Saturday, November 12, 2005

Now That I'm Gone

I guess there are some etiquette issues that I need to address now that I've left the island. I say this because someone went up to my friend Harreld and said, "Oh, so you're Harreld," because this guy had read about him on my blog but apparently hadn't read the link I had prominently posted asking people not to do things like this. It really weirded Harreld out.

Please don't do this.

I accepted some risk to myself when I chose to make this blog not anonymous. However, I guess that I didn't really think about the friends that I would make on the island and how they would feel about being not anonymous. I considered psuedonyms briefly, but I knew that I wouldn't be able to keep track of them and really, the main reason for using psuedonyms would be to keep the people on the island happy if they ever found out about the blog. But, people on the island would quickly figure out who I was talking about anyway. That's why I liked it; it was a small island.

But, in addition to the guy who somehow thought he could get in good with Harreld by his semi-stalker behavior, my blog is being found by people of the island. They search for the yoga studio that I first went to and the band that played at the Farmer's Market. The search for the resort I worked at and the name of Rhonda's farm. Someone also found me by searching for "dork magnet t-shirt," but I don't think that had anything to do with the island.

So, I have to deal with the reality that people might know what I think about them.

And, that makes me a little nervous. But when I really think about it, I'm OK with it. I didn't tend to post things that I wouldn't have said directly to the person if it came up in conversation. Any negative things that I said were usually in the context of my interaction with that person and should be read that way. I'm not making absolute statements here. My perspective and opinions and experiences with people colored my description.

When I look back on it, this blog was not so much about the island as I thought it would be. It was really about me and the changes that I went through while taking a sabbatical there. Please read it that way. What I said in November of 2004 or May of 2005 is probably completely different from the way I feel now.

If you are going to visit Orcas Island, please meet and engage with people there at face value. Let your experience with them determine how you treat them. It's not fair to them if you start your relationship with them more intimately than they have actually given permission for you to be.

I am continuing to write in this blog space because I think that I can take the same adventurous spirit with which I approached the island to the city. I'll try not to let it devolve into my internal ramblings but, instead, continue trying to make fun or poignent observations about the adventures I encounter in this new environment, be they social, physical or emotional. However, if I discover that leaving this adventure public is affecting the world that I left behind (but intend to go back to), I'll have to take the whole thing down. Don't make me come back there. :-)

Thank you for your interest so far and your (possible) continued interest as my focus shifts. Thank you also for respecting the people that have been so good to me.

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