This month's B4B mission? Use the title of E. Lockhart's book "Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything" as a jumping off point.
I've gotten used to buzzing through some windows each day with my morning coffee (really, it's a pepsi, but doesn't it sound better to say you have a morning latte or cappuccino, than admit to preferring full-sugar soda?). A quick glimpse into the life of this stranger, and it's on to the next one, and another set of experiences to absorb. I've found comfort from women so like me it's scary, inspiration from people worlds away, and guidance from some who are already living my dreams.
It started out with a simple google years ago. I don't remember what I was searching for when I stumbled on that first personal website (I'm not sure I'd even heard the word blog at the time...), but I was hooked immediately. Her writing was poignant and engaging. In those days, she was anonymous, which was intriguing in and of itself. I lost hours of productive work time that day going through her archives. Little by little, I started expanding my reading list by clicking through the links on her sidebar.
It was her identity reveal and link to a newly published New York Times article, however, that really expanded things for me. The article was a cautionary tale of dating in the age of the internet where you can google your dates, check to see if their online profiles are still active, and face temptation to cyberstalk them via their online presence if things don't work out. It exposed a love triangle that, to insiders, had played out on three separate blogs over the course of months the previous year. That their story ended with all three parties on friendly terms freed her to share their story. I'd read her bits and pieces of it. To be able to now go and mine the others' archives during that time period was a delicious bit of voyeurism. It also led me to the redhead's blog. Her raw honesty was almost a challenge to follow her example to process out loud and live like you mean it.
Little by little, as my list of morning reads grew, I started thinking of claiming my own bit of cyberspace. The idea of writing on a regular basis was appealing to me in the abstract, but for a long while that wasn't quite enough. Facing the reality of a friendship with benefits that was wildly out of balance, however, was. I needed somewhere to process what was going through my head. Somewhere more than just my journal or emails to friends who, I was sure, had heard about this crisis three times too many.
So I started writing here--all of the things I wanted to tell him but couldn't, and in time, anything else that came to mind. Eventually, I even told a select few I was doing it. Over the past year, it's been a sanctuary, a sounding board and even an ego boost. And since I try to adhere to a few real world rules from mom (don't ever say something about someone you wouldn't want them to hear. don't lie.), I don't even mind that an increasing number of my real-world friends visit me here.
The only hard bit now is explaining why I do it to someone who doesn't groove on even the teensiest bit of voyeurism, or need a creative outlet. So far, they're the only ones who have intimated they think it's a self-important, indulgent practice (it doesn't help that they're usually also distrustful of the internet in general). For now, I choose to not share my window's not-so-secret code with them. Everyone else? They're welcome to pop on in and be a fly on my wall for a change.