The title of this post makes it sound much more exciting than it is... I don't have any harrowing tales of infiltrating military bases or going undercover as a diplomatic envoy. But I do feel like a spy at times, or at least a gawker- one of those background bystanders in pictures of important events, wanting to get as close as possible to the action. The spying I do, though, is from my desk chair- I am a Blog Spy. I'm a drifter, one who nibbles and samples other people's thoughts, struggles, and random musings, leaving no trace of myself. Simply put, I read a lot of blogs, but I almost never comment on any of them. I have over 20 blogs on my 'favorites' toolbar for Explorer, all of which I visit every 3-4 days at least, yet I haven't left a comment on any of them for a long time. Some are pages of friends, a few are group forums, and some are strangers I've discovered through a '6 degrees of separation' link to the aforementioned friends or groups. Most of these people have no idea that I'm reading their blogs, that I drift by and see what they're thinking, that they scintillate or amuse or anger me. Every day I'm enriched, or at least taken outside my own life sphere, by what I see, yet I never respond to what these people give me.
I don't think it's a coincidence that I've recently discovered a love of autobiographies. There's something of the people-watcher, the spy, in me. In fact, I think there's a fair measure of armchair psychologist, or at least strong curiosity for why people are such mysteries. People are fascinating- full of complexities, utterly unique and unpredictable.
I'm meandering, though- the question here is why I don't comment on other people's blogs. Every time I read a good post, that stirs up a thought or reaction, I think about commenting and immediately draw back. I'm still sorting through the reaction, and I know part of it is laziness- I have a hard time putting thoughts into words, and I'm very critical of what I've written. But a larger part of it is fear- a fear of exposing who I am (and thus who I'm not). I think I have such a desire to see myself as a smart person with a valuable comment on everything that I can't actually enter a dialogue with others, in case they out-argue or correct me or even just disagree with me. But I'm losing the chance to participate and engage with people, to actually get into the grit and texture of life, and I'm becoming a bystander, gazing through a window at what I see going on. I could go join the action- but by making a decision, that would define me more as a person, and therefore shut out some of those options that I so like to keep open. But what am I keeping them open for?