"Bila kau tulis, kau memang saja tulis benda-benda kontroversi yang kau bajet akan dapat banyak komen ke?" she asked.
I was taken aback by her question. My readers aren’t usually as aggressive, or as straight-forward.
"Tak jugak. Tak semua entri aku controversial apa," I replied. My defensiveness was slowly rearing its ugly head.
'Anger is good. Anger reminds people what it feels like to be young and angry again. It makes them care again,' I thought to myself.
But the damage was done. It didn’t matter what she said after that, the implication was clear- that I was purposely trying to provoke reaction from people. Paranoia was rearing its ugly head as well. Sitting side by side with Defensiveness, they were starting to look like conjoined twins.
I don’t know why I write. It isn’t to educate people- I don’t think I’m well equipped and matured enough. Maybe it’s the strange relationship I have with people- the need to know about them. More often than not, other people annoy me and I love my solitude, but I was always- always, fascinated by them. I was always trying to find a connection between the way I think and the way that they do. I was so desperate to find a connection that I would sometimes try to think like them, try to simplify things so that they would understand. I knew there was a connection somewhere. I was never much of a talker in real life. I was always the listener. I knew enough to write a book about the people I knew. But they didn’t know anything about me. They never asked.
People love talking about themselves. They love finding people who’d listen. I think that it's a basic necessity – talking about oneself- it's right up there along with other needs like food and air and sex. Not being to express oneself could make one go crazy. One must see a therapist if one was crazy. To talk about oneself. I guess that’s why people say blogging is therapeutic. But I still wasn’t comfortable writing about myself.
Maybe in a way I strive to be understood and heard. And I needed to know if I was heard. Maybe I’m not as free as you. I don’t know how to be vulnerable. I only know how to be honest. So I try to talk in a language you like, talk about things that you’d be interested in. Maybe if I pretend, you can show me the connection. Or maybe I’m just going about this the wrong way.
My Dad always says to write well you must use fancy words to show off your vocabulary and stuff. I thought using fancy words was a pretentious way of writing. I always argued that it’s more important to be understood than to be admired. What was the point of writing something that no one understood? You might as well have written in Hopelandic. I knew he had a point though. I watched a good movie once. My friends didn’t like it because they didn’t understand it. But that didn’t make it a bad movie. It was a good movie nonetheless. Maybe it was just the wrong audience.
But the reader had a point. I never wrote for myself anymore. I never wrote posts like these anymore. Long, winding posts about absolutely nothing. Maybe, being understood isn’t the be all and end all of writing.
How many people actually do write with total freedom? Without thinking of ways to increase their blog stats, caring about how their posts will be received, ways to attract readers with controversial posts with no real substance and pics, without thinking in what language and which way to write, who to link back and which blogs they’d like to be linked to, which bloggers they should be careful not to offend and which are safe to be criticized? Sometimes I think even the virtual world has its own politics. It’s slowly becoming irrelevant to me. I think, for the second time in my life, I feel really content. The first time was when I fell in love.