I used to think blogging was for dorks...narcissistic techies who had way too much time on their hands.
I decided to start a blog because I was desperate to write. I used to write. All the time. But then I had kids. And like so many other parts of my personality, my writing desire was shoved down into the Diaper Genie.
Originally, my only purpose was to write. I needed to have somewhere to document my thoughts, frustrations, musings...mostly on motherhood but also on all things Me. I never thought my blog would start feeling like a little part of me. I never thought I'd be as proud of it as I am. And I absolutely, most definitely, never thought I'd make actual connections with others out there in the blogging world.
I'm not sure what it is. Maybe it's the pseudo-anonymity of the Internet. Maybe it's luck that I've stumbled onto other bloggers with whom I can relate. Maybe it's that the timing is just right: I have "grown up," gotten married, bought a "real" house, had my 2 children, and now I'm back to Me. Re-finding me. Re-evaluating me. Re-creating me. And somehow, through writing this blog and reading others', I've peeled off some of the layers...gotten rid of some of the pretenses. And "met" some really incredible women.
I think this is one of the side-effects of blogging that really amazes some of us. We start interacting through this world and somehow, become friends, confidants, cheerleaders. We make connections with other people in a way that is very different from real life. Here, we decide if we "like" each other based on our experiences, our commonalities, our shared lives and the written word. It is amazingly helpful...a relief, really...to know that you are not the only one thinking some of the same thoughts, going through the same experiences, battling the same demons, revelling in the same joys. I think that's why Sarah and Jen at Momalom decided to start Five for Ten...because really, all we want is to be heard and understood, and in order for that to happen, we must be open to others and connect.
Recently, I was "talking" to Sarah, whose honesty is so raw that it can either frighten or inspire you. We were discussing, via our comments and emails, why it is that we can be so honest and bare on our blogs, but in real life...at the playground, at our kids' schools, at work, even with actual friends...we feel the need to put up facades.
I'm someone who has always prided myself on just putting myself out there: you either like me, or you don't. I usually say what I'm thinking, and I don't like to blend in too much. But...
I've realized over the last year or so, as I've looked around at the people who I've chosen to surround myself with, that I have censored myself with most of them. I feel misunderstood, a lot. I feel alone, a lot. I feel, very often, that I'm a little bit insane in a world that looks down on the the crazy people. And you know what? I've decided I kinda like being a little nuts.
It seems that a lot of people are quick to judge. Quick to criticize. Quick to decide how life should be lived.
I don't want to live like that. I don't want to be with people like that. I want to be out there. I want to make connections with other people. I don't care if they're "like me." I just want them to be whoever and whatever they are and not be afraid of that...and be willing to present themselves to me in that way and then return the favor.
It's not that I've pretended to be something I'm not. It's not that I haven't been Who I Am. It's that I've chosen only select parts of Me to be on display with certain people. My uptight friends? They get Type A Liz. My wild friends? They get Loud Liz. My stuffy friends? They only get Serious Liz. I hold back the sides of me that don't really match with the other person...just in case.
It was during one of those email chats with Sarah, when we were discussing our abilities to be so honest in our blogs that I mentioned: "We put ourselves out there and who ever wants in, joins us, and those who don't, simply don't return."
The more I thought about that, the more I reread that line, the more I realized: I want to live my life like that, too. Unapologetic. So, really, it's up to you. Join me, or just don't return. Either way, it's totally okay.