20 October 2012

What's so Amazing?

    It's been a while since I've stopped to write a thoughtful post here. I've been busy working on my other blog, KeaNeato.net, on which I try to make daily posts. That's possible because the posts are shorter, usually a photo or a link. Sometimes I do get a little more verbose, but I'm saving some things for Dragonfly Wars.
     For instance, I wrote a post on KeaNeato.net called "One Amazing Thing — How much do we reveal of ourselves to others?" I based the post, the question, on a book, One Amazing Thing, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Characters in the book are asked to share one amazing thing about their lives. I won't take the time to explain it all here — see my KeaNeato post.
     I'm following up on the question of how much I should, can, may, may not, reveal myself to others here because it's more the point of this blog. As I wrote in my first post here, this blog's title, "Dragonfly Wars," relates to the conflicts inside a person, between fear and beauty, ignorance and acceptance. It's about whether I should live my life "out loud" or keep myself safer by writing outside the lines (that is, in generalities).
     I'm not sure what that means, exactly — I'm having trouble expressing myself for some reason. I think that's because of the topic. I'm uncomfortable with how much I want to write about all facets of my life and how much of it I know might be too revealing.
     But writing just this much is like leaving clues that only make people guess at the answers, and guessing can be dangerous. Folks might think one thing about you and so their thoughts get caught up down one road or another, when you're just really meaning to point them to a path.
     Maybe I can do it a little at a time.
     So, I go back to the question: If someone asked me to tell "one amazing thing" about my life, what would my answer be? My first thought is there is nothing amazing about my life. Not in the sense of what we see as amazing in the lives of others — the real and fictional folks we see on TV and in the movies. Of course, those people have really lived extraordinary lives. Perhaps I'm putting too much into the word "amazing."
     Dictionary.com defines "amazing" as "causing great surprise or wonder." That's quite different from extraordinary, which labels someone as "exceptional in character," "noteworthy," and "remarkable."     So, that takes a load off, doesn't it? I don't have to be "exceptional in character," I just have to cause great surprise or wonder. I can do that. I've had quite the life. But, is it really that different from anyone else's? Maybe it's because who I am now contrasts so greatly to who I have been.
     I'm a successful editor; I have a master's degree in journalism, and I put myself through both undergrad and graduate school. You can read more about that kind of stuff on my LinkedIn page.
     But how did I get here? Well, for one, I have benefited from white privilege. What? Yes, I said it. It's hard to notice if you don't have anything to contrast it with, but I know it's there. I read a really good blog about this called, "Straight White Male: The lowest difficulty setting there is." The author writes that even if you start at a lower level than other people, getting ahead in the game is just easier if you're a straight white male. It's easier if you're a male in general, but compared to the lives of other women, Straight White Female has to be pretty low on the difficulty setting as well.
     But yes, I did start off with a lot of things against me, and life growing up was hard. Maybe very hard, depending on your point of view.
     Stop. This is where I start wondering — how much more do I write? Anything more and I'll be stepping over that threshold, revealing PRIVATE things. Not that there's anything to hide...
     Oh, the conflict! Maybe this is where I end for now — leaving us both hanging (you, the reader, and me, the writer). If I were writing anonymously, I might be more bold. Who am I worried about? What am I worried about? My professional life, my parents. What if someone I work for reads this blog? How will it affect my job? What about my parents? Is this my story or their story? Is it right to include them in this?
     So, "gentle reader," this is where I ask for your feedback, your thoughts? What would you do?