On Sunday night, I was feeling sad. I was thinking about my marriage situation, why I was taking so long to move out, whether I should get a roommate, if I should go to New York for a few weeks, how that would affect my writing, and other issues that I would rather not have bouncing about in my head. These nagging questions took time and energy from important things, like keeping up with your blogs, or poking people on Facebook.
Don’t worry, Mom. I wasn’t depressed, just sad.
So, what does a blogger do when he’s feeling sad? He writes a blog post.
I wrote a blog post about… feeling sad. When it was done, I read it over, and it just seemed pointless. What was I expressing?
I… am… feeling… sad… period. Bleh.
There wasn’t much artistic merit here. I didn’t describe the sadness in any poetic manner, like saying my sadness was like a black cloud hovering over Redondo Beach or compare my life to the crumbling facade of an ancient pyramid in the Egyptian desert. I’m not that melodramatic. Life goes on. My sadness was more a pedestrian sadness… a blah sadness. The type a sadness where a friend might call you on the phone and say, “Hey, let’s go to see that new movie where Jessica Alba walks around in a bikini,” and I might answer, “Eh.”
So, I wrote the sadness post. It was done, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to publish it. I noticed that a blogger friend was on Yahoo IM. I contacted her.
“Could you do me a favor?” I asked. “I wrote this post about being sad, but I haven’t published it yet. Could you read it and tell me if you think it is something I should publish?”
“Sure,” she said.
I sent the post over and waited for her response. After a few minutes of me nervously pulling the hairs out of my arm —
“It’s good. You should publish it.”
“Isn’t it… about nothing?”
“Well, you’re sad. That’s what it is about.”
The moment she said this, I suddenly felt very different… calmer. I felt relieved, as if my stress had drifted off. What had happened?
Someone had read my post about being sad. Someone knew I was feeling sad on this Sunday in April.
Oddly, I didn’t have the need to publish it anymore. She knew I was sad. It was enough. It wasn’t important to have readers from the four corners of the world reading my post. I wasn’t trying to promote my blog. I just wanted to to tell someone that I was feeling sad. And now I did. Mission accomplished. I said thanks to the blogger, and that was it. I deleted the post and wrote another post where I have sex with various women in my old bedroom in New York. Did I think this new post was a bit stupid and perverse? You bet. But it made me laugh, and I wasn’t sad anymore.
Bloggers always talk about how many “comments” we get, as if getting 300 strangers giving you feedback is the ultimate validation. Sure, it is amazingly cool and satisfying. Yesterday, I just wanted to connect… to say that I was feeling sad. And one reader was all that I needed to make me feel better.