Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Answer

It’s almost been a year since I became a “blogger” (why do I hate that word so much?) and reflecting on the past year gets me thinking.

I think about the weird things I’ve written, the embarrassing, the silly and the serious.

I think about the things I have read, the beautiful, the funny and the intelligent; not to mention the people who put all those things out there for me to discover.

And, I think about my role in the whole thing.

Where do I fit in?

What drives me to keep doing it?

Why do I “blog” (I really would like to say “write” instead)?

I started this because my best friend had a blog. I am such a follower, I know. Plus, she is the one with all the good ideas and wonderful taste that everyone wants to copy her anyway, so why not me?

In all seriousness, she had started a blog to document her adoption journey. I read her blog, I loved it and was amazed at the responses and support that came from complete strangers going through the exact same thing as she was. It was more than uplifting, especially during the long waiting times, it was inspiring. It was community, it was good.

Before long, the time had come for her trip to China and much discussion ensued about how she was going to be able to communicate from there, what with the regulations and all. From that point on, I decided I needed a blog so that I could “talk” to her over the many miles of sea that would be separating us during her trip.

I had no idea that I’d still be doing it more than a year later.

I have always known that I enjoyed writing, and reading. I often would find myself scribbling things down on whatever I had available and near, like a napkin or a wrapper, or Kleenex (but that’s kind of hard to write on in the middle of the night by very little light, trust me). Here was my opportunity to get it all out, and see what would happen when I finally did.

I remember my first comment. From a total stranger. Kristin. She was big-time, and I’d been reading her fascinating blog for a few months. I was bowled over that she had taken the time to navigate through the word verification to actually leave me a comment. Little old me.

And that is when my love affair began.

Guided by the interesting reads on the blogrolls of others, I discovered what I liked and what I didn’t. I discovered the many, many voices out there that mirrored my own (or that I wish mirrored my own). I found people with families similar and dissimilar to mine, individuals with amazing lives and witty ways of telling about them and the gifted talents of truly great writers, right here living in my laptop, imagine that?

I have received so many gifts in reading your blogs. I have received an immeasurable amount of support and comfort in just knowing that there are so many other people out there whom I can relate to, in whatever way that may be. That isn’t to say that I’m a lonely recluse in “real life”, quite the opposite. But the level of truth and beauty in writing is so different, so raw and real that I can’t help wanting more.

I have discovered people who I would never and will never meet in the “real world”. People with vision, drive and dedication who are sharing it with others. Beautiful stories of life, death and all that falls in between that transfix me and hold me close as I read on and on and on.

And I suppose as the internet is a vast “rabbit hole”, if you will, in which I could be lost for days if no one noticed my absence (which I highly doubt, as I am still beckoned to frost waffles with peanut butter several times a day), I could go on forever about the blogs I read. But, how to tidy it all up with a neat little bow and give it back to you?

Simply put, it has changed my life. It has made me read more and watch less tv (and that’s always a good thing). It has made me think more and question more (which I regard as a positive thing as well). It has made me loose sleep (not such a wonderful side affect to being sucked down the rabbit hole but thankfully I have discovered the joys of real coffee) and it has allowed me to share a side of myself that had been hiding for a long time.

And for that, I am grateful. Truly.

15 comments:

Mel said...

Wow, it blows me away that you've only been blogging (sorry) for a year.
You are a great writer. And I agree, I feel so lucky to have gotten to know and like so many great bloggers (sorry) since I started.

Jenny said...

Oh girl. This is so beautifully written.

I'm so glad to have come across your blog. You have such a way with words.

Kristin said...

You're right... there are so many wonderful stories out there and it's a luxury to be privy to them.

prrrof said...

And as a writing prof, your post underlines the deep and abiding hope I have for writing in the 21st century. Far from of causing some supposed "decline" in writing ability, spaces like blogs have created more and more writers. Kudos to you for sustaining this blog!

Mrs. Chicken said...

It is a wonderful secret world, isn't it? I'm glad you're part of it.

Oh, The Joys said...

I think maybe we're some weird kind of cyber pioneers. (I can NOT believe I just wrote that. What a dork.)

Redneck Mommy said...

This community of writers has not only helped me become more creative, and a better writer, but it has and continues to prop me up on the days I feel I can't hold my head above water.

The icing on the cake is when you find such wonderful writers who allow you into their lives, and then become your cyber-friend to share your joys and defeats with.

Like you.

So thank YOU.

radioactive girl said...

I always feel like connecting with people is what helps me make it through the day sometimes. Being a mom is hard work, and sometimes it is little comments from other people (mainly who I don't even know) that make me able to get through the day.

Grim Reality Girl said...

I'm glad you started writing online (see! I didn't use that irritating word!) I'm glad you write because I enjoy READING your writing. Happy anniversary!!!

Christina_the_wench said...

Nicely done.

mk said...

Beautiful! I understand what you mean about blogging. It changes so many peoples lives and connects so many of us that would have never met otherwsie. I love it and your site. Thank you for blogging.

Jill said...

Well said. I like the way blogging lets you right inside the most genuine part of another person, when you might not ever get there in person. There are a lot of inspiring stories out there, aren't there.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

I loved this post! It was almost like I could have written this!
(though probably not as eloquently as you did) I feel the same way. It is amazing how the support of complete strangers can make such a difference!

I am glad you started b(well, you know)....I really enjoy your blog!

Sandra said...

I loved this post as much as I have loved reading your blog this past year. You rock.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am just about to start blogging, was thinking about writing something & this blogs inspires to me to read write & share more.