Pretty Ugly

I haven’t blogged for ages.  And I hate to go to other peoples pages and find the same posts, but that’s just what mine is like, so I’m a big fat hypocrite…

Well I could blog about what I’ve been doing lately, how my children are getting on, how my diet’s going, what I’ve been sewing, the weather, the season, etc.  but something inside me just doesn’t think it would be interesting.  No offense to other bloggers who do that, and I DO find it interesting.  My point is that MY blog diary isn’t really interesting.  Or at least it doesn’t really seem that way.  The other day, when visiting another blog, I commented that I blog because it “makes my life look pretty”.  I like the organised page, the lovely photos, and the fact that everything’s all there in writing, in a neat little box.  But about an hour later, I hated that I had written that.  Why do I want to make my life look pretty?  Surely that suggests that my life isn’t pretty, but ugly.  And what does that even really mean?!?  My mind is working overtime these days.  Part of me wants to turn it off, get lots more work and then not have time to think about it.  Another part of me wants to bathe in self-indulgence, dig around and find out WHY I am this way, and WHO I am.

You know those people that go off travelling in order to “find” themselves?  Like they think they can do it in a place where they’ve never been.  They can’t do the same thing at home?  Is it about the experiences you  have being dependent on the country in which you are in, or is it about having time to realise things about yourself?  Maybe if you gave up your job and sat at home all day thinking, you would find yourself right there in your own living room, a much less expensive route (apart from the giving up your job thing..).  But then I thought about the importance of other people in realising who you really are and what you’re really trying to tell yourself.

Earlier this month I met with my friend J.  I have known her since I joined Mixi (a Japanese social network site) in 2007, but I had never met her.  Until that day.  You know, my generation is still a little skeptical about internet friendships/relationships.  I have got to know a lot of friends through the internet.  My husband still thinks it’s a bit odd.  But in this age of technology, why not?  How else do people meet each other in Japan?  In the land where the group is so important that even pubs have cordoned off areas for friends to drink in peace and nobody strikes up a conversation at the bar..hell, there IS no bar.  Not that you have to go to a bar to meet people, but most places you go it’s the same kind of situation.  Now, if you are a foreigner in a country where you don’t have a good mastery of the language, and/or you want some native English speaker friends too, this becomes more difficult.  Then there’s the whole living in the middle of nowhere, being the only foreigner in the village thing…anyway, I’m going off point again.  My point is that I met this stranger who I consider to be a great friend.  She has helped me through hard times, laughed and joked at my silly stories, and all of these things through the computer.  How amazing, isn’t it?  That you can be good friends with someone before ever meeting them?  So we went out for lunch while our husbands were at home taking care of our children, and we laughed and joked, and I got to see her mannerisms, but it was all J.  Nothing surprised me about her at all.  She is lovely and sweet, like I knew she was going to be.  And she is genuine.

Genuine, honest, straightforward.  That is what I would like to be.  I think I am those things.  But when I talk to nursery Mums, teachers, my husband’s friends, I don’t feel genuine.  Now of course, I can’t be completely frank with everybody.  I can’t come out with what I really think, but I would like to think that I can relax, and be myself.  I only seem to be myself in these respects when I get angry.  Maybe that’s why I get angry so much.  Maybe the real me is trying to break out through my temper, plop down onto the floor and say, “Oi!  Don’t bury me in platitudes anymore!”

So after my lovely lunch date with the wonderful J, I started to think more about myself and where I was headed.  And then I had another meeting.  This time it was an internet chat with a friend I’ve known for a little while.  Let’s call her F to completely throw you off.  F seems to me to be (as much as you can guess someone’s real character through what they choose to share with you on the internet) genuine, honest and straightforward.  She has values and principals and doesn’t let things get in the way of her dream.  She knows who she is and she’s not afraid to show it, and not only show it, but to embrace it.  I’m intrigued by her.  I want to know what she thinks, what she’s been through, what she thinks about things.  After I’ve spoken to her, I feel a little like after I’ve had a lesson of some sorts.    I feel better, like I’ve FOUND something new.  And weirdly, I feel like I can tell her anything I like and not worry about being judged.  That’s what happens.  You lay your cards on the table and the other person does too.

The third meeting was also internet based.  Someone I’ve known for a while, let’s call her A.  She has had a hard life.  She’s not very old, and I’m fairly sure that she’s a good person inside.  Plus what she’s been through, nobody deserves.  But before our chat, I didn’t have this impression.  Her life seemed fairly stress-free.  And I thought, look at all these people I know through the internet.  I know the surface details, where they live, what they do for a living, who they are married to, what their children are called and what milestones they have reached.  All of these things I know, and they are not to be devalued, because the everyday details are part of life too.  But I am interested in people, what people think, especially.  This is a complicated life.  It would be nice to chat about that.   I would like to really know people.  For them to let down their guard, and for me to be able to do the same.  I think that’s what blogging should be about for me (at least me letting my guard down, I can’t control how other people act).  It’s nice to talk about your day and I think I still want to do that, but from time to time, I’d like to just share, be honest, and just talk to people.  Really talk.

"..we lose sight of everything
when we have to keep checking our backs
i think we should all just smile
come clean
and relax"  Ani Difranco - Anticipate
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8 thoughts on “Pretty Ugly

      • I think he first sent me an email maybe the very end of May we met in July (we were probably sending 50 mails a day and sometimes we chatted in the evening), and we were married by the end of November. I think we actually only met maybe 5 times before we were married as he was in Tokyo and I was in Shikoku.

        Wasn`t looking for a guy just happened. He contacted me because his sister lived in America and he wanted to know if I was from near there (only someone from Japan would ask that!).

      • of course he has freaked out anytime I have tried to meet up with an internet friend in Japan. He came along the first time I met Lulu. Met up with us, then did his own thing, while we did ours, but stayed nearby “just in case”.

        According to him he was afraid some strange person was pretending to be a female in order to kidnap his pregnant wife and was evidently not afraid to use another pregnant foreigner as bate…..

  1. I am going to second Origamiliving. I love this post so much. I keep thinking about it. I am not real on my blog, I even got rid of one of mine because I hated what I wrote so much. But my parents were reading and how real can I be? I can’t complain about Japan because if I hate the place I dumped them for, how horrible is that? So I’m happy with my fake blog now that has nothing to do with me, but still love reading about what everyone else is doing. I’m a hypocrite too.

    • Thank you! It’s good to know that something I wrote might be thought-provoking. I know what you mean about not being able to be yourself in terms of your parents reading. I’m not sure my mother reads this blog. She has the address, but I don’t know if she ever really remembers it’s here. But it’s also a bit of a shame that we can’t be ourselves in front of our parents too, isn’t it?

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