Dear Writing Center,

It's weird and incredibly depressing to know that in one or two more semesters (perhaps even less) that I will not know a single soul working at the Writing Center. I feel I have gotten to know many of you through your writing, but have yet to see you face to face. I don't have that closeness or that trust that exists so inherently in the Center and its crew. And so it makes me nervous. Where, when that time comes, am I going to write?

Already that distance grows as time wears on. Most of people who used to post don't post anymore. I haven't seen Anona on the blog in ages (not even in comments.) Leanna pops up once in awhile, but even her frequency has grown less (I say the last two with an understanding that they both have new born infants that cannot be easy and probably suck up all their time.) Chan is still around, but looking back he, Anona, and I used to post at least weekly when the blog was first started up. EmPo and Jami still post too, but I suppose before long all of our posting will also grow sporadic and eventually just stop.

It takes trust to put your writing out there. Not that I don't trust any of the new people at the WC, it's just that I don't know you. I should trust you, by virtue that Sis. Morgan hired you and you work in the WC. That makes us kindred spirits so to speak. So I should trust you and just keep going as I have before.

There have been several times over the past year and half when I have looked at the blog and thought, "I think I better stop posting on the WC blog now. People are changing. I don't know anyone. Maybe it's just time to move on."

But I still look. I always look. I look daily to see if anything new is up. For pity's sake, you'd think I could let the Writing Center go. You know, move on with my life. But so much of my life, my character, who I am is the Writing Center. When I tell people that I worked at the Writing Center, I expect that to have some deep impact on them. But they just look numbly on as if I had said that I worked at Walmart or something. Don't they realize that I worked at the Writing Center. This place is so much more than a job. It is a life.

And I always come back too. I always post again. I get scared--every time. How will it be received? How will these people who don't even know me take this random bit of nonsense that's scattered across the page? Will they realize that it isn't scattered nonsense to me? Do they know that it belongs to me? That it means something? It is a part of me?

I hope so. Because I honestly don't know where else to read truth. Fresh, clean, icy-glass truth. And I don't have anywhere else to post.

Let's face it. I trust all of you complete strangers more than I trust 3/4 of the people who read my "public" blog (the 1/4 of the people I trust are Writing Center people who read my blog.) Which is why I never post on it. I can't force myself to write driveled down fluff that would be acceptable, but I don't trust anyone to read anything that I would write for real.

So, if it is all right with you, I think I'll just keep posting here, every now and again. And maybe someday we will meet face to face and realize that we are very good friends and know each other infinitely better than the people we keep physical contact with because of the Writing Center.


Sarachel said...

I kind of feel that way, too, Julie. That's why I started my own blog but didn't tell anyone. That way I could post whatever I wanted someplace safe. More people have started reading my blog, so what did I do? I stopped posting. Or at least I stopped posting frequently. But what's even more ridiculous is that I stopped posting here, too. All the trust that I built up, I'm losing it. Because I'm scared of a few new faces. Silly, isn't it?
I'm regressing back to a place I thought I had left for good.

E. Anona said...

Oh goodness people. Why do I always hear the things I am thinking here on the blog? I too check the WC blog almost every day. Well let's be honest. Every Day. I just like the connection, even to people I really don't know. Is that too lame? I love the links to other people's blogs and when I need a break I'll go see what people are up too.
I make up these posts in my minds and I want to tell people about the funny and interesting things that happen to me, but...I don't know. This could be a good Blood Essay: Why Anona Isolates Herself from People She Likes.
I resolve to change. It's not something I like about me. So I'm posting this comment elsewhere than my mind.

Shani said...

I'm a relative newbie (it's been almost a year since I started at the WC, but I've been gone since that first semester), but I felt the same way about the old-timers when I first started posting on the blog. I had just discovered this incredible haven, but there were these names that I would see posting/commenting that held no tie for me to the security I felt at the Writing Center. But some of the people I did know knew them, and trusted them, and so I decided it was okay... but it was a little tough at first.

Emily Goodsell said...

Amen to all of your comments. Julie, you put this perfectly. Yep--I check this blog every day too. It's where I go to read honest writing. It's where I go when I'm brave enough to post honest writing. When I'm lonely, I head to the WC blog. So I hope all you oldies and newbies keep posting because I'm coming back every day.

Julie M said...

It's good to hear your voice.

Eric James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crystal said...

This is why - even though I tell myself that I don't work at the Writing Center anymore, and should probably stop lurking around the edges of the blog - that I keep checking the blog.
Though I'm even worse than you, Sara, because I made a blog, didn't tell anyone, and made it private so only I can read it. (Now that I think about it, why did I even bother? Why not just use a Word document?)
I miss everyone, including those I never got a chance to meet.

Sarachel said...

I miss everyone, too. Newbies, oldies, everyone.

Julie M said...

I think we must be kindred spirits because I also created a blog, made myself the only author, and only I can view it. Pathetic. As I did this, Google even put up a warning box that said, "You realize you will be the only person allowed to see your blog?" Yeah.
But I have also found that writing on the "Post" screen is extremely therapeutic. Which is why a word document doesn't work for me.
I wish we had worked together at at the center. I think we could be really good friends.

Crystal said...

I think it has something to do with the fact that I know someone could potentially view my blog, so I make sure the writing is more polished than it would be if I just wrote in a word document. And I like the publish button too.
Well, we can still be virtual friends.

Jami said...

I always look at the WC blog too. I've been gone only one semester, but I understand and feel all of what you described.

The other day, a co-worker (I'm keeping a log on all of of her strange quirks because she will make a great annoying character in future writing) asked what jobs I've had. I mentioned the WC with the most sacred respect. She said,

"Oh, they had one of those in my college too. Only I can't believe they let undergrads do that. I don't think they're qualified."

Of course we're not qualified. For that reason we have prayer and the Spirit to make up the difference. We have Sister Morgan who always seems just an e-mail or text away (not a phone call, though, for obvious reasons :).

I don't think I'm explaining it as well as you, Julie. I shouldn't write on Thanksgiving morning after stuffing a rubbery turkey and rinsing my swollen red eye with water. I couldn't close the computer, though, without saying that I feel those same things.

Most of life seems to be clinging to the important things and letting other things go. My relationships and memories at the Writing Center are too precious to be a fleeting high school friend I never care to see again.

How to do this, then? A "get-to-know-you" blurb complete with picture and profile of all new hires? I can see Sister Morgan cringing. Let's stick with honest writing and learn as we go. Although you know I have to know everyone's favorite color, as always.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends. I'm thankful for the opportunity to change where I need to change and to remain constant in other ways.

Sky said...

Wow. I've been away from the blog for awhile, and I should have been reading from earliest to latest, since this is such a beautiful post. I hope you all don't mind if I take some of it to post on the side.
How I miss you. You actually made me cry--especially when I got to Jami's rubbery turkey image.
But, it's inconceivable to me that Julie doesn't know Crystal or Eric doesn't know Anona.
It just occurred to me why I am so blessed. I know ALL of you.
And, I swear, you are kindred spirits. Julie, Crystal would have been right there with you as you and Shalese sang your only song to me on my birthday (I still laugh at wondering how "Leaving on a Jet Plane" had to do with my birthday;I didn't know it was the only song you could play on a guitar, which made it more wonderful.)
To read your particular posts makes me fill up with ... what? I don't even know. But I know that I feel so close to you that it moves the loneliness that is ever-present in my life outside for awhile. I know each of you. You are like my daughters, my sisters (and brothers, Chan). It's like hearing from family. Please keep posting. You are such beautiful writers--beautiful family.