Thursday, August 13, 2015

"Best Entries"

You may have noticed recently that I deleted some of the page tabs that used to be on my blog. I removed the Postsecret page because I decided to move those post secrets to my Pinterest account instead. I removed the Best Entries tab because the entries that I had listed as my best are from several years ago, and I know that I don't feel like keeping that page up to date. I also removed the Best Entries tab because I feel that I no longer need it. When I first added the Best Entries page, it was back when I was not writing freely on this blog about things that truly matter to me, when I was not open about the fact that everything was so personal and instead pretended to be a psychologist observing human behavior. Back then, I had several entries that really did not matter to me as much, so I felt it was important to have a list of the entries that really defined me. At this point, I am writing what truly matters to me and I am perfectly comfortable with new readers simply reading my blog beginning with my most recent posts. The two blog entries that I consider major writing projects that I worked on for months that all my readers should read are The Unencrypted Truth and Who Would I Be If I Were Radically Unschooled? and I am constantly linking back to these posts. I don't feel that I need a special link to my other best entries because, aside from the two posts that I just named, the entries that I consider the best change constantly over time, and it would be very difficult to keep that page up to date. I also don't feel that a best entries page would truly reflect my best entries if I kept it up to date, because the entries that matter most to me in a given moment have more to do with how I'm feeling at that moment and what is going on in my life than the actual quality or content of the posts. I would much rather that my new readers read a lower quality recent post about something that is currently on my mind and important to me that a higher-quality post from several years ago about something that is not currently on my mind.

But while we're on the topic of best entries, I'd like to explain how the entries that matter most to me have changed since the beginning. Aside from my two major project posts, the entries I would normally list as "best entries" were entries that were well written and sounded like they belonged in the book or magazine, rather than an online journal, such as my post defining absolute validation in my guide to self understanding. But now, that has changed. Perhaps it changed because I'm working on a book about validation, so I no longer feel the need to direct people to blog posts that are essentially going to be published in book. Or perhaps it changed simply because I always wanted this to be an online journal where I would write about whatever I wanted. But in any case I have a new definition of what I consider my "best entries" to be now. After The Unencrypted Truth and the un-schooling post, the blog posts that mean the most to me right now are the ones that clearly defined my emotional needs. One of my favorites is Activities I'm Willing and Not Willing to Do When I Feel Bad. Writing this post felt absolutely amazing because I got to clearly explain something about my emotional needs that I had been trying to explain for a very long time. After years of simply saying, "No, I don't feel up for that right now," and having to deal with people pushing me anyway, it felt absolutely amazing to clearly state what I'm willing and not willing to do based on how I feel. Another entry I'm really satisfied with is Relationships, Meeting New People, and What Really Happens Last Summer – not because of the issue I discussed in the second half of the post, involving that person, but because of the first half what I simply explained my priority list and an clearly described where a particular thing – in this case, meeting new people – fell on my list. There's just something about stating that explicitly clearly that made me feel wonderful. The same was true when I posted The Conditions of my Central Focus. Like the priority list, this was something I had written a long time ago for myself and had never had the guts to post publicly. And even though the conditions of my central focus are not really "need to know" pieces of information for people the way that the activities I'm willing and not willing to do are, it felt absolutely amazing to clearly state my needs relating to my primary passion. I think I've experienced a lot of pressure to not have the emotional needs that I do, and to be okay living without certain things. Because of this, stating my emotional needs in a clear, factual way that leaves no room for negotiation is the most freeing experience ever. Here is a list of the blog posts in which I clearly defined my emotional needs as facts:

Activities That I'm Willing and Not Willing to Do When I Feel Bad

On Relationships, Meeting New People, and What Really Happened Last Summer

Conditions of my Central Focus

How to Treat Me like I'm Untamable

These are my best entries because they state my own emotional needs as facts and do not allow room for negotiation or in any way indicate that I am actually talking about a bigger issue than myself. My own emotional needs are what I wanted to talk about all along.

[Using Dragon]

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