Wednesday, January 26, 2011
A love letter to the Blogosphere
Blog. Online journal. Public diary. Record. Whatever you want to call it, you are a part of it in some way, just by clicking on this link and reading these words. It's an interesting little habit we all have, of documenting every moment of our lives. Our meals, our love, our moods, our likes, wants, do-not-wants, have to haves, must dos and inspiration. In the world of blogging, we all get it. We understand the drive to take an outfit shot even in the freezing cold, we get the multiple photos of food, this plate and that plate, the features and the guest posts, the run down of the sequence of events it takes to make a particular meal. This makes sense to us. And more often than not, those who do not blog just simply do not get it.
What started as a simple hobby in the late 90s, a la Livejournal and a bit of Diaryland prior, grew and grew until my small circle of LJ-ing friends began to expand. I became aquainted with friends in other towns, states, countries. We saw the ins and outs of each others' lives, we saw the ups, downs, the heart-breaks, the break-downs, and were privvy to the entire coming-of-age sagas we all shared with each other. In time Livejournal gave way to Blogspot, my old site getting dusty in my bookmarks after years of use, cobwebs growing over my entries, lj-cuts, and photobucket pictures. Gone, not forgotten, but pushed to the side for a newer, shinier way of doing things. Blogging. With my new "blog" I found a newer voice, less confessional and, I told myself, more mature. Gone were the passive-aggressive entries we all wrote, the "if you think this is about you, it is," the unloading of frustrations, the venting. My blog was a place for beautiful things. For documenting. And so I did. I started this site with no more than three readers, and each week as I continued to write here, as I continued to share more of myself, I met more and more like-minded people.
And the best part about meeting like-minded people is just what the word suggests- the commonalities and the shared understanding. I'd always considered myself a bit different from the people I chose to surround myself with in my daily life- although I love all of my "real-life" friends to the ends of the earth (and back!), I sometimes felt that there were different aspects of myself- the creating, the writing- that wasn't always understood. Through this blog I have met some of the most talented, inspirational people who celebrate the need to do that creating, to do that writing, and many of these women have transcended from "online friend" to "real friend."
And it is still humorous to me to use the term "online friends." To many people that conjures up the idea of a 40-year old man in a basement, posing as a young twenty-something. And although having "blog friends" may have once been a strange concept, perhaps now in the year 2011 it's not so weird. Social media was cool to many of us before it was cool, and now, ten years later, it is very, very cool. Now that it is acceptable to blog, to tweet, to Facebook with every person you've ever known, this strange little habit we've always had is suddenly the thing to do.
To be able to have this space, to be able to go through my day and have ideas pop into my head about possible blog topics, and then share those thoughts with thousands of people is an amazing gift. Blogging allows me a creative avenue I wouldn't otherwise have. As a stay-at-home Mom, it gives me a sense of contributing, a sense of purpose outside of my day to day workings as a mother, and it gives me a reason to keep those wheels turning in my head. It keeps me sharp. This blog has brought so many opportunities into my life, from meeting really fantastic people to being able to share in the experiences from all walks of life. It's made me have tougher skin; it's made me a more effective communicator. Through the many design and fashion blogs I read it's even made my world a little prettier. Overall though, this space has allowed me to forever encapsulate some of the happiest moments of my life; my marriage, my pregnancy, the birth of our son.
So, this is a love letter to the blogosphere. Thank you for existing. Thank you for giving all of the weird, obsessively documenting parts of myself a place to live and thrive, thank you for giving me a place to share the never ending parade of thoughts in my head. We all have different reasons for being here, for blogging and reading. For me, it's all about saving a piece of every single day. Freezing moments so I can always go back and experience them once the hourglass has turned itself over. It's my husband's smile in a photo from date night, it's the accompanying story full of I love yous and I love this, it's a video of our son laughing, a picture of the way the light hits our bed on a particular December afternoon. It's the outfit I wore on a day I felt beautiful, it's a collage of memories, a flashback in time. It's the sense that even though time marches on, there is a small place in this huge world where everything is safe, where I can always return to. Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. And although I live in the now, because, after all, that is what blogging is about, the now always has a yesterday. And when tomorrow comes, and yesterday may be a little foggy, I can always go back here, and remind myself of so much.