i think i know now why i blog.

the company’s good and the outlet is needed, and appreciated, sure.  but they’re not the primary reason.  turns out blogging is the only thing keeping me from having to face the stark fact that i am actually, secretly, an incoherent twit.  yep.  oh, the shame.  i blog to keep up my self-esteem, folks, to maintain the facade that i’ve actually mastered some command of my mind, heart, and the English language.  snort.

basically, i am congenitally incapable of expressing myself concisely and thoughtfully in any form other than writing.  seriously.  i’m gregarious and all, and i can chatter away and be a pretty good conversational reflector of what the other party is saying, but ask me to actually form an unprepared idea in words, out loud, in real time, to an audience…and i hem and haw and turn into that painful, stereotypical grade 9 chemistry teacher who rambled on and on in ever-pitiful and incomprehensible circles until the students were all asleep or trying to burn their ears off with Bunsen burners.

and after six weeks on bedrest, sitting in my house all day writing work emails and making small talk with, um, my cat, i’m getting worse. the raging head cold isn’t helping, either.

last week, i got to take an afternoon off of babysitting my couch and trucked off to the local CBC station to record a Mother’s Day-focused conversation with some other Maritime mummies.  i was psyched.  an outing!  a conversation!  a chance to talk about parenthood in what i hoped would be a multi-faceted way!  then i put the headset on and sat in front of the mic…and died a thousand small deaths.  my brain began flitting about aimlessly, unable to organize itself without letters and lines of text to confine it.  each question – and these were not shocking questions, folks – left me stunned, unprepared, searching desperately for a train of thought to land on.  apparently trains are running sparse in these parts.

when the interviewer asked if we’d always wanted to be parents, i answered yes, and said honestly that i remembered being twenty-nine and newly single and suddenly wondering if motherhood would ever happen for me and realizing that some part of me would never fully come to fruition if it did not.  dandy.  then, following the base rules of logic and conversation, that pesky interviewer followed up with, “oh? and what would that part of you be?”

uh…um…errr…my knee?  nope, nope, that’s not right.  focus, Bonnie, focus.

i sputtered and floundered and rambled on for a few minutes, saying basically nothing, blathering on about how important it seemed to get to shape a life from the start, thus probably coming off like a controlling nutjob and offending countless adoptive parents of older children in the process.  even as the words rolled out, all tripe and cliché, i knew they were the wrong ones…ones that didn’t really get close to the feeling i was trying to express…but i couldn’t collect my thoughts, couldn’t line them up and sort them and make them shiny and incisive and pretty, not for the life of me.

all the while in the back of my head a blog post eloquently composed itself, but only for the benefit of my keyboardless fingertips.  my tongue was left to fend for itself, and i was left wishing i could rip it out.

it happened again today.  a visitor dropped by and in the process of feeding me lunch, bless her, asked me a real question, a genuine, complex, recount how you feel about all this kind of question, and i was so delighted to have someone to actually talk to that i launched into a disconnected diatribe worthy of the Jerry Springer show.  my guest smiled politely throughout, but again, i had this weird sensation of failing, profoundly, to get across what i was actually trying to communicate.  and i faintly wished she could have called in her question an hour or two before, y’know…just to give me a chance to process, to get my thoughts down.

i could have a whole sheaf of papers taped to my chest!  why do i love parenthood?  see page 23!  how do the dynamics of my extended family impact me?  that’s a whole chapter, pages 40 through 57!  how am i handling all this bedrest?   what?!  can’t you tell i’m doing splendidly?!?!  see the frozen terror in my eyes at the prospect of human contact?!?!  maybe that one is actually kinda taped to my chest…or face…figuratively speaking and all.

so here’s what i want to know…is this incoherence – at least the part of it that isn’t solely housebound battiness – just me?  is this a phenomenon common among bloggers?  could it be part of the reason so many of us are drawn to writing, this pleasantly editable, controllable space for presentation of our most intimate thoughts, but dressed up in their best lingerie?   does blogging make it harder and harder to actually adjust to the ephemeral messiness of real-life conversation?  am i just slowly beginning to lose all semblance of social skills the longer i spend perched on my couch in isolation, fighting off cabin fever?

note to self: do NOT watch The Shining while on bedrest.  and lock all the axes in the shed.  i have my nice blog, and don’t need any other ways of expressing myself, thank you very much. ;)