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I'm sure I'm not the first one to come to this realization, but you never fully appreciate the scope of something until it happens to you, and you have no one but yourself to blame. A family, a friendship, a relationship, all brought down by nothing more than a few choice words typed from behind the safety of a computer screen.
I thought I was doing everyone a favor, helping them. That's what an advice column is for after all. I guess manipulation would have been a more accurate term. I hadn't ever intended it to turn out as it did, but then, it wouldn't have been karma would it?
I paused mid-thought, my fingers hovering over the keys. What on earth are you doing? I scolded myself. I closed the laptop and moved it off my knees like it were something contagious. Things hadn't changed; I was still venting my feelings through blogging instead of confronting the people who they were about. Apparently the lesson karma was trying to teach me was an in progress thing, or just hadn't sunk in yet.
Leaning back against the hillside, I let myself be wrapped in the embrace of the long meadow grasses and closed my eyes, trying to resist the urge to pick up the computer and finish my thoughts. My fingers twitched next to my sides, a desire to hold some writing utensil running fast through my blood. I had always been a writer; even before the time I realized that words were more than just a jumble of random letters, a foreign language only adults could understand. They held meaning and those meanings had shapes and textures that were used to convey more complex ideas. Writing was an escape, a hobby, a friend, an external link, and so much more.
Blogging only increased its potential.
Not that I wanted or craved for other people to read what I was feeling or thinking at any particular moment, I wasn't that shallow. But the option was there, and it opened up an opportunity to communicate with others who enjoyed writing as much as I did, for the same reasons I did. And that's exactly what happened. It even turned out that some of my extremely thorough but completely randomized thoughts about anything and everything got some reader's to take my analysis on certain situations into consideration. That's how Ask Alice was created.
A predictable name for an advice column, but recognizable. The idea was brought up by more than one of my blog's followers, and I followed through on the suggestion more on a whim of curiosity rather than any serious desire to maintain an advice column. But, it was a bigger success and more enjoyable than I had previously imagined and so, it became a part of my regular routine. It was a satisfying alternative to dwell on solutions to other people's problems in place of my own as petty as mine might have been.
It was only months later I discovered the influence of the column and the power the computer keys held beneath my fingertips when it came to giving people in my life advice, especially when their problems were mine as well. The temptation to try and set things normal again so my life wasn't turned upside down was too hard to resist.
I opened my eyes and watched the clouds racing over my head like so much dandelion fluff caught in a child's breath. A breeze eased my sunburnt face and as I watched a hawk circle overhead I wondered if I hadn't meddled if things really would have been so much different. Would my relationship still be intact? Would I still be moving out of the house that I had lived in since I was barely old enough to walk? Were all of these things imminent no matter what I had done or said?
I sighed and plucked a piece of grass from the ground, twirling it through my fingers in an attempt to quell the unrelenting desire to return the computer to my lap and write down everything that was going through my mind.
"Alex!" My mother's voice carried to me on the wind and suddenly, the breeze no longer cooled the sunburn but increased the irritation. "Dinner!"
"One minute!" I answered, fully intending for that one minute to last at least ten. I was finding it increasingly harder to sit through dinner with my family, which my mother understood for entirely the wrong reason.
I closed my eyes once more, the racing clouds and my spinning thoughts becoming too much to handle at once and took a deep breath. The sweet scent of the meadow grass and evening dew filled my nostrils to the point where I could taste it and, I wondered yet again if my writing, my choice of words had influenced the outcome of any of the events that had happened recently.
I mentally retraced all of the blogs and return advice letters I had penned even with the realization that I would go through all of them physically on my computer later, and probably give in and create another post in the process. My mind came to rest on the very first blog I had written after an incident I had witnessed in the school hallways, one concerning, ironically enough, the integrity of friendship. ..