After writing my post about the shame that blogging made me feel, I was left feeling like I missed something majorly important. I talked about some of the frustrating aspects of blogging but neglected to mention the best part: friends!
As soon as I heard of blogging I started one. It was the Summer of ’69. No it wasn’t. But that just popped up and I couldn’t resist it. (Canadian rock icon Bryan Adams’ album So Far So Good was the first CD I ever owned. I was in grade 8. Those songs are special.)
So much has changed!
I started blogging because of friends. My friend Christy started one and sent me the link. It was so cool. Christy was a friend from Edmonton. We shared our first pregnancies together, and then both moved away from Edmonton so our babies didn’t actually know each other outside of the occasional visit. I had been scrapbooking up until that time and thought ‘Wow! Blogging is like scrapbooking except you can share it online with all your friends!’ I was swept up in the novelty and the fun, and I loved the challenge that the blogging learning curve presented.
Ours were the first generation of babies that grew up on the internet in the sense that their every move was documented and displayed on blogs and facebook and social media in general. Of course, now that our children are getting to the age that privacy is a concern for them new challenges abound, but at first it was such a great source of connection for me as a mother. At times I felt really trapped at home. Being able to reach out and share my experiences, joys, and frustrations with other parents more often and on my own time was both a lifesaver and a delight. There are kids out there in the world who have never met me, but who I have watched grow up and who I care for deeply. That’s neat.
The first people I shared by blog with were friends, and my friends started blogs and shared them with me. Then a few family members hopped the train. Blogging was never only about babies, even in the beginning, but as time went on the subjects expanded in both breadth and depth. I started getting involved, through this new medium of shared, amateur, reading and writing, in the lives of strangers, real people all around the world, and suddenly my readership was made up of more strangers than acquaintances. And as even more time passed, some of those strangers became acquaintances, and even the closest and dearest of friends.
One relationship that is pretty much a mentorship came about largely through blogging.
I’ve been able to maintain friendships with people in other places much easier.
I have friendships with great people who live right in my town and who I’ve known for many years that I believe are deepened because blogging has allowed us an extra level of sharing.
I have friends in other towns, provinces and countries – hemispheres even – who are now so close that after I quit blogging I missed them so much I just had to begin again.
It’s the reason I came back. Self-expression is a good thing. But it necessarily involves communication and communication necessarily involves other people. And I love other people.
What I’m trying to say is, you guys are the best!
I’d now I’d like to hear some Bryan Adams. The only man who can wear a leather jacket and a canadian tuxedo at the same time and still look utterly romantic.
And now I want to watch Robin Hood.