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A new milestone... a new low. - Paint It Black
Living the American dream one heartbreaking piece at a time
A new milestone... a new low.
I've just finished a bit of a tour of the history of my journal. As I take a look back at things I see that I have written three private entries in the last three weeks. By private I don't mean "friends only" in any sense of the word -- I quite literally mean private, as in "only I can see them."

Does anybody care to take a guess how many private entries I've written in total to date? If you guessed "three" then you're right! All three of the private entries that I've ever written since this journal's inception have been written in the last three weeks.

When I first started this journal I expressly stated that friends-only entries would be kept to a minimum and private entries would be right out of the question. Here I am, though, two years and three private entries later. This discrepency in what I said I would do and what I really did bothers me a great deal. Each time I found myself faced with the decision about the "security level" of the posts in question I found myself struggling. Each one was fought over a great deal, it was never a snap or trivial decision. In the end I think that I wouldn't have made them private if I didn't have very compelling reasons. To give a brief summary of my reasoning process, I will say this: mainly I had some things that I wanted to write about that I didn't think were suitable for public consumption, and I didn't want to burden my friends with them either. I didn't want to solicit feedback. I didn't want the headache associated with it. See, I'm one of those people who tends to talk to himself when he's addressing an issue. I do so because it helps when I verbalize my problems, I am better able to identify the issues at hand and it allows my mind to wade through it all. It's sort of like a mental housecleaning and inventory, where I can stack all the parts into different bins and label them. Once they're labeled I can step back, take a moment to appraise it all, select the most important thing from the queue and set it on my workbench. Then I go to town, disassembling it, taking it apart piece by piece until I find the problem and have a way to fix it.

For me, a private entry is sort of the text equivalent of that habit of talking things out. The added benefit is that it gives me a chance to record my thoughts and analyze them. I'm able to retrieve it at will for future reference -- this is why I like the LiveJournal concept in general. When I do it as a private entry I'm doing this same thing, but I am doing it without making it something other people have to wade through.

I remain disappointed in myself. It seems like I've just broken a promise. Maybe it's only a small one (and you could say it was meaningless as it really was only made to myself) but it's still disheartening.

I said to my reflection, "Let's get out of this place"

Current Mood: discontent discontent
Current Music: The Mavericks - Fool #1

4 thoughts or Leave a thought
shelbystripes From: shelbystripes Date: September 28th, 2003 06:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey, dude. Do whatever you need to for you. It's your damn journal. If you wanna write things that you're not gonna share with me or anyone else, I don't care. You do what you need for your benefit in your journal. You need private entries? I don't mind. You obviously have good reason for it.
tuftears From: tuftears Date: September 28th, 2003 06:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just so you know, I have some private entries too, and some locked to a very small circle of friends. Nothing wrong with it. It may seem as if you're publishing your LJ for the entertainment and edification of your friends, but it's still first and foremost, your journal, soemthing you can look back in later and remember how you felt about something.
urocyon From: urocyon Date: September 28th, 2003 08:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
"We fear change."
--Garth, Wayne's World
lcremeans From: lcremeans Date: September 29th, 2003 08:22 am (UTC) (Link)
I tell myself this a lot, too; in the two and a half years (ObDrBrown: "My God, has it been that long?") I've had my LJ, I've had maybe a half-dozen friends-only entries, if that. I did go through and sanitize a few entries in the past, particularly when I was panicking about film2edit in late 2002, but other than that, my friends-only entries have been constrained to things that either talk about work or my personal life in more detail than I'm willing to air publically (i.e. "I'm either crushing on someone, got yelled at by the boss, or whining about something I by all means shouldn't be").

I only ever use private entries when I'm editing a long entry (rare now that I use Semagic from home) or ranting (which has only happened once).

4 thoughts or Leave a thought