What is it about the Comment field of a blog or the Reply box on a message board that brings out the absolute worst in people?
Or is it that these things bring out the worst people?
Every time I think about posting something extraordinary, every time I think about growing a blog or a forum or some kind of community site, I think about this vitriole, and I pause. And the potential good that could come of it fades.
My history as a blogger is marked by me stepping off the gas and tapping the brakes whenever I really start building momentum.
Because I’m scared of the bad guys.
Because I’m (*gag!*) sensitive.
My youngest sister has told me two or three times over the holiday “I didn’t realize how much you were like my husband, until I saw how much my daughter is like you.”
Her daughter is sensitive. Deeply emotional. Everything is more … intense.. for her. I know this because I remember what it was like when I was a kid, before I developed the necessary armor to seem sort of “normal.”
I told my sister “She really can’t help it, you know.” Emotional meltdowns aren’t a thing she does–they’re a thing that happens to her. Eventually, when she gets older, they can help her figure out how to keep it from happening to her. They can give her some tools to navigate life a bit more easily.
I also warned her that eventually, her daughter will retreat. She’ll seem remote and distant. Maybe even snobby. She won’t be doing this because she is snobby. She’ll be doing it because she needs to create some space between her sensitivity and the spikyness and sharp angles of other people. And to hide the fact that she’s sensitive–because the last thing you want is to walk around with everyone else knowing that you’re that easy to hurt, and hurt deeply.
I am tired of stepping off the gas and tapping the brakes.
I am tired of hiding from the bad guys.
I am tired of letting potentially good, amazing, transformative stuff go undone because of my fear.
This year, we floor it, and see what happens.