Finally Acquiesce to the Idea of Not Being the Hero

Min Jung: “My friend SJ back in college and I came up with this term “11 Oclocks”. Referring to 11:00 conversations that we had in the dorms. Seemed like all the best conversations happened after that hour. Facades slipped and sometimes cracked. You’d get exhausted with “fronting”. You could finally acquiesce to the idea of not being the hero.. And in many circumstances. just listening to the other transformed you into one.”

Dave Winer: “Before they carted me away I had to go into the lavatory and wash everything I could reach. That's when I fell apart. Sobbing, crying, wanting to get out of there. I looked at my chest and realized this was the last time I was going to see it. I had a pretty good idea of what they do in bypass surgery, and I had a visual image there and then of my vital organs coming out through a big hole there. I collapsed, got up and put myself in the rolling bed they had brought in, and let them roll me into the surgery part of the heart clinic.”

Earlier, he wrote about his memories of college when revisiting it on a tour of the United States and Canada: “One thing I learned, in a really stark way, I totally overestimate the quality of my memory. I drove past a place I used to live while I was watching for it carefully. A place I walked to and drove to hundreds of times. Totally missed it. I also remembered Madison being dirtier and poorer than it is. Memories of opinions. Perhaps my point of view then was more privileged somehow, or my tolerance for grunge has gone up. Anyway some of my memories of this place were sweet and are not going away. I remember loving my work like I never have since. And I remember walking home late at night in sub-zero temperatures, full of enthusiasm for life, to a bed already warmed by a 19-year old girl I was in love with. It was a sweet life, but one filled with puzzles.”

Dave does not write a lot about his personal life or his health, but I wish he would. He's one of the older bloggers around, and that means he has, by definition, experienced a lot. He's wrong about many things (often the things he's in a position to be right about), but his personal writing is among the best on the web. When he does it. Min Jung is comparatively young (I'm guessing more than half Dave's age), and while she writes more about her personal life than Dave does, she only does it about half the time. Julie Leung writes almost exclusively about personal stuff, which is incredibly great: she's raising her daughters and loving her husband semi-publicly. There is always more to bloggers than meets their weblog, since it's only a small window into their world and what their like. Personal writing is something I wish a lot of the people who write "professional" or "geeky" (in the broad sense of being about whatever subject their most passionate about) weblogs would write about.

Writing about your personal life means that failures as well as successes should be cataloged if the impression you're trying to convey to someone is to closer to the person you actually are. Some people would say that writing about your personal failures makes you look like a failure. To me, it makes you look flawed, which is to say, human.