It’s been awhile, huh? And once again I have no idea where to start, so I’ll just go the same old route that has served me well thus far and ramble until one of the sentences looks like a good place to stop.
Truth be told, I’ve written a few posts and then wimped out and never put them up. My unconquered fear of this space finally got me.
Initially, I started this blog at the consistent and flattering push of Sinclair. I wrote a piece on her site years ago and her adoring fans were very kind towards my first online publishing. After that, with a few more, “come on, just do it” and a lot of set up help from Sincalir I did it. And so began Just Like Jesse James. And I’m so glad I did. I could write forever about how much this space and the connections in it mean to me, how, at many different times, it has been my saving grace. I love this place.
But in starting this totally public blog, writing out loud if you will, I have always struggled with my identity here. Let’s just pop the bubble and be honest, (spoiler alert!) my real-life, walking, talking name is not Jesse James. My life revolves around a few more characters than my best-fish-friend, a raccoon (who I haven’t seen in quite a while), the Seal, Cher and Violet. Although they are major, maaaajor players in my day to day, it’s a much bigger, more complicated world for me than that and that is where this blog stops- right where there is no punch line or obvious lesson to be learned. Everything past that is the event horizon of this blog-universe and just falls off into the land of things that happen in my life and go unwritten.
And pretty unconsciously the boundary on this continued to tighten until I had almost nowhere left to go. And so the obvious, you haven’t heard from me in a while.
Sinclair has told me a few times, “you are a master at telling a story about yourself without revealing anything.” Greg said something very similar when I met her as well. And oh how that is true and I take some pride in that. It is also something I’m working on doing less of. Sharing in general, reaching out, not being so private is HARD for me. I can’t even begin to tell you how hard. Which could lead you to think my blog seems a bit ironic then, but that’s not the case at all.
JLJJ was the beginning of working on this fear of sharing myself. A lot of writing here was just learning how to come out in a bunch of little ways, through stories. I used to read and reread every post over and over to try and dissipate some of the panic I felt when I finally pushed “publish”. (And then when the comments would come, dear god, more panic.) Slowly but surely I came to appreciate that under my alias I was free(r) to write (my) truths and that here they didn’t need to be edited or filtered through the social structures and dynamics that are everywhere else in my day to day. I could be in this space, say whatever I want and 99.9% of you could pass right by me on the street, having no idea that I’m Jesse James. I loved that! So James Bond.
This duality has never ceased to keep things a bit complicated (and interesting), having two worlds to walk in (and walk quite differently in at times). But there is something about the two of me that I cherish remarkably and that has acted as a profound outlet to bits and pieces of who I am that might never have seen the light of day otherwise. Like songs that get sung in the shower. Or like when I pretend The Seal is an opera singer and how I sing Cher songs, really loudly, in an operatic voice, pretending that The Seal is singing them… but only when it’s just us. This is something I am trying to figure out how to hold on to somehow… and maybe merge a bit?
Here’s the dilemma in a tighter little nutshell: I have a really hard time sharing my brain (and let’s just stay honest, heart too) with people I know and love (weird, but that’s the deal.) So, I started this blog to share my brain with people that don’t know me because that made me feel safe and set me free(r). But then, there’s a twist! My relationship with the blog continued to grow and so did the relationships with quite a few of the readers and other bloggers. Oh no! My love for you is real! And so, I began slowly tightening the reins on what I felt safe and comfortable saying until I finally ran out of things to say at all.
Jesus, that is just ridiculous.
But that is what happened.
I guess the other unconquered fear to my blog-world-life is a really obvious one in that anyone can come in, read my brain, do whatever they want with it and leave. However, that has never been as scary to me as the ideas in the previous paragraph. And I’ll always cherish the woman who called me a left winged bigot. Always.
So, once again, here I am, at the end of another ramble. Only this time, I’ll post it. This time I’ll stop writing before there is a punch line or some lesson learned. Truth be told, most of the time, I don’t have either.
Aaaaaaaand… gulp… publish.