Monday, June 17, 2013

In Which I Admit To My Elephant in the Blog

       Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors. David Dowd turned me on to him waaay back in 1989 during one of our infamous stints as camp counselors at Camp Glisson. David had started reading some comic called Sandman. One or two issues and I was sucked into Gaiman’s writing where stories were told against the backdrop of dreams. One of my favorite supporting characters was Lucien the Librarian of the Dream Realm. Lucien was responsible for sorting and keeping not just all the stories ever told but also those that were “dreamed off.”  Needless to say, Lucien had a pretty big library complete with what David and I referred to as the Stephen King Wing.

            I share this because it sort of sets up my line of thinking. My last blog was in March and so much has happened since then. Loads of rich materials for me to mine for some great stories have passed back and forth in front of me. Don’t think I haven’t sat there and tried to weave a few new stories to share. Over the past two weeks, I have my share of blogs for Lucien to keep track of. There are at least three unfinished blogs stored on my jump drive. Frankly, I have worries this one won’t make it either.

            At first, I just chalked it up to lack of focus. No one has ever accused Robby Richardson of being highly focused and motivated. After that, I just figured I was swamped between school, getting the kids to where they needed to be, dialysis needs, and preparing for Mary’s wedding.  That wasn’t it either.

            My problem is actually quite ironic in that I had always hoped my blog would gather a small following but I never anticipated it being used against me or my family. I started this blog several months before I met my now lovely talented wife Kim. She also writes an outstanding blog. For the first time in my life, I really enjoyed the actual process of writing and then sharing which helped me to grow. Historically, when I write, I come up with a topic and if it sticks in my head for a bit, I just sit down and try to write as honestly as possible.

            Many moons ago, I wrote about an individual who kept popping up into our lives in a non-productive manner and I used this blog twice as a forum to vent my frustrations. In spite of never actually naming this individual or using any real information that could be linked to him, this leads to Kim in court mediation. The bottom line means Kim has agreed to no longer use this individual’s name in her blog and I have also followed suit. (Ironically, I have never actually used his name but stuck to the nick name, “The Lurker”.)

            This is the hard part to talk about. First, I don’t like to be told what to do especially when expressing myself. I had considered dropping the blog for quite some time. Truth be told, I was actually a small part of the equation and most of this court stuff was focused on Kim. I think my part was more of an afterthought by the lurker so I have tried to support my wife by not rocking the boat.

            It may sound odd but it’s hard to write in your own voice while second guessing all that you write. I’d ask myself as I type, “If I type this, can it be turned back on Kim and myself?” I also found myself trying to find clever ways to strike back. “Look at my beautiful family,” I’d think. “See what you missed out on?” But as I’d write, I began to see how this thinly veiled form of contempt began to poison my writing. I wasn’t just playing the Lurker’s game but allowing myself to get sucked in. I tried to write about other things going on but somehow I always returned to a dig at the Lurker.

            You never saw any of those blogs. Those guys have gone the way of the dodo. I’m glad I never printed those. I told some pretty neat stories like going to the Daddy-Daughter Dance with Roni, Kim’s Mother Day, Free Comic Book Day with Jude and his cousins, and my sister’s awesome wedding. Yet as special as these moments were to me, the writing was tainted by my constant need to thumb my nose at the Lurker as he frustrated my wife and upset our statjus quo. That’s not right and I freely admit it. It’s also not right to you as a reader. I have tried to share anecdotes about my life and the joys of being a step-dad and I allowed pettiness cloud my judgment.

            I don’t apologize for the previous entries. They were written honestly and from my heart. I didn’t lie or do those original blogs to call anyone out. There was no malice involved. It was an honest peek into the Life of Robby on that particular day. I won’t allow myself to say I’ll never write another entry like those again either. If I do, I do promise that it’s done because it’s a relevant situation and not a way to get a dig in. It’s taken me a few months to get here but I’d like to think by calling out the elephant in the room, I can move ahead as a writer and a storyteller. From here on out, I plan to keep writing without fear of reprisal and more importantly,not using my stories as a weapon.

            I’d also like to reiterate something I wrote a long time ago. My hand is always outstretched to work together, Mr. Lurker. For the sake and well being of those two little beings that I love dearly, I’ll gladly put myself out on a limb and always will. We don't have to agree but when we bicker, it's the kids who pay the price. Meet me halfway, dude....

            Now if you’ll excuse me folks, it’s my first day of summer break and I have a young lady I promised to take to lunch with her mother. Summer is here and it’s time to make it count…..

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