My second cousin Isaac coined the phrase “fifty-fifty feelings” this weekend. He’s 9. His family was supposed to come to the wedding, but after a snafu involving lightning and a Delta terminal, they got stranded in Minneapolis. He was crushed. No one, except maybe my Dibi, rocks a dance floor quite like Isaac. But, the upside: He has cousins his age in Minneapolis.
“I have fifty-fifty feelings,” he told his grandmother, my aunt, over the phone. He wanted to be with us, but he wanted to be with them. He was sad but also happy at the same time. You could call it mixed feelings, but how brilliant is fifty-fifty?
Well, Isaac, I’ve got ‘em, too. About blogging.
This weekend was incredible from start to finish. Pop Pop made it, like he’d dreamed. We threw a party in the hotel room, like my mom said we would. The family was together, and Flat Dibi was the biggest hit. But here I am at home, and what now? Do I write about it? Do I share what it was like to tuck Pop Pop into bed? What it felt like to see his eyes, his puffy red lids, fill with tears when he saw the father of the bride, his son?
It feels like too much. It feels too personal. I want to share our stories, but I want the stories to be ours to keep. I love knowing that they might resonate with people, that they might inspire others to connect with different generations, but I hate the idea of this becoming like a reality show. Don’t get me wrong, Arthur and Bernie are no Jon and Kate — how many people read this, really? — it’s just that I’d never want to overstep or overshare. I don’t want my family to feel like I’m following them around with a notepad, scribbling down details. I want to remember this weekend, this entire period of my life with Arthur and Bernie, but… I dunno. Do I want to do it publicly? I have fifty-fifty feelings.
Maybe this is stemming from something my mom said on Sunday. We were walking with Pop Pop back to our adjoining rooms, and he said there was no way in hell he’d use a wheelchair later. He would use his walker, and that was final. She turned to me. ”I sense a blog post coming on.”
It was an innocent comment. She didn’t roll her eyes or mean an ounce of harm. But the more I think about it, the more I think, eww. I don’t want our moments to be interrupted by anything, especially by me or anybody else thinking, hey, you gotta write this down! Hey, what a great post!
Or maybe, in part, these fifty-fifty feelings are related to a realization that I’ve only told a handful of friends and family about my blog. I have 400+ followers on Twitter, but I only know four in real life. Is that weird? I’ve always been a writer, and I’ve written for all sorts of publications, some small, some big. I’ve had no problem showing people my work in the past. It’s just here, now, as I’m writing from my own point of view instead of from a reporter’s, that it feels a little scary. Somewhat self-indulgent, too. Why is my story so important? Why am I spending time doing this? I know the answer — this is what I’m passionate about — but, then, why am I having trouble owning up to it?
I can’t be the first person to feel this way. Surely there are others out there — you, perhaps? — who feel compelled to write, to express themselves, but wonder if they’re doing it the right way. I know, I know, there’s no right way. There are no rules. I guess all I can do, as cliche as it sounds, is continue to follow my heart and listen to my gut. If they say eww, I’ll stop or I’ll rewrite. I’ll promise myself to reframe until I have 100 percent feelings about whatever it is I’m posting. And maybe, with a little courage, some day soon I’ll be ready to let the people in my real world into this also-very-real one.