I would argue that I could choose to anonymously post comments, so that is a choice). For some reason, to give this page of thoughts to someone I know is a different thing than to have someone I don't know reading it. And H. scout is someone who could possibly be involved in my life here next year.
I am realizing that regardless of who reads this blog, I have to be honest. I am realizing that I cannot censor myself so that I won't hurt someone who reads my words. That is not what I want this to be. And I am realizing that neither is this a place where I want to vent - that is what my hardcopy journal is for, because while I will not censor myself, I do not desire to harm people either, especially if it serves no purpose but to get it out of my system. I have less harmful ways of doing that. But overall, this is my blog. These are my thoughts, and sometimes they will hurt those who read them. Sometimes they hurt me, writing them. But I know there is a huge difference between hurting and harming, and I never want to harm with my words - ever.
These are all things that I would not have realized as quickly if H. scout had not been so innocently presumptuous, so I really ought to thank her.
Perhaps I already have.