I’ve been writing Privilege for 3 years now. Here’s the first post ever. Proof positive that people can learn and improve.
On blog anniversaries, I like to summarize and check in. Last year Privilege Reported To The Board, in corporate speak. Now that the blog is no longer my work, I thought a confession in a bar after work more appropriate.
Imagine, then, we agreed to gather at 6:00pm. I arrive at 6:20, apologizing for tardiness. Someone needed to discuss something important, truly important, and I couldn’t get away. If Five Minutes Early Is On Time, 20 minutes late is criminal. I throw my scarf and peacoat over the back of a chair, hang a up ugly nylon backpack. You tease me that I must be really busy if I’m still carrying that thing. I sit down with a thwump and a rush. Elbows hit the bar.
You all are 2 fingers into your libation of choice. I order a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, because a martini will get me too giddy too quickly I ask the waiter to bring us all some protein. Whether it’s ahi poke, or mini-sliders, or tofu teryaki I don’t care. It’s on me. I insist.
I ask politely how everyone is doing. But that takes force of will, because I want so badly to launch into the following:
You all who have been blogging all this while in full-time day jobs? Hats off to you, my friends, and a deep curtsy. Forehead to floor. It’s non-trivial, blogging well while one works.
Still, I feel lucky. The blog mostly holds its own. How so? In the last month we had a little over 55,000 page views, and 13,000 unique visitors. Views down a tad from last year, which makes sense since I post less often, visitor numbers about the same. Subscribers are up to around 2,000. I feel quite grateful that we’ve weathered the transition to Lisa Blogs And Works And Shows You Lots Of V-Neck Cashmere Sweaters.
Of course I had to make some changes. (I know, we’re in a bar, what’s with the bullet points? I have no excuse.)
- Posting less often, two times a week and once on Saturdays.
- Focusing more narrowly, on style and travel. Except Saturdays.
- While High WASP deconstruction will show up occasionally, I have to limit controversial topics like social class, as the response nearly brings me to my knees. I have only so much stamina, and right now the job takes its fair share. Fair enough since they pay me.
- It’s not the Internet’s fault, by the way, that those posts are received with opprobrium. I try for too many layers of meaning. High WASPs exist, but they shouldn’t, but they do, but I see the problem, but I still belong. And so on. Let’s face it, after the second but everyone’s wondering, “What Is That Lady’s Problem?!?”
So all I really regret about working is that I can no longer reply to all your comments. I tried. Failed. I tried replying to none of them. I felt too rude. Now I reply here and there, but read everything you say, devotedly. Promise, if you want a response, you’ll email me?
All right. Let’s say we are two drinks in. That’s my limit, these days, and even so a little more than good for the buttoned lip. This is what I’ve learned from blogging.
We all have voices. In the spoken world, there’s a lot going on, at any one time. Even the clearest voice may fragment – in banter, in worry, in anger.
Writing allows us to listen to ourselves without fracture. To observe our own knuckles on the keyboard. Writing on the Internet, which is really all I know, finds friends for the unspoken voice. In turn, those friends, and that voice, come back to teach the self that otherwise lives in pieces.
I think of blogging as lessons on what life and identity might be, had we infinite time and place.
Last year, I took a quarterly blog break. But, as I said, Privilege is no longer my job. As a result, I don’t need that particular vacation. Thank you all so much.