This morning I re-posted a photo with the following quote:
You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better.
Initially I read it and kept scrolling, but something brought me back -- and then, truly, the last sentence really spoke to me.

I started blogging back in 2003/2004. Several of my friends jumped on the livejournal/xanga bandwagon really quickly, but I always wondered "who cares what's happening in your life and why do you want to put it on the internet, anyway?"

But the idea of keeping my thoughts and feelings about what was going on in my life spoke to me, and I eventually gave in. I've linked my first blog here, before, and talked about it in detail; it was certainly a labor of love. I held pretty tightly to the idea that ultimately, no one really cared to read my daily goings ons, but I didn't write to entertain. I wanted a record of my experiences and a place to be 100% honest.

By 2005, most of my friends knew about the blog and would read it every now and again. My boyfriend, at the time, knew about the blog as well. I'm not sure if it never occurred to me that he might read it or if I didn't think it would matter to him, but I began frequently posting about our relationship. Its' ups, its' downs -- mostly downs.

One night, he called me and we had one of the nastiest fights we ever had. There are things I realize now that I didn't realize then (like what it was that we were really fighting about) but I know that at the time, in the moment where we were arguing and calling each other nasty names and yelling, I was absolutely shocked that he was so angry.

I just didn't understand what would make him that upset when all I did was write down what we both knew had happened. I didn't quite grasp what was so jarring -- it wasn't as if he hadn't been there; it wasn't as if he was experiencing it for the first time or just becoming aware. I suppose, whether I knew it or not at the time, I truly learned that words mean things; words give power to things. For him, my explanation (and at this point, I no longer remember of what) of what happened made it real and it was that realness he wasn't ready for.

Over the years, I've found that trait of mine -- naming things -- to be a thing that most people come to hate about me. I don't do it to piss people off, I just know that words mean things and words have power (shoutout to @crissles for the inspo on that). Well I know that now in a very conscious way. I don't know that I knew that then -- back when I was running into this problem frequently -- in an above ground way. I think that at that time, I sorta looked at it like "it's not real until someone speaks about it."

It was and isn't about embarrassing someone. But words shine lights and give understanding to things and places that might not otherwise be understood. At the end of it, I'm really just trying to understand why people do what they do -- so I name what I see and look for feedback.

Just the other day I rubbed a friend the wrong way because I called her out on often wanting things to happen or be planned, but not wanting to plan them and then backing out when they've been planned. I didn't do it to embarrass her, but I felt like we'd beat around that bush long enough and it was just time to call a thing a thing.

However, if I'm truthful about it all, I admit that what's really happened is I've learned to censor myself. I save those "call a thing a thing" moments for when I don't see another way to make sense of something. I don't write about my friends very specifically as much as I used to. There are some friends (though they are so few -- fewer than I'd like) who don't know about this blog. I can't really hold on to that because all of my online lives have crossed paths in one way or another and anyone who wants to find where I spend my online time, can.

So I resist the urge to blog in detail about terrible decisions I've recently made (it's always easier to call a thing a thing for someone else than it is yourself), and I choose not to use words to breathe life into recent conflicts.

But maybe that will change again. It's true. These are MY stories and if people wanted better characterizations, then maybe they should've presented themselves differently in the first place; made different decisions.