Saturday, August 2, 2008

Why do I blog?

Why do I blog? Why do you blog? Why does anybody blog? The reasons are endless...

As a creative outlet for writing.
To stay connected with people far away.
To entertain yourself and others.
To speak out on an issue that is important.
To teach others.

So, I've given this a lot of thought in regards to myself.

I started this whole line of thought because of a snarky comment someone left for me. Initially, I was going to choose to NOT publish it. But I've decided after all that I will, because the comment is not offensive, it is simply not very complimentary to me. I gather from the brief comment that this person, whoever he/she is, thinks that I should have a different perspective on life simply because of my husband's choice of career (Pastor). Well, I'm 100% Christian but I guess I don't blog about my Christianity because that is one area of my life that is pretty satisfying. No complaints there. God has never let me down and I don't 'spect that He ever will. I have had my share of crappy days - if you read my posts you already know that. But He is always there to lift me up and I am reminded of all the blessings I have because of Him. One of those blessings is this very blog. This opportunity to share my thoughts about what DOES frustrate me and what is not satisfying (ex: my inability to be the kind of mother for my kids that I want to be, my struggle to avoid the temptations of a commercial-driven and consumer society, my dissatisfaction with my body shape, etc.) And I just think that everyone on this blogosphere of ours needs to seriously remind ourselves that what we read is NOT a person. It is easy to get to know a blogger by what he/she writes. After a while you get the feeling that you really know that person. But a person has a real voice, skin, emotions, and life experiences. Many of those are private. Me, I purposely choose to only reveal certain aspects of myself because I consider it a privilege to share my intimate details with only those people who I love. I mean I LUV ya folks, but you know what I mean.

So, back to why do I post? Hmmm. I did some soul-searching and realize that I blog because I need some sort of validation. I need to know that the things I say are important to someone, even if their only importance is to entertain. I need to know that I matter to someone. And yes, I guess I am sorta pathetic that I need positive comments because after day after day of listening, to, "You never let me [fill in the blank]!" and "Hon, when are you gonna get around to doing [fill in the blank]?" and (10-month-old voice) "WWWHHHHAAAAAAA!" I need to have someone say something nice to me. And I guess even if no one is saying anything nice then at least I can let a few things off my chest without hurting the feelings of anyone I love. Feelings are just the way we feel, not the way we act. So I try really hard to recognize the difference and not jump the gun on my emotions. If I'm hurt, I try to think of the other person's point of view. I try to see why they would feel that way, what's going on with them, what I might have done to add to (not cause) the stress. But sometimes feelings are just feelings and the actions connected to those feelings end up being me pounding away on the computer keys. I guess I could always go run a few miles (uh, maybe not - I hate running), or I could cry into my pillow. But I like writing. And I like making connections with people. Mostly I like making people happy. I love reading other people's posts because they make me happy and I often wonder if my posts make people laugh, or if they turn people away, or if people think, that girl needs to take creative writing 101.

So, all this thinking about people out there in the blog world has caused me to realize that I am very very lonely. My husband's job has caused us to move every 3 or 4 years - just enough time to meet and grow very close to a girlfriend. This last move was particularly hard as we were moving away from all friends and family to a place neither of us has ever been, moving from the country to the city, moving to a different type of job, and moving to a more stressful economic situation. I have always NEEDED a friend. I still have my best girlfriend in the midwest, and another great girlfriend who also blogs (Hi Angie). But I just don't have anyone who I can physically see, hug, share a coke with, go to the movies with, have a shoulder to cry on, etc. I know I need to lean on my family and they are awesome! My family is so incredible and my husband is a wonderful man. Really, he makes it so easy to love and respect him. But I just need that one other area of my life, the part where someone smiles at me and likes me for ME, not because we're related or because I'm the only person they know in town. I need a friend who calls me up to say, "let's go hang out" because I am the person she wants to talk to. Every time we move it gets harder and my husband knows this but simply can't promise that we won't move again. I feel guarded, apprehensive, and sad. At the same time, I feel like I am a plant in a drought awaiting water. If a friend came along who discovered that she enjoyed my company as much as I enjoyed hers, I would drink up our friendship like that plant drinking up rain. This may cause you to say, "Well get off your arse and get out there! Meet some ladies!" Umm, I have. I've been in a moms group since the week I moved here. I belong to my church. I have hosted various things at my own house. But it just seems like I am still an outsider. I want that personal, 1-on-1 connection. I have moved enough times to realize, it just takes time. In a year I will probably feel completely different. But for now this is how I feel. And how I feel is not very happy.

So, maybe I am more negative than I realized. Maybe I complain more than I should. When I posted the poll about "Do you think I complain too much on my blog?" I really expected everyone to say, Heck no. But even though the results are few, I am realizing that my blog could be a downer. Well, it's something to think about. I guess I can change what I'm writing. But then I don't know if it would really be the real me. It would certainly be another side of me. But basically, I think I'd be making my blog into one that I wouldn't particularly be too interested if I were the reader.

So, long story longer, If you read my blog and like it, THANKS! If you don't like it, please just don't visit any more. This is your opportunity to surround yourself by things you like so why waste your time reading something you don't like?

Just My Feelings.


Sharon said...

Wow. I wish you lived down the street from me. I've got the same "no girlfriends" problem. I've been down here in TX for several years, but I'm a little shy about what feels like pushing myself on anyone.

Bridgett said...

Good post. I think I'm going to point my mom this way. She moved with my dad (and us kids, all 4) every 2-3 years when I was growing up. I think she would totally understand this.

I do too, as someone who watched how hard that was and decided....I wasn't ever going to.

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

Dude, You need to figure out how to link. You gotta link me if you are going to say hi to me! That's just blog etiquette. Rookie.

And Stop apologizing for what and how you write. Unless you wrote something that would offend the Lord, you owe no apologies to anyone. you are a great writer (always have been - ever since the yearbook poem 18 years ago - GAAAH! EIGHTEEN YEARS!!!). You are a pastor's wife, but you are a human and human's complain. So many people think that just because someone is in the ministry they are not subject to the same human behavior and temptations and FUN that others are subject to. Forget that. Forget the comment. Keep the blog. Let the snarky comments bounce off you. Let the good comments refuel you. Enjoy it.


Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

I think this blogging keeps us connected...I have found so many people that I relate to online...not so much IRL...and this may just be the boost I need to realize that I'm likeable enough to find more IRL..Make sense?? I hope so...Just keep doing what you are doing...people need to take what works and leave the rest behind...and you still have the power of DELETE...which keeps you in control...Me Likey You!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Angie sent me over--I agree with your perspective completely.

Annie said...

It can be a little isolating without a girlfriend close by. I haven't had one for a long time, but I have close female family members - but it isn't the same. Blogging sometimes is a way to just let out some stuff that you can't really say to the people in your real life, since that special girlfriend isn't available. It isn't a portrait of who we are, but rather a snapshot of a mood that we're in when we sit down at our keyboard and just blab out what we need to get off our chests.

So, here we are - sharing the truth of our life as we feel it in the moment - just blabbing away to one another and giving a virtual pat on the shoulder and saying "oh yeah" I've felt like that! or "I remember that stage of my kid's life" or "I am blessed to have survived that!" or "It sounds so funny when you talk about that!"

You may not want to read my blog... I've certainly not attained Christ-likeness... but I love him, and he and I are working to improve our relationship daily... He is actually doing fantastic on his end, but I'm a moody girl and that takes some work!

dadthedude said...

My wife wouldn't be very understanding if I had a girlfriend close-by... come to think of it she wouldn't be very understanding of it if I had one really far away either. Women.. gees ;)

Your blog is YOUR blog. Have a crappy day, post it. I think thats the great thing about blogs. The better ones allow you to "see" the person writing it.

I'll be honest,here's one of the reasons I blog:

A good friend of mine passed away recently. They read one of his posts at his service. Everyone was laughing, it was like he was there reading it. Reading his posts even today and I hear his voice saying the words and even the parts he left out. Of course it's not the same but in some small way it's comforting to still go there and "talk" to him. His last post was on Saturday, April 19. He passed away the following Tuesday. Had no idea that would be his last post and knowing him, it would have been the same regardless.

I blog for 3 reasons:
1) out of respect for my friend
2) I enjoy it.
3) my english teacher in high schoool would lose a bet (because I failed english a few times).

Who knows, my last post may actually be my last.

Nap Warden said...

Same problem up here in The Big City...I agree:)

Donna-Michele said...

Wow, you are writing about something I didn't even know I was feeling until I read it. Thanks for being vulnerable, and for being here!

In the last year I was married and bought a home. We lost a baby we were 22 wks and 5 days pregnant with in April. I know just what you mean about lonely. Life get's in the way. Sometimes you don't even feel worthy of a new friend.

Lonely sucks!

I try to remember that G-d has his hand in everything. EVERYTHING. The right and perfect person will come into your life (and mine) as the next IRL great friend when HE is ready, G-d, not you, or me, and not the friend.

In the mean time, I pray and meditate more, to improve on me. My newest thing is to just go out of my way for strangers. I took cold bottled water to guys working out in the heat today. Yesterday it was helping a woman with several kids get out of Walmart. Being kind and getting my eyes off myself helps me. I hope this helps you.


Anonymous said...

Hey, friend, I came here via Angie.
I started blogging for the same reasons you did. I see nothing wrong with your reasons. Don't change a thing. You're right. Stay true to you. If it's a downer, so be it. It'll come back up when you're feeling 'up'. My blog has been 'blue' at times, and giddy at times. It's a reflection of me. Be your awesome self.
I've lived in the same town for ten years and have just now made a few true friends. I know the lonlieness you speak of.
Much love to you.