on openness and vulnerability part 1: backstory

If you had asked me at fourteen whether I would ever be writing about my personal struggles and inner life OPENLY, for ALL THE WORLD TO SEE, in my twenties, I probably would have said “no. fucking. way.” I was intensely private and barely liked MYSELF enough to keep my writings around for more than a few weeks (only a tiny fraction of my childhood and early teenage writings survive… most were shredded quickly because they were SO EMBARRASSING), so the idea of sharing them with ANYONE… yeaaaaaaa, no.

Now, I don’t think every scrap of my writing from back then was inherently valuable or SHOULD have been kept around, but the fact that the very idea of sharing those things terrified and disgusted me makes me sad.

It’s not like I’d never shared secrets with my friends, or that no one knew anything embarrassing about me. But I did have the same group of friends, mostly, from 2nd-8th grade, so the knowledge of backstory just happened, without much conscious thought on my part about whether to share.  My friends knew all the stuff I couldn’t hide, and all the stuff I had shared because as a child I lacked the self control or the crippling self-consciousness that would induce me to keep things to myself .

But in my first year  of high school, my family moved from Maryland to Indiana, taking me almost 700 miles from everything and everyone I knew. And suddenly I didn’t have that group that knew my story, and my weaknesses. I thought that this was a good thing, in a way: that I could reinvent myself, no longer be known in part for some embarrassing thing I did in the third grade.

I really thought that the key to finding friends was simple: I just I needed to be super awesome all the time. I had to be WORTHY of people’s time, attention, friendship. I had to hide the weird, sad, uncomfortable things about me. Those were my shameful flaws. So I tried to project this outward persona of the person I wanted to be, faultless and confident… except I was a shitty actor, and just ended up feeling fake and even more uncomfortable in my own skin.

Looking back now, I do wonder what I was like to be around then… did I seem as cold and as blank as I imagine looking back? I must not have, because I did have some friends. But I didn’t feel like they really knew me at all.  I felt deeply, crushingly alone. I cringe admitting that I was the cliche teenage girl who thinks she is uniquely suffering, uniquely awful, uniquely unlovable… but it wasn’t a cliche to me. I wasn’t playing a role, that was really how I felt. I didn’t know how to connect to others in a way that soothed this deep loneliness. I was missing a key ingredient.

As this naive little teenage bundle of nerves, didn’t yet grasp how vital vulnerability is to connection.

Two things began my education in this regard. First, there was church. Some people reading might be a little shocked by this–today I am no longer religious, and I have many serious criticisms of the catholic youth group that I attended at the time, as well as catholicism in general. But at the time, we were being instructed to “get to know” god, to give him all of us, all of our fears, doubts, troubles. And we were encouraged to talk about these things with our youth group leaders and with each other. They were trying to open me up to god, yes, but what they ended up getting me to be vulnerable in front of my peers in a way I hadn’t allowed myself to be in a long time.

I came away from my first retreat youth group retreat feeling loved by god, but far more importantly, I came away with a friend. And she wasn’t my first friendly acquaintance, but she was the first person who I felt I was REALLY getting to know. The first person who knew a lot about my family, my quirkier interests, my insecurities. And the first person who started to tell me the less-than-shiny details of her own backstory.

After that life-changing weekend, I started getting more daring, socially. I revealed more about myself–terrified as I did it, of course, but still–and others started to open up more to me. I started to get invited to birthday parties and other teenage-girl-hangout-activities. I found more people to connect with.

The second thing that began to open my eyes to the importance of vulnerability was—try not to laugh too hard—livejournal.

Yes, really, livejournal. As I’d mentioned previously, I had been writing for YEARS, but I was utterly terrified of sharing anything I wrote–journaling,”serious” attempts at fiction or poetry, anything–with anyone else. As far as I was concerned, sharing anything I wrote was tantamount to baring my soul, and this had kept me from pursuing writing in any meaningful way, despite loving the written word more than just about anything in the world. I admitted this to a friend, and he encouraged me to try livejournal, which he and a few others in our circle already used.

Most of us wrote some posts privately and some for friends, but still… it seemed like madness. These weren’t carefully crafted missives, these were “listen to my stream of consciousness, occasionally interspersed with exceptionally shitty gifs.” My first post opened with something along the lines of: “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” But after awhile I started to understand that it didn’t matter that what we wrote wasn’t “good”. It was US. And it allowed us weird, shy, introverted nerds get to know each other better. And get to know ourselves better.  In a way, it wasn’t even about the content–just the fact that we all came to this place to write things out, to share, to get and give comfort–it connected us. We felt less alone.

After those years I had steps backwards and forwards. I had less idyllic experiences with other online journaling platforms (note to past me: do not
“friend” every member of your tiny residential high school. You will overhear their less-than-kind opinions of you and your writing from across the dining hall). My first serious relationship did flower out of very intense and vulnerable IM-chats with the boyfriend-to-be, but in general he was an intensely private person and discouraged my moves towards greater openness. Also, as that relationship became increasingly toxic, I hid my feelings about him and us from everyone, lest he or I be judged.

And I also still felt deep shame about my depression and anxiety, which by this point were firmly established elements of my inner life. Fine, I could tell my close friends about it, to form connections and to get enough support to survive, but if the broader world knew–if my school administration knew, if my classmates knew, if my FAMILY knew… everyone would see me differently, and I would lose everything.

Fast forward to college. In a somewhat selfish move that was nonetheless one of the best things my ex ever did for me, EvilEx had given me an ultimatum regarding my depression: get a fucking therapist, or I’m leaving. And so I did. And I started to get better. I was less depressed, and I hated myself a little less. But my friends from high school (except for the questionably useful boyfriend) weren’t around, so if I wanted to make and have friends that were real friends, who really knew me, I’d have to start fucking sharing the shit that was going on in my life, and a big part of my life at the time was learning to deal with my anxiety and depression.

I don’t know what initially gave me the balls to start mentioning my mental health problems in public. Perhaps all the prevalence statistics I learned in my abnormal psychology class made me feel like less of a freak. Perhaps my therapist was starting to convince me that this really wasn’t shameful. Perhaps it came from finding a social group (Purdue Non-Theists, woo!) that encouraged open serious discussion of all sorts of personal issues. Or maybe I was just overflowing from lack of people to talk to, and I started inappropriately blurting things out when disinhibited by alcohol or various other circumstances. Actually, all of those things are probably true.

But here’s the amazing thing–I started dropping my depression, my anxiety, or the fact that I was seeing a therapist into random conversation, trying to make it out to be no big thing (I sometimes failed at this, but I tried). And people started reaching out to me: thanking me for having the balls to discuss something they were so ashamed of, asking me about how the counseling system worked on our campus because they wanted to go themselves but were scared, sharing with me their struggles with depression that they were embarrassed to talk about with even their closest friends.

Sometimes all that came of this was that first reach out, that single instance of connection. Sometimes it grew into a friendship, or I at least provided useful information to a friendly acquaintance. But most importantly, I think, people knew about a part of me I found shameful, and they appreciated me MORE for it. And I felt KNOWN. Understood. Utterly authentic, not putting on a show for people anymore.

Obviously things weren’t all sunshine and unicorns. Some people probably thought less of me after I disclosed. Some people definitely didn’t want to hear about it. My controlling ex certainly wasn’t a fan of me having more friends. But every step of the way, it was worth every sacrifice to me–what I lost was nothing compared to what I gained.

You know most of the rest of the story. I came to grad school. I tried to keep up my habit of being open in a casual way (sometimes failing at either the open or the casual, but doing well enough that most people didn’t mind too terribly). I broke up with my controlling dickbag of a fiancé, and stopped feeling ashamed or conflicted about my desire to connect with more people more deeply. And a year after that, when my little grad school world started collapsing around me, I started writing here.

And to be fair, this blog brings my openness to a whole new level. It’s truly public, with my real fucking name attached. It is google-able by anyone, including possible future employers. And even so I’ve shared more here than I have with any but my closest of confidants.

And yes, that is risky and terrifying. Let me count the ways:

1. Risks to my theoretical future career options (oh noes, general overshare/mental illness disclosure/poor judgement!)
2. Risks to my relationships (other people in my life feel differently than I do about privacy, and though I consider their feelings, there is always the chance that I will upset someone)
3. Risks to my sanity (cause the internet can be a scary place)

…but yet I still do it. And, contrary to the beliefs of several concern trolls who have come out of the woodwork since I started, I do not make my decisions about what I say here lightly. I’ve put hours upon hours of thought into this, and my personal rules are still slowly evolving. That doesn’t mean that every decision I have made is “right”, but it does mean that the assumption that I am a silly little girl who doesn’t understand how my “inappropriate sharing” is going to ruin ALL OF THE THINGS… is bullshit. Times infinity. I am extremely aware of the risks I take, and I make my choices in spite of them.

I want to explain to you why I have come to this place, how my risks/benefits analysis works. I want to explain my rules for myself. And not because I want to persuade anyone else to follow my lead, exactly. I’m certainly pro more openness and vulnerability in close relationships, but the internet sharing I do goes above and beyond what would make sense for most people. But it is a meaningful and important choice for me, and rather central to what the hell I’m doing writing here… so I want to explain.

Obviously, I have a lot to say, so this post is part one of several that will be going up in the next week or two. I’m going to tell you about the practicalities I considered (and didn’t) when deciding to do this whole blog thing, about the amazing things that I have gained from it, and about the areas where I still struggle with how far exactly I want to go.

Ideally, I’d like this series of posts to be something of a conversation: please, talk back! I’m not asking you to comment just to have commented–I’m flattered to see high numbers and all, but I’m really not doing this to beg for attention. I honestly want to hear your thoughts. If you are a blogger/writer/artist/etc who shares parts of their personal lives in very public ways (or works very hard not to!), tell me about how you’ve drawn your lines. If you also struggle with mental health problems, tell me about how you share or don’t share that with others. Or for anyone: tell me about you think about vulnerability in your life/relationships. I’m arrogant enough to think I have bits of wise or at least interesting things to say about these things, but I want to learn from you too.

15 thoughts on “on openness and vulnerability part 1: backstory

  1. I can totally relate to where you’re coming from, here. I’ve also never really been the type to show vulnerability or be open about who I am and what’s going on with me. While this has improved quite a bit over the years, I will still find myself cringing later on at the memory of something I shared with even a best friend, feeling like I had been acting as a burden and that that wasn’t something she needed to or should know.

    Opening up, in my family, has never been much of an option. I grew up and still live with parents who are prone to emotional abuse and gas-lighting (I don’t really blame them, they’re doing the best they can, and genuinely care… But just seem unable to understand that what they’re doing has nothing to do with MY perspective, but THEIR behaviour). So again, I kept myself to myself and learned to stay quiet. Writing gave me a release from that. It has always been a way to make sense of the noise in my head, to open myself up in ways I could never do in person.

    I’d often share my silly little poems and stories with my family, with pride, but as I grew older and more emotionally mature, and my writing grew darker and more introspective as I struggled with my depression and coping with some really shitty history, I stopped being comfortable showing anyone in real life my work. Later on, though, I found a writing platform that I joined, posted some stuff there, got better, kept going.. Then outgrew the place, though I’ve made lifelong friends through there that I have yet to meet in person. They were the first people I ever opened up to about anything, and they opened up to me in return. It was incredible.

    Now I have a tumblr account where I’ll occasionally write if the mood strikes. Writing has always been my outlet, and my way of sharing myself with others. In person, I only open myself up to people I have grown to trust, and can shut them out pretty quickly if I’m betrayed enough times, though I have never been truly, fully vulnerable with anyone. Kind of sad really, but there’s too many walls I’ve yet to learn how to tear down.

    The internet, on the other hand, feels different. It offers a nice blanket of anonymity. I never have to see these people, probably will never meet them, so it’s kind of easier that way. Letting them see the deepest, darkest parts of me has always been and never ceases to be terrifying, and I’m often worried that people will look at those words and think that’s all there is to me, but I guess at the end of the day it doesn’t matter much. I’m both very blunt and rather vague in my writing, so no one can ever be entirely sure what I’m talking about most times, yet it allows me a semblance of release from some very bad emotions and thoughts that can overtake me.

    ….Wow. This turned into a bona-fide novella here, heh. Sorry about that. *sheepishly waddles away*

    1. No sheepishness required, that was really interesting! Also, I tend towards long-windedness even in my heavily edited posts, so I would be really hypocritical if I had a problem with it in the comment section. 😛

      As for opening up to family, I hear you. There were reasons why I held of being open with mine for so long, and there were consequences when I finally did get more open, particularly about my mental health issues. Not because they intended to hurt me, but because they are protective of me and at times that meant they wanted to control some of my decisions that were no longer theirs to control. It took awhile, but I’m now glad they know. But I also don’t live at home, and I’m largely independent, so that’s a lot easier for me to say.

      In general, I think it is ENTIRELY appropriate to only be vulnerable with people who have truly earned that level of trust. I do not mean to give the impression that I am radically open in my everyday life–there are certain subjects I make a concerted effort to be [appropriately] open about, certainly, and on average I am perhaps more prone to opening up to people than most. But I still have well-thought-out and well-enforced boundaries, probably more now than before I understood the value of vulnerability.

      And I still have things that I don’t feel comfortable sharing. What has changed, more than anything, is that I now GET that vulnerability is not just weakness, but also central to the experience of being human, and a place where connection begins. That doesn’t always make it less scary or painful, but it does lead me to react differently to that fear than I used to.

      Being vulnerable is not always appropriate or safe, as you seem to have learned that all too well. I hope that you can get to a place where you are comfortable being as vulnerable as you want to be with the people in your life whom you trust, and I hope you don’t experience too much isolation while you work your way there, but there is no shame in having learned the lessons your life has taught you. Just don’t stop learning, keep moving forward, and I think you’ll be just fine.

      1. Haha, I’ve always had a tendency for long-windedness myself. Proved problematic on school essays, let me tell you.

        Yes, exactly. Their need to protect overshadows their acceptance that I am capable of making my own decisions as to what works best for me. They aren’t even aware of the things I’ve struggled with, which has led to some pretty sticky situations sometimes. Independence, especially of the financial variety, is pretty hard to come by in my culture and the country I live in. Hopefully, though, once I have finally established myself elsewhere, I’ll be able to share as well.

        Same here really. There are some things I’ve reached a level of acceptance about that I do not mind mentioning if appropriate to the conversation, but I’m always keenly aware of what to keep to myself. I’m not entirely sure I’ve reached the level where I totally GET that vulnerability isn’t weakness. I know it isn’t, but knowing and fully getting aren’t the same thing.

        Thank you, Keely. No worries, moving forward is my thing. So yeah, I think we’ll both be just fine. 🙂

  2. Oh my, so much of what you’ve written is so familiar.

    I’ve kept most of my journalling from when I was a teenager. It’s like a guilty secret – I’d be mortified if anybody found it and read it but it’s also a record of what I went through, and how I saw my life and my self. I think it’s also one of those secrets that if anyone found it a read it and *still* loved me, it’d be the greatest relief ever. Even so, there are friends who know quite a bit of it and are still my best friends so maybe it’s not all bad. Being known, truly known, is just so, so important. Every time I tell my Dad something new and he gets it? Best feeling ever.

    I have conflicted feelings about sharing in a church context. So much of what I shared was framed with “I’m such a sinner. How will God ever forgive me?”. Matters of boyfriends and sex were rarely shared because “fornication is wrong!!Eleventy!” and yet those problems were the things I most needed to share and was most ashamed of. My trains of thought that were almost certainly depressed, even though I never saw anyone how could have diagnosed it, were along the lines of “of course God loves everyone, and Jesus died to forgive our sins, but how can He possibly love me?” coupled with feelings of bleakness and a complete lack of joy.

    Later on, I joined a “community church” which was pretty much an evangelical cult, certainly by UK standards. Its key words were ‘openness’ and ‘accountability’ i.e. tell us all your sins and we’ll pray for God to forgive you. I shared a lot, still holding back on the guys and sex-related things, but that kind of rapid and deep sharing has that slightly abusive feel where you get suckered into a relationship that is deeper than the other party deserves.

    On the other hand, the friends I had from the church I was with during UG were good for a while, and it felt good to have that support – it’s something I found much harder to find once I left the church, and it’s one of the things I really miss. So yeah, conflicted much?

    1. Oh, I’m totally with you on the “mixed feelings about sharing in church” bit. My focus here was on the good that came out of that, the close friends I made, but the focus that the church had on making us feel like broken sinners was very NOT COOL and deeply damaging.

      There’s actually a lot to say about my experience with religion and with leaving it, but though I’ve never shared that here, I kind of wrote it to death a few years ago, and I’m kind of waiting until I either have something new to say , or feel somehow inspired. Maybe I’d be better off just digging up old pieces and cleaning them up, but I haven’t really felt like it yet. :-/

      1. *sheepish grin*. Sorry, getting my issues on your pages again. I am very glad you did get some lasting, good friendships from your time in church. Part of me wishes I had been able to hold onto some of mine, but there we go.

        Definitely understand where you’re coming from with not digging up your old writings on it again, if you wrote it to death elsewhere. Sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate as it is – no point in adding to the pile if you can help it.

        I keep meaning to write stuff about it on my own blog but it’s messy and I don’t know where to start, so instead I walk around with a box of stuff I don’t look at unless I stumble over a religiously-triggered landmine, in which case, watch out for the emotional espolsion. Relating to what I wrote in my previous comment though, I came across this post on false intimacy in the church which covers a lot of what I was getting at. As usual, it’s nice to hear it’s not just me thinking these things.

        1. Seriously, NEVER apologize for starting an interesting conversation in my comments. I appreciate it, really.

          I think we’re in a similar place regarding the church stuff though… right now, I don’t know where to start/what I have to say that’s worth saying, but I can’t help touching on it at times. I mean, I discussed it a bit back when I talked about sex education, and I’m still pretty pissed at the church about that one. So I’ll definitely get around to addressing the topic more directly eventually… it seems inevitable at this point… just not yet. I will go check out the post you linked right now though!

          1. heh, it was a tongue in cheek apology. 😉

            Sounds like we are indeed. And oh dear FSM, sex education and the church. I am SO GLAD the UK laws meant basic sex ed is compulsory in all secondary schools. I mean, it wasn’t great and left me with a fair few gaps in terms of the emotional side of relationships, but it did stress that you didn’t have to have sex if you didn’t want to, and did have comprehensive and reasonably up-to-date info on STD prevention and contraceptive methods. It even briefly touched on the fact that LGBT people exist without a load of LGBT-phobia! Took me meeting a few actual LGBT people to get over the Church’s indoctrination but it was a start.

          2. Whoops, sorry I missed the tongue-in-cheek nature of the previous comment.

            Also, SO JEALOUS of your sex ed. I would have been completely lost without the bits and pieces I gleaned from my excessive reading habits (good young adult fiction FTW!).

          3. 🙂

            What books did you read as a teen? I had my head buried in David Eddings, Jodi Picoult, Terry Pratchett, Tamora Pierce, Diana Wyne Jones, Jacqueline Wilson, Georgia Nicholson, and just about any sci fi I could get my hands on in the school library. None of which really covered sex and relationships, apart from Georgia Nicholosn and Jacqueline Wilson.

          4. Oh, nothing covered things in any sort of depth… I’m literally talking about puzzling over the brief mentions of sex in Tamora Pierce’s books (I mean, their birth control is magical and all, but they still discuss it!), or learning about anatomy/childbearing/sex from YA historical fiction with realistic depictions of childbirth. I was still pretty clueless, especially since no one laid out for me “this is what a healthy relationship looks like”, but I pieced together enough to gather basic mechanics, if that makes sense.

          5. Ahhhh, I see. I think the lack of depictions of healthy relationships is a general failing of our society so it’s not surprising that we both missed it. And seriously, what the fuck is wrong with our society that teenagers are left puzzling things out from brief mentions in YA lit?! (And maybe internet porn now, though that wasn’t a thing doable in the days of a shared family computer and dial-up!)

            I got lucky that I learned about the anatomy side of things from trips to the Science Museum. I picked up the mechanics of ‘penis goes in vagina’ then ejaculation happens then babies, but fun things to do? Pictures of actual vulvas and penises? Nope, literally didn’t see/read anything. Figured it all out by experimenting with my boyfriends over the years, spending the entire time panicking that I was going to go to hell for fornication or that I was going to pick up an STD because knowing about safe sex and actually practising it are two different things.

            The one great book series that covers fun things regarding sex, the realities of childbirth and the intricacies of health relationships with accurate mention of rape both by strangers and acquaintances, and sexual harassment in general is the Cross-Sitch/Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, which is set in the 18th Century. I didn’t start reading them until I was 16 or 17 however, long after picking up the basics of everything else and the sexual mores of the Church.

  3. Keely, I love this post. I think this series is going to be absolutely phenomenal. Seriously.

    As someone who knew you back when you made your transition to Indiana, I can absolutely tell you that you never seemed blank OR cold, although you did seem kind of sad. And also intimidatingly brilliant. But the main memories of us that I have involve a lot of joking and laughter, of mocking our stupid sexist gym teacher. I remember how excellent you were at knitting.

    I also remember having some extremely interesting one-on-one talks with you about religion, back when you were more religious than you are now. I’m not sure I outwardly came out and said I was an atheist to you, but I know I either was, or was agnostic and leaning heavily in that direction at that point in my life.

    My lack of religion was something I held in for a long time, since on the few occasions I chose to be open about it, it blew up in my face. In Valpo especially, where so many people are devoutly religious, I had people say some truly heinous things to me about my atheism, even though I have NEVER EVER tried to “convert” or convince anyone. I’m much more open about my beliefs (or lack thereof) now, but it took awhile. And my basic right to believe what I want (which I try hard to do without judging others’ beliefs–I believe in your right to believe what you want) has made me very disliked and distrusted on occasion. By grown-ass adults too. I think my generally kind demeanor makes church-going people assume I am one of them, lol.

    Now that we’re older, and I read your blog, sometimes it makes me sad that I didn’t know you better when we were young. I think that we’ve both grown into people who are well-suited for friendship, and who have dealt with similar things. I wish I could have known more about you when we were 15, so we could have talked more.

    I do remember reading your Xanga journal back in the day. Remember Xanga? hahahaha!
    We all had our online journals then. I had a “deadjournal” and I still have the password for it! Every couple of years I go back and poke around on it, just to get a chuckle (or cringe) out of how clueless and angsty I was back then.

    THis comment is getting out of control now, as I’m writing it intermittently while trying to get things done at work. And now I have to go the post office,so I have to cut my comment short.

    Long story cut short: you are awesome and brave, and when you talk about things like mental health, anxiety, and science, people listen. And it’s not because you’re not worthy of their attention–in fact, it’s the exact opposite. Your words have power. Even if you think they’re not perfect. And people are listening to you. Because you’re brave for coming out and saying what so many people choose to hide.

    I could also write a novel about what to share and not share on the internet. And even include some horror stories. But that’s for another day, I suppose.

    Jedi hugs for now. I’ve got to go send letters!

    1. I just realized that I never actually got around to replying to this the day you posted it, and I am kicking myself so hard. So sorry for the slow reply!

      First off, thanks for letting me know that I didn’t totally suck back in our Valpo days, that’s reassuring. Unfortunately lots of my memories of high school are somewhat warped by my periodic episodes of depression… I know WHAT happened, roughly, but I don’t really trust my perceptions of how people felt about it at the time.

      I also remember enjoying the hell out of mocking our sexist gym teacher, but man that dude pissed me off! I was only just starting to become aware of how significant the problem of sexism still was/is… as a kid I really believed that that shit was mostly in the past, and only the domain of a few silly remaining bigots/old people. It wasn’t until high school when things like catcalling, sexist dating dynamics, etc became directly relevant to my life that I started to grasp how significantly sexism/misogyny affected me, and sexist gym teacher dude hit right in the middle of that awakening/my righteous indignation phase. I just couldn’t BELIEVE he got away with that shit, totally out in the open!

      Actually, part of me kind of misses that righteous indignation. I still get pissed about sexist bullshit, but it certainly doesn’t surprise me much anymore–I’m much more cynical and resigned to it, generally.

      As for us failing to be closer in high school… I regret that too. Part of it was definitely me leaving to go to the academy, but it was also just that I was slow to open up to people and kind of clueless about how to deepen relationships–it either sort of happened on its own due to circumstances (like swimming making me spend a lot of time with Michelle, or spending so much time with Elizabeth and Kelly in lifeteen, or being the only sophomore in physics and having Kyle there to play big brother), or it didn’t, and I kind of just went along for the ride. I am still kind of bummed about what my depression and just general teenage angst/insecurity led me to miss out on in high school, particularly in those first two years in Valpo. I also had very little ability to arrange for social things outside of school, being without a driver’s license and given that my mother had 5 of us to cart around places. Damn, isn’t it annoying how the opportunities of high school get wasted on teenagers who don’t have the perspective necessary to really take advantage of them? 😛

      I am glad for the internet and facebook though… better to get to know you more now and be internet friends then to have missed out on a friendship with you entirely! You’re pretty awesome, and I’m glad to have you in my life even in this relatively limited capacity. And hey, if you’re ever in LA, I’d be glad to show you around/introduce you to one of the awesomest groups of nerds on the planet. I mean seriously, two weekends ago we had an organized full day of Nerf wars, with a good 30 or so people participating. My career plans may have imploded, but my social life on and offline is AMAZING. 😛

      Got sort of off track there for a bit, sorry. Anyhow, thanks for the lovely comment and the support. My goal is to have the next post in this series up on the blog by the beginning of next week (I have some less-intense posts lined up for this week).

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