Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Catharsis, Meaning & the Purpose of Blogging

I haven't reread what I wrote last night yet but I will. I remember it pretty well actually. No, I'm not actually that miserable, no I'm unlikely to ever seriously contemplate suicide; yes, I do have a poor self image and think I'm a loser, but usually I can keep most of it at bay. Last night some of the evil twin crept out: she has a way of doing that now and then. But that aside, the nature of that post kind of ties into a lot of what I've been thinking about lately, which is this blog and why it's here. Hey celebration? Today makes it exactly one year, 365 days, that this blog has been going. I never thought I could keep something like this alive for this long and I have. And, oddly enough, I'm proud of it. And I don't plan on stopping, either (cue groans of dismay; somebody have a nice beepy .wav file of groans of dismay?) but I am thinking about why I started it, what it's become, whether there's a reason or a rhyme that I'm here almost every day, drunk or sober, happy or sad, ranting or sane.

I started for several reasons, which are, in order of importance:
1. To see if I had the discipline to keep a journal going, for the first time in my life (I've never been able to keep a handwritten journal for long; I have books that I've been writing in for oh, ten years, and they're not full; one or two entries a year, or a bunch at a bad time, you know the drill.)
2. To write regularly, to improve my writing.
3. For catharsis; for an outlet for things I couldn't or wouldn't actually say out loud.
4. To see if I could be consistently relatively funny. People have been telling me I'm funny for years (yeah, maybe they meant the other kind of funny, don't think I don't know that) and I wanted to see if I could in fact be funny to people who don't even know me, which leads to the next goal ~
5. To get an audience, make new friends (including just maybe some single cheerfully tolerant guy with a great sense of humor who likes dogs, trucks and guitars; I need a truck right now actually, damn) and become famous, turn this into a best selling novel which will then become a heartwarming Disney film, netting me many millions. No, wait, that was what I was going to do with the Blind Dog Blog, and we all know how that turned out. Tim Burton might option the screen rights, or David Lynch; it's not Disney material, alas. But I'd be lying if I said friends and fame and fortune wasn't at least part of a motive here at Hangover Central as well.

Over the past year I've gotten a little audience (key word here is little) and I've had to re-examine what I'm doing and change it bit by bit. I've started censoring myself somewhat, because I know a lot of my friends read this thing and I don't want to ever be mean or hurt anyone's feelings. Then I feel angry because I can't be mean and that messes with goal number 3. Then I usually go ahead and hurt their feelings anyway, and then I feel gruesome, so I either delete it or forget it happened. I've thought about starting yet another blog, a blog that would just be straight bitchiness, all anonymous, all the time, but I have never been any good at preserving anonymity and honestly I don't want to. Also, I don't have the energy, for that or for the all drunken ranting miserable catharsis blog either.

But it makes me wonder if I'm doing all this for the right reasons, and whether I should just try to be funny and light all the time. Probably, but I don't think I really can. I don't compartmentalize, you see, I tend to be fairly WYSIWYG, and it's all tied together. Thus: occasional meanness, occasional catharsis shedding of the evil twin misery. Getting cathartic also tends to interfere rather dreadfully with goals number 4 and 5, but it ranks higher than they do, so sometimes it comes out. I guess you kind of have to take the dark with the light; I think that's just who I am.

Some people (especially relatives) get quite horrified by this blog; they think it's awful that I don't hide more. They are probably right. God knows I get embarrassed too. Maybe there's more exhibitionism going on here than I want to admit; maybe catharsis is a nice word for total lunacy, I don't know. But for the most part, I'm pretty happy with it, and I don't intend to start seriously censoring it, and I can't promise to be all funny all the time, but I'll try.

And thank you, whoever you are, for being around and checking it out and reading it occasionally or often and commenting (not enough!) and sending me sweet emails - I really appreciate it and I hope that, for the most part, it has entertained or interested or made you giggle or at least not back away from your computer too often in horrified disgust feeling like you need to bleach your eyeballs.

Now, bring out the noisemakers! Bring out the cake! And comment, damn you, comment! It's been ONE FULL YEAR OF HANGOVER JOURNALS!


Uptown Ruler said...

happy blog birthday!

Anonymous said...

Hiya! Yep, rest assured many more folks than you may think read your blog. Somehow, you calm me..... Cumpleanos Feliz, Hangover Journal!
--A Fellow AshEVILlian

Frisbee Girl said...

WooT! mgl, just started reading you a few weeks ago. *scratches head* I think. Fuck, I'm either getting old or going crazy as linear time is losing all practical application in my brain. In ANY event, I love it. I'm also sometimes stuck between commenting and not, because we interact over in MeCha and I always think you're wickedly funny and smart as hell. But the idea of seeming like some sort of obsequious sychophant is rather nauseating, so I tend to err on the side of quietude. Or quiet attitude. Or something.

All this to say, congrats and great work and please don't ever stop. kthnx.

mygothlaundry said...

Yay! Thanks y'all, I appreciate it. I will now dance about singing happy birthday to my blog, oh joy joy. I'm glad y'all are here.

Edgy Mama said...


Sounds like you've had a tough few days. Glad you're back. Keep writing, girl.

Screwy Hoolie said...

Happy Birthday to yer blog!
Happy Birthday to yer blog!
Happy Birthday bloggy bloggy...
Happy Birthday to yer blog!

Anonymous said...

Well... that's quiet interessting but honestly i have a hard time determining it... wonder how others think about this..