Don't stop complaining

The immediacy of the internet still catches me off-guard, as does my tendency to generalise at too high a level. With those thoughts in mind, I’ll start out by saying that Podz is correct when he responds to my “Stop your complaining” post with his own well stated post “Do not stop complaining“.

I’ve commented on what he had to say on his site, but want to expand a little on this theme.

I’ve said it before, and no doubt I’ll say it again (I’m nothing if not repetitive) but life isn’t black and white. My post was, like Podz’s, a direct and immediate reaction. I posted it without fore-thought, and with little regard for how it may be read, bucking a trend I’ve tried to develop of giving what I’ve written at least one read through before posting.

Now, whilst I agree that at some level blogging is raw, I do think that, depending on your situation, some level of self-censorship/editing is required.

And here we enter the murky grey tones of life.

Some people approach this hobby we all enjoy with a “blog and be damned” approach and I enjoy reading posts with that carefree spirit, even if sometimes they are painful or insulting, or deliberately provocative (yes, I read posts of that nature even though it’s a pet hate), and some people approach this hobby in a more considered fashion, for a variety of equally valid reasons I’m not going to comment on as I refuse to judge anything I don’t know (kinda).

So, when Podz says “It’s your life, your thoughts and your blog. Say it as you see it.” I have to agree with the sentiment, but question the view that everyone has that option. Say it as you see it is a very liberating thing to say, but like many things, it’s far harder to achieve.

One of the main reasons blogging is so popular is the people behind the blogs and how their emotions and values seep through into their writing. When I called for people to stop complaining I was capturing the direct reaction to my own emotions, and specifically my own guilt at being healthy yet continuing to moan about workloads and people on my commute to work.

No I’m not retracting my statement as whilst “our ability to see things from our own unique perspective” can sometimes mean we seem self-centred and narrow-minded, it is also the very reason why you should have a damn good moan when you need one as it can be very therapeutic. Your problems are, rightly, a major focus in your life and I hope that you all continue to deal with them in the method that suits you best and everyone else be damned! Yes, it’s a contradiction. Let’s shade it dark grey and be done with it.

Re-reading my post, and with the inside knowledge of the author that I have, I can see a lot of anger and vitriol simmering under the surface, coupled with a healthy “fuck being nice” attitude which I think a lot of you will have missed. All of this is because of my perceived guilt, after all, Susan didn’t berate me for being healthy nor did her husband, so why did I feel guilty? I had no reason to be feeling anything approaching guilt and I put it down to the same basic traits that make me preface and caveat my opinion at every turn. Hey, I’m just a nice guy…

Ultimately, and I learned this lesson the hard way, freeing yourself from shackles of perceived guilt, by realising that it isn’t something you need to have or that you can control, is just as liberating as saying things as you see them.

And it’s just as hard to do.