I write here with little regard for how I’m perceived. I don’t curate, edit, or even polish my thoughts. Most posts, I write and post (or schedule to post) in a single, flowing motion. I typically reread what I’ve written once, but not more before I hit “publish,” or, more often, “schedule.”
Occasionally, I spend a bit more time editing, polishing, but when I do, I do so with a view toward making my writing be better, not to exercise greater discretion or control over the thoughts to which I give voice.
As a result, what you read here (if you read here) is raw, unvarnished, confessional. It’s a view that penetrates pretty deeply into my soul. And that is my goal: to explore my soul, but to do so in semi-public. I find it cathartic, soothing, balming, to expose my thoughts, feelings, fantasies, as I do here.
This project makes for tough reading, sometimes. I’m not a perfect human. I have raw, shameless parts of me that I don’t for a minute hesitate to share. Some readers find that fact alone compelling. Others find not just the exposure, but the contents of that exposure, compelling. Interesting. Thought-provoking. Enraging. Disgusting. Contemptible.
That’s all fine.
I don’t write to please you, or even to entertain you. I write for my purposes, almost all of which are intrapsychic. Almost all of which don’t depend on eliciting any particular response among my readers.
Still, I’m sensitive. When someone reacts strongly to something I’ve written, I can’t deny that it affects me. When I turn someone on? That turns me on. When I make someone think differently about something? That makes me feel intelligent. When I provoke a conversation from which I can learn, I feel grateful. And when I provoke a reaction that feels contrary to my own understanding of myself, of the world, I try to understand.
When someone sees things differently than do I in a way I can’t quite grasp, I feel a powerful itch, an urge to engage, for the purpose of closing what feels like an almost painful gap in comprehension, in meaning. It irks me – not emotionally, but intellectually – when I simply can’t cause myself to occupy another’s perspective.
This is a skill, in many contexts. I’m much better at understanding, at empathizing with, those whose views differ from mine than your average bear. I don’t need to agree with someone to accept, even to allow myself to occupy, their perspective.
And at the same time, in other contexts, it wounds me.