‘I understand that it’s been a really long time since we’ve talked, and maybe this is a bit strange coming from me but I read your blog and…’
This sentence. Is. So. Flippin’. Awesome.
An ex-colleague of mine (from way back when I was still slaving away at McDonalds) sent me a message last week about one of the blogs I wrote here. Because he’d actually READ it! We ended up in an hours long discussion on the important things in life and (re)connected in ways that would have never occurred had I not spammed his Facebook Storyline with my writing. Don’t worry – I asked him if it was OK to share this, like the good girl that I am.
What’s even more awesome? It’s not the first time that that’s happened these past two weeks (and hopefully not the last). These talks. These interactions. These people stepping over the boundary of contacting me out of the blue for something that I WROTE – are amazing to me. It wasn’t just him. It was old flames, and current teammates. Family members and friends-I-thought-I’d-lost-track-of.
I have had insightful talks, intense blushworthy compliments and helpful tips and tricks thrown at me from all (and very unexpected) directions. It’s epic. And exactly why I write the way I write, and choose the things I write about. It’s why I keep a PERSONAL blog instead of becoming a food blogger or make-up guru or travel aficionado. It’s a connection that’s worth a fortune.
For me, the fact that he ‘admitted’ to reading my blog AND took the trouble to engage me about it (instead of lurking and staying an invisible read-along) is the answer to a question I get asked a lot. ‘Why do you keep a blog?’ and more importantly ‘Aren’t you afraid of who might be reading and what they might think?’. (The answer is yes, btw. I am afraid. But it’s a good kind of scary, to me).
It’s the answer to the ‘Why’ of personal blogging:
First and foremost, don’t get me wrong, there’s a grand scala of reasons why I write. For me, anyway.
I’ll make you a handy list, because lists are fucking awesome:
* It’s an outlet for my creativity
* It’s an outlet for my negativity
(fears, frustrations, pains and all of those nasty things you don’t wanna bottle up)
* It’s an opportunity to share my positivity
(although granted, there’s not been much of that so far)
* It’s a way of connecting with others
(where I don’t exactly excel at doing so in other more ‘normal’ ways)
* It’s a means of getting out of my head and into the world
(because as a classical overthinker – this HELPS)
* It’s a chance to gain new insights
* It’s a possibility to be a (positive) influence on others and the way they think (because even if I make you slightly uncomfortable with my writing, it might still show you something new to ponder)
* It’s a medium for sending a message that might otherwise not be sent.
That last one is a tricky one. Because even if I don’t know who’s actually reading, I can still hope to get my point across to specific people I might not be talking to otherwise. It allows me to convey (for instance) a great big middle finger to certain people who don’t deserve the light of day anymore. Or a message of ‘look at who I am flourishing into’ to a mom I’m not on speaking terms with. Or a good ole ‘fuck you’ to an estranged dad (who might now be able to see that despite all his efforts he could not prevent me from becoming a ‘good’ person <- I hope). Hell – it (sort of, hopefully) even allows me to provide insight in who I am as a person to people who may have had entirely different perceptions. It’s a powerful way of portraying yourself, regardless of previously formed opinions. And a chance I can’t resist to do exactly that.
But in the end, pretty much all I’m ACTUALLY doing is keeping a sort of public diary. I’m putting out there what’s going on inside and hoping that I don’t get judged (too harshly) for it. Or, if that does happen, keep my fingers crossed that I can learn from the consequences. AND at the same time I’m hoping to make an impact. To have an actual effect on the people reading. To be an inspiration (even if it’s only in the ‘what-not-to-do’ corner). While at the same time staying approachable enough to actually make the above talks possible (because they brighten my day). Yet, I’m doing all of this through a look into MY life and choices, which makes it a dangerous occupation.
Because it IS a risk – blogging as personally as I do. People WILL think things about what I have to say, or how I conduct myself. And even though I’ll try to keep it classy, the mere fact that a direct colleague might be reading my Tinder Troubles is quite daunting. Is professionalism going to be an issue? Will this affect me more than just mood-wise? Who IS actually reading and who are they talking to about it. Is this going to carry further than just the people in my Facebook and Whatsapp timelines? What if an unmentionable uses this information against me? There’s so many creepy options that might come into play the longer I keep doing this.
But it’s a risk I’m willing to take – because even in these mere two weeks of blogging, I’ve learned things about the people around me (and, possibly more importantly, about myself) that I would never have had access to another way. Which makes it (for now) entirely logical to take the possible bad with the good. Here’s hoping to a lot more of the awesome!
Even if you’re lurking. Even if you’re just reading along. Even if you click these links just because the Facebook stories with the blue ‘unwatched’ rings annoy you?
I see you! I welcome you! I know you!
(Not in a ‘scary-hiding-in-the-bushes kinda way)
And you’re appreciated! Regardless of your judgments. Thank you!
Wanna read more about the ins and outs and hows and whys of personal blogging round here? Click on, brave warrior, click on!
* Personal blogging – Risky Business
* Personal blogging – Dirty little secret
* Personal blogging – To be recognisable or to be unique?
* Personal blogging – Out for the count
* Personal blogging – Listless
* Personal blogging – The science of stars