Truth Or Dare

 

Ethereal

Somewhere in the skies above me is a plane carrying my son and 7,987 of his classmates towards the northern end of the state. Somewhere in the skies above me he flies for the first time without parents and family. Somewhere in the skies above me there are people who are probably less than excited to be on a plane full of ten year-old boys and girls but that is the way it goes. Last summer I flew back from New Jersey on a plane full of 14-15 year old girls.  Aside from the shrieking, constant running between seats, whispering and occasional bout of tears I was just fine.

I won’t lie and say that I am not somewhat nervous about his trip but I am more excited than anything else. More excited because I see him on the cusp of something amazing. This is how it begins, this is the start of his really pulling farther away and developing his thoughts and ideas about life without our influence. He still has many years and miles to go, but I see the beginning ever so clearly. I see the beginning and remember some of my own trips. The memories are sometimes hazy but there is enough clarity to remember playing games like Spin the Bottle and Truth or Dare.

Sometimes I think that it is best if I forget what happened during those games. Sometimes I think that if I want to retain my hair and my sanity I need to just pretend that stuff didn’t happen, but I can’t and so I won’t. Instead I’ll talk with you about how Truth or Dare makes me think of blogging.

The game was really simple to play.  A group of kids would assemble and then each one of us would take turns choosing Truth or Dare. If you selected a ‘Dare’ you were asked to do something. I remember a variety of dares ranging from eating raw eggs to various physical acts with the girls who played with us. If you chose Truth you were faced with having to answer a tough question. Sometimes it was a relatively innocuous question like, “have you ever picked your nose?” It is juvenile, but just goofy enough to make pre-teens and teens squirm a bit.

And since kids can be cruel and hard upon each other it could be a bit tougher on you. I remember being 17 and having a major crush on Anne Stacey and being asked to admit it in front of her. I hadn’t wanted to play and now I was stuck with no easy way out. That led to all sorts of good times.

But when I think of Truth or Dare with blogging I think about what truths we dare to share with our readers. I think about what heartfelt secrets and or stories we dare to reveal and how often we do. This blog contains pieces of my heart and fragments of my soul. There are secrets here that my closest friends don’t necessarily know yet sometimes I write them down and let others read them. In the days of complete anonymity it was easy to write them down. But as more people learned my name and I stopped playing the Wizard of Oz it got to be a little bit harder.

And then I got to the point where I just didn’t care. It got to the point where I remembered that it had always been an open secret. I might have written under a pen name but I always knew that one day my words might be discovered and they were.

The outcome of that was that I decided that while I would still dare to share my truths I would also pay more attention to boundaries because I didn’t want my family to be involved in some of the conversations that would arise from these words. Let me clarify that by pointing out that when I write about school, birthday parties and opinions on these matters it is possible that my children will take the brunt of my words.

What I mean by that is if I say that “Johnny’s father” is a pompous ass it can have an adverse affect upon my kids. I don’t want them to be ostracized or treated differently. I don’t care what they say about me. I am a big boy and capable of taking care of myself. But the kids deserve a chance to live their lives without having to deal with the shadow these words can cast.

Sometimes life is far more complicated than we wish it to be, but such is the power and influence of the truths we dare to show.

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Comments

  1. I don’t really think about what I’m going to say. I just say what’s in my heart, share my experience and express how I feel about things. I thought everybody did that…

    @twitter-82923382:disqus It’s a strange feeling, that false sense of privacy, isn’t it?

    @TheJackB:disqus Yikes, I’ve got digital crumbs all over the place!

  2. I don’t really think about what I’m going to say. I just say what’s in my heart, share my experience and express how I feel about things. I thought everybody did that…

    @twitter-82923382:disqus It’s a strange feeling, that false sense of privacy, isn’t it?

    @TheJackB:disqus Yikes, I’ve got digital crumbs all over the place!

  3. Lori Gosselin says:

     John, I love that paragraph that starts: But when I think of Truth or Dare with blogging…This blog contains pieces of my heart and fragments of my soul” – so true (and so well-said!) It’s funny how you do feel anonymous even though your photo (well, MY photo) is there and contact info etc. Even when posting comments, you feel a false sense of privacy!
    I like your writing John.
    Lori

    • @twitter-82923382:disqus  Hi Lori, I am glad to see you here again. It is a strange dichotomy at times to feel anonymous and yet know that so much of you is being shared.
      Because the truth is that every time we go online we leave digital crumbs all over the place.

      I tell my children regularly that they need to remember that whatever they post online could theoretically live forever. Some hard lessons are tied in with that.

  4.  John, I love that paragraph that starts: But when I think of Truth or Dare with blogging…This blog contains pieces of my heart and fragments of my soul” – so true (and so well-said!) It’s funny how you do feel anonymous even though your photo (well, MY photo) is there and contact info etc. Even when posting comments, you feel a false sense of privacy!
    I like your writing John.
    Lori

    • @twitter-82923382:disqus  Hi Lori, I am glad to see you here again. It is a strange dichotomy at times to feel anonymous and yet know that so much of you is being shared.
      Because the truth is that every time we go online we leave digital crumbs all over the place.

      I tell my children regularly that they need to remember that whatever they post online could theoretically live forever. Some hard lessons are tied in with that.

  5.  That last line, very much nails the sentiment (deep too). I’ve also been thinking about the boundaries for my blog, and I’ve decided, the older each of them get, the more I need to be judicious in what I post.  

    • @C_Kent:disqus  It is fun to see them grow and develop into big people. I have been trying to put myself into their shoes and wondered how I would have felt about my parents blogging.

  6.  That last line, very much nails the sentiment (deep too). I’ve also been thinking about the boundaries for my blog, and I’ve decided, the older each of them get, the more I need to be judicious in what I post.  

    • @C_Kent:disqus  It is fun to see them grow and develop into big people. I have been trying to put myself into their shoes and wondered how I would have felt about my parents blogging.

  7. Bucharest is the future. Just you wait and see, Jack. [laughing]

    One of the things about Bucharest is that anyone of consequence gets equal opportunity here… to sound off and rattle the cage.

    And, more importantly, to be dragged through the mud while screaming like a terrified, hysterical little girl. But it’s the destination that can suck. Sometimes, a low-foreheaded wise guy with a shovel is not the worst thing that can happen to you here.

    Anyway, I hope for you and yours, the future can be postponed. And I say that with all due sympathy to the best dad in the world.

    • @faryna:disqus  A thousand years ago I had family in Romania- but I expect that they are all long gone.
      The current challenges will end and new ones will be found. The hard part is that some things operate on their own time schedule and there is nothing that you can do to make them move faster.

  8. Bucharest is the future. Just you wait and see, Jack. [laughing]

    One of the things about Bucharest is that anyone of consequence gets equal opportunity here… to sound off and rattle the cage.

    And, more importantly, to be dragged through the mud while screaming like a terrified, hysterical little girl. But it’s the destination that can suck. Sometimes, a low-foreheaded wise guy with a shovel is not the worst thing that can happen to you here.

    Anyway, I hope for you and yours, the future can be postponed. And I say that with all due sympathy to the best dad in the world.

    • @faryna:disqus  A thousand years ago I had family in Romania- but I expect that they are all long gone.
      The current challenges will end and new ones will be found. The hard part is that some things operate on their own time schedule and there is nothing that you can do to make them move faster.

  9. Jack, aloha.  What a terrific post.  Using Truth or Dare from our childhood’s and bringing it  to our blogging is so on the mark.

    Jack, I am often amazed by what I see people write in their blogs.  Yet, I realize that writing their Truth is extremely therapeutic even cathartic for them.

    Over time, I too have revealed far more about myself in my blog posts than I normally do in conversation.  And, you know what, Jack?  Writing those “truths we dare to show” may be one of the best things we can do for ourselves.

    Thx so much for this thought provoking post.  Until next time, Jack, aloha.  Janet

    • @twitter-45938040:disqus  Hi Janet, it is always nice to see you here. Writing is cathartic. There is power in our words and strength in the communities that we build.
      I think that you are absolutely right about the benefit and value of writing “our truths” because it opens up pieces of ourselves that we didn’t know existed.

  10. Jack, aloha.  What a terrific post.  Using Truth or Dare from our childhood’s and bringing it  to our blogging is so on the mark.

    Jack, I am often amazed by what I see people write in their blogs.  Yet, I realize that writing their Truth is extremely therapeutic even cathartic for them.

    Over time, I too have revealed far more about myself in my blog posts than I normally do in conversation.  And, you know what, Jack?  Writing those “truths we dare to show” may be one of the best things we can do for ourselves.

    Thx so much for this thought provoking post.  Until next time, Jack, aloha.  Janet

    • @twitter-45938040:disqus  Hi Janet, it is always nice to see you here. Writing is cathartic. There is power in our words and strength in the communities that we build.
      I think that you are absolutely right about the benefit and value of writing “our truths” because it opens up pieces of ourselves that we didn’t know existed.

  11.  I didn’t come from a bad situation but there were some things happening in the family unit that was embarrassing to me. I vowed to never make my kids have to go thru anything like I did or be embarrassed by the way I acted or what I said.

    I have probably said things in comments or blogs that I haven’t said to my closest friends, but I’ve said nothing I wouldn’t repeat. I’m pretty much an open book to a certain degree and sometimes I might say ‘too much’………ask my wife……..:)

    Good post and it is with mixed feelings to see your kids start to grow up and start being independent.

    Good to see you Jack and I do appreciate your support.

    • @a76049f6a32a1e633a732b81bafb98c9:disqus  I have tried to do the same for my kids as best I can.
      Some of the “deeper” secrets that we share online aren’t necessarily things we wouldn’t say to close friends, but they aren’t things that you just drop in conversation.

      And you are absolutely right about the kids. When did they get to be so big. I used to hate hearing parents say that, but there is so much truth in it.

  12.  I didn’t come from a bad situation but there were some things happening in the family unit that was embarrassing to me. I vowed to never make my kids have to go thru anything like I did or be embarrassed by the way I acted or what I said.

    I have probably said things in comments or blogs that I haven’t said to my closest friends, but I’ve said nothing I wouldn’t repeat. I’m pretty much an open book to a certain degree and sometimes I might say ‘too much’………ask my wife……..:)

    Good post and it is with mixed feelings to see your kids start to grow up and start being independent.

    Good to see you Jack and I do appreciate your support.

    • @a76049f6a32a1e633a732b81bafb98c9:disqus  I have tried to do the same for my kids as best I can.
      Some of the “deeper” secrets that we share online aren’t necessarily things we wouldn’t say to close friends, but they aren’t things that you just drop in conversation.

      And you are absolutely right about the kids. When did they get to be so big. I used to hate hearing parents say that, but there is so much truth in it.

  13. Columbiarose says:

    I think this is like people wanting to tell little white lies to avoid confrontations or hurt.  I just can’t accept that lies are ok, even little ones. Instead, I ask is what you are about to say truthful? Is it necessary? Is it kind? If not all three, you need a really good reason to say it. Like, it’s art. Or, speaking truth to power. Maybe it’s a good enough reason. But are you merely justifying a pretext? There will still be consequences you’ve got to be willing to accept as well, if you choose to put it out there. If a child may/will bear the consequence(s), the duty on us to think it all the way through is at the highest level.

    • @122ade50fde0a2b1863cd8e040cd7d6c:disqus  I don’t like it when people ask me questions that they don’t want answers to. I am rarely if ever afraid to share my opinion but as I have aged I have become more circumspect about it
      I see a lot of shades of gray in life so I am sometimes cautious in my speech or less forthcoming. Over time I have found that to be helpful in not causing unnecessary hurt.

  14. Columbiarose says:

    I think this is like people wanting to tell little white lies to avoid confrontations or hurt.  I just can’t accept that lies are ok, even little ones. Instead, I ask is what you are about to say truthful? Is it necessary? Is it kind? If not all three, you need a really good reason to say it. Like, it’s art. Or, speaking truth to power. Maybe it’s a good enough reason. But are you merely justifying a pretext? There will still be consequences you’ve got to be willing to accept as well, if you choose to put it out there. If a child may/will bear the consequence(s), the duty on us to think it all the way through is at the highest level.

    • @122ade50fde0a2b1863cd8e040cd7d6c:disqus  I don’t like it when people ask me questions that they don’t want answers to. I am rarely if ever afraid to share my opinion but as I have aged I have become more circumspect about it
      I see a lot of shades of gray in life so I am sometimes cautious in my speech or less forthcoming. Over time I have found that to be helpful in not causing unnecessary hurt.

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