Archive for the 'blogging' Category

Dearest Bloglines

Dearest Bloglines:

You’ve always provided me with hours (too many hours!) of reading enjoyment and made me a few friends, none of which I will probably ever meet.  I’ve always visited you happily and earnestly.  But November.  I just can’t stand the sight of you.   And the reason is NaBloPoMo.

What am I to do when my favorite writers ALL write at least a post daily?  Do I ignore my life (been there, done that, got depressed) or do I ignore my blog friends lives (but I can’t stand to miss something)?

So I read.  But it leaves no room for writing.  So November has precious little posts here at americanmum.  Maybe the internets will thank me.

Bollocks

I really enjoy blogging for so many reasons. I get to self-examine. I’ve grown as a person – not only from examining my own perspective, but from reading others’ blogs and incorporating their own into my life experience. Finally there is something spiritual for me about putting my true self out there for all to see.

But it does bother me that I can’t be completely honest. I can’t, or I won’t – I’m not sure. I re-read my blog some days and it sounds like this incredible put-together person who has it all figured out. Sure, I feel like that some days – don’t we all? But I have deep wounds and huge flaws that I am not sharing here.

Sometimes, I don’t share something because it involves other people. You may have noticed but I rarely talk about friends or family in any meaningful way. This is entirely on purpose. I feel that it is my choice to expose myself – and I don’t want to accidentally share something or say something that might hurt people I love. Often my self-searching revolves around a relationship issue and really baring myself out there for all to see would be exposing too much of other people’s lives. I would be willing, I think, to share my own flaws but too often they are wrapped up in someone else’s story, and I can’t safely or ethically expose that story, or tell it well without hurting someone else.

As a result, I usually only share the strong parts of me here. Then I come off as egocentric. I’ll admit that these accusations have some truth in them (although I am working to balance self-importance with human-importance every day).

Other bloggers – do you ever feel like your blog is actually not that good of a mirror into who you actually are? How so?

Why do I blog?

I had a particularly nasty comment (my first real “flame” in internet-land! A milestone!) on one of my posts a bit ago, and was over-analyzing myself over it (those that know me well are not surprised, I’m sure). She (I just get the feeling she was a “she” although it was an anonymous comment) had me pegged as a self-absorbed yuppie, “shop till you drop” kind of girl, which is so far from the truth it is laughable. However, there was maybe a 10% truth hidden in that comment somewhere…I think although I still agree with everything I wrote in that post, I do think perhaps it was too soon to start looking for answers about why the attacks happened and I got too political too soon. My post on retrospect read like I was saying that the Virginia Tech shooter would not have felt the need to kill if he had just recycled and bought a hybrid car. Ugh.

Anyway, it got me thinking about why I blog. I do actually appreciate comments like that because they force me to look at myself and help me grow as a person. And self-reflection is the biggest thing I get out of blogging. Which is probably the biggest thing all bloggers share, I think, so I’ll skip the explanation on that one.

But the main reason I blog is that I get to engage parts of my personality that are usually starving in my real life. I live in a conservative part of my state and I do not share many political beliefs with most of my in-town friends and family members. Often in my real life I have to keep my mouth shut about current events and other things as my almost complete disagreeance of everything they just said wouldn’t make polite conversation. I do have exceptions in some friendships – I have a close friend who is liberal but she is about to move to Portland. 😦 I have other conservative friends who don’t mind listening to what I believe and why although I’m kind of seen as a hippy-dippy in that particular group and that makes me the butt of many a well-meaning joke. So I have found that on my blog I can have political conversations with myself and with other bloggers who think in similar ways. Even (especially?) bloggers who have different views than I do make me think and it seems that in blog-land we can really open ourselves up and not only say what we think but why. I love that.

Some of you know that I had another blog before this one. It’s a convoluted story of why I started this one instead frought with paranoia and schizophrenic thinking, but I’ll try to sum up as best as I can because it is an important part of the story of why I blog.  I started my old blog anonymously and then later attached my name to it. I “came out” because I decided that while on my old blog I felt freer to talk about things that were pretty intimate to say the least, I don’t like to stand behind a wall while I blog. But then the reality of all the intimate stuff hit me and then the possible move to England came along, and I thought, “what a perfect time to start a fresh blog – do it right from the beginning and do all the things I wished I had done on the old one.” WordPress was part of that as was actually inviting real-life friends and family into the conversation. It turns out that some of them had found me anyway but had assumed I wanted my privacy so were respecting that by not telling me they knew about my blog (but still were reading it LOL). On this blog, I sent out a link on my Christmas email letter as at the time it was about 99% sure we were moving to England in about 2 months and this blog was going to be a place to update family and friends. Although that hasn’t (yet) happened and the blog has taken a different turn at least for the moment, my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and long-time friends all know about this place and I know some of them read, although rarely comment. (Um, people?  I have Statcounter which tells me where the latest visitors of my blog came from – if I know only one person in your town, I know that it’s probably you.  Comment!  I don’t bite.)  I really like that I can share pieces of my true self here with people who matter most in my life – it means they know me more authentically. (I just wish they all had blogs too so I could know them more authentically as well.) My blog is a great way to expose myself (no, not THAT way) and people can choose to read or not to read it. And I don’t have to see the disapproval on their faces if they disagree with me. 😉

I do miss my old blog, though, as on that one I really just let it all hang out.  But much of what I wrote about was more intimate than I would share with typical family members.  None of my uncles or cousins really want to read about my first experience with sex after a vaginal hysterectomy, I am sure.  At the time I was writing a lot about birth as I was on the precipice of starting to take classes to become a doula or childbirth educator.  Now I’ve sort of put that whole idea on hold just because of the possible international move.  I put up a breastfeeding, sex or birth post occasionally this blog, but not from a first-person perspective.  I miss that rawness and openness, but I like the sharing with real-life friends even more, it seems, and I don’t want to chase them away.

I also blog because it exercises my adult brain. As a stay-at-home mom, parts of my intellectual brain are not always used (although there are many things like discipline that exercise my brain pretty well). I do miss much about my old career in marketing – things like putting a product launch together, for example, engaged me creatively. And I miss writing. Blogging allows me to write with short spurts of my free time. Writing keeps my brain tuned up as it nourishes my soul.

So why do you blog?


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