Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thank you

Today I haven't anything topical to report, so I'd just like to use today's allotment of your attention to thank you for your support and kind comments on my post discussing how I moved on after leaving an abusive spouse. I have not had to delete any comments, and I only received one indication via email that I had made anyone uncomfortable, but even this discomfort was tempered with a general message of encouragement.

The main question I got from this emailer was, why would you choose to reveal so much about your personal life?

My immediate internal reaction was, had I not been revealing a great deal about my personal life already? I've explicitly mentioned a breakup, hinted at a new relationship, speculated on the afterlife of my pet rabbit, and shown you my underwear. Twice.

I am *very* touched that I have attracted a handful of loyal readers whom I do not know in the meat world, and, moreover, that most of you/them are women. Clearly you aren't stalkers with a sexual interest; you just think I'm cool and interesting. That being the case, I thought it would be encouraging to show that cool, interesting people who have kickass lives also have shit happen to them. The thing is, being cool and interesting and kickass is precisely what helps people to recover from said shit.

One of my favorite writers, Heather Lende, wrote a light, touching, and unabashedly sentimental memoir about recovering from literally being run over by a truck. In it, she describes how the doctors were amazed at how well she healed and regained almost full mobility, despite the much more likely outcome of death or permanent paralysis. The doctors attributed her astonishing recovery to her having been in excellent overall health before the accident. Her healing is also aided by her increasing activity level as soon as it is safe to do so, and eventually returning to running, hiking, biking, and hunting.

So, too, do we strengthen ourselves against and recover from emotional blows by maintaining an active life that engages us with the full breadth of the world. Maybe my way doesn't work for everyone, but I find that I don't need to soothe all of my pains away for all of my scars to heal. Trees deal with their scars just fine, by growing a protective layer over them and then effectively shrugging and moving on, continuing to grow as strong, healthy trees. I find that I do best after a crisis if I accept some pain and just get up and get on with life, and let time do the rest.

Finally, I must say that while it was good to get that post down and those thoughts off my chest, it didn't feel so personal to me. Maybe because the years have, indeed, soothed over the wounds, and I wouldn't even have thought of it at all if it hadn't been for my approaching birthday and my annual exercise. Of my recent posts, I sincerely think I've bared the most of my soul in this one. I share what I consider to be an unusually intimate bond with my dogs, and it felt a little... private, I guess, to show the one of me spooning Autumn. But no-one seemed to notice (or comment on) that peek at vulnerability.

I've been blogging now for four years, and although I am still rarely short of material, the going theme of, "I'm a California girl adjusting to Alaska and learning all of these cool new things!" doesn't work any more as I've become integrated into the Alaskan life and no longer have an eye for what is and isn't novelty. So the focus of this blog may well drift a bit, and I thank you all for staying with it.

I already live a life surrounded by unearned blessings, and this blog has definitely added to it.


Trudie said...

I began blogging when I became seriously ill almost 4 years ago, with the purpose to keep friends and family informed about what was happening. Since then both I and the blog have gone through some major changes and sometimes I'm quite personal, but more often not.
I enjoy reading your blog regardless of what you write about and I think you've found a good balance between the personal and the less personal.

Rena said...

It's what makes you you! And I'm appreciative of your blog because I can "pop in" on you and learn how you're doing at 1am.
I am sometimes surprised by how, er, openly you write. But come to think of it, that's how you are when chatting face-to-face. You'd probably show us your underwear in the meat world too, right?

Arvay said...

@Trudie: Thank you!

@Rena: I'll show you mine if you show me yours. :)

Anonymous said...

I have followed your blog for a couple of years. I really enjoy your posts about your life and animals and I love your sense of humor!

I thought your post of the Avery of 8 years ago/Avery of the future was a beautiful post of a strong woman who has dealt with pain in her life and has moved on.

Most of the time when I pick up on hints of changes in your life, I simply do not comment or ask. As someone you have never met, and will probably never meet, I am appreciative of what you choose to share and I respect your boundaries.

Arvay said...

@Anon 4:42:
Thank you very much for your kindness.

flying fish said...

I love that you mention Heather as one of your examples/heroes, she is an amazing woman. Seeing her around town you'd never imagine she wasn't supposed to walk again.'s what makes us us? Maybe it's what makes us better at being us? Dunno, but I do love reading about your life and your fur friends.

Arvay said...

@ff: Why, thank you!

Debs said...

I've read your blog from the start, and know some of the past from the ex-forum we first met on, which I am slightly shocked to realise was over 10 years ago now! I also admire the way you are able to write openly, and that is partly why this is one of only a handful of blogs I've ever read more than once (and is actually the only one I am currently reading).

Just to say keep it up. Life is what you make of it, as you know. We all have challenging times (you've had more than your fair in some areas), and I'm really just happy for you that you got through that time in your past, and are living your life is as it is now.