Maybe it’s because my fourth blogaversary is coming up, but I’m getting sentimental. I’m looking back over the years and thinking about what this blog means to me.
I’ve debated for days how to write this post without coming off as sappy or narcissistic and I’ve realized it’s impossible. Those are the two things I’m good at.
I don’t know about you, but my blog has been an important part of my life. It came at the perfect time. Four years ago I was spending my days posting stupid facebook status updates about the toast I had that morning, feeling like I had no creative outlet.
I was a stay-at-home mom feeling like I had lost touch with the world. Like I had lost my identity along the way. I needed to make connections with others. I wrote my first post, the mind-blowing “What’s a widget?” received one comment from my cousin in Florida and I was hopelessly hooked
Blogging is like opening up your house for strangers to come in and sift through your medicine cabinet and underwear drawer. It’s very scary to let people in, to be so intimate and vulnerable. What if people judge my granny panties? What if people find out about the prescription strength hemorrhoid cream? (not mine)
Life is all about pushing through those roadblocks of fear. Testing your limits, seeing what you’re made of. Hiding the hemorrhoid cream in a better place next time.
I wasn’t popular as a kid. I wasn’t outgoing. I was painfully shy. And by that I mean other kids would take turns giving me atomic wedgies on the playground.
Oh I was always observing everyone else for sure, because you can pick up a lot about human nature that way. Like figuring out how fast I had to run to avoid being put in a headlock and given a noogie. Thankfully this knack for observing others helps with my writing a little. Except for this paragraph. Oh god I hate it. Just bad bad writing overall. Oh well, too late.
So — surprise, surprise — I had huge insecurities most of my life. I’m in my forties and feel like I’m finally letting most of those go, letting them fall away. I’ve told that negative inner voice to shut the hell up already.
And you know, it feels good. More than good. It feels like I’ve given myself permission to be the true me — the good, the bad, the ugly. I feel FREE.
Here’s a sampling of my inner dialogue/conflict now:
Darla, you are such an idiot.
Shut the hell up.
Darla, your face resembles a Shar Pei. A very old, very wrinkled Shar Pei. Not the good end.
Shut the hell up.
Darla, your ass is droopy. So droopy it’s morphed with your jiggly thighs to become one giant mass of ass. Really, I can’t even tell where one body part ends or begins now.
Shut the hell up.
Darla, your writing sucks. It sucks bad.
Shut the hell up.
See? Seems easy to do, but it took me a long time to get to this point. Go on, try it — tell yourself to shut the hell up for me. You’ll feel like a weight’s been lifted.
How has blogging helped me reach this point? It all comes down to you guys. Every time you take the time out of your busy day at work playing Candy Crush Saga to leave a nice comment, it gives me a positive boost. To be honest, I still can’t believe anyone wants to read my writing at all.
But maybe you don’t want to read my blog.
Maybe you were moving a heavy bookcase by yourself, it tipped over and now you’re lying on the floor trapped underneath a mountain of books. Your smartphone flew out of your pocket and it’s just inches out of your reach. Your pet parrot Mr. Pickles unlatched his cage and swooped down to help because you had spent months teaching him how to call 911. But then he realized you had forgotten to feed him again that morning so instead he angrily pecked at your phone, inadvertently typing the URL address for this blog and now all you can do to pass the time is read this drivel from a distance as the weight of the bookcase slowly crushes your spine into dust while a squawking Mr.Pickles digs his talons deeper into your face and poops on your forehead.
If so, I’m sorry. Next time get a dog.
It’s been four years of blogging and I still don’t really know what I’m doing. But I don’t care anymore, I just go with it. What — you say you could tell by the quality of my posts? Shut up.
So you know how sometimes you feel a little trepidation the moment before you hit ‘publish’ on a post? I used to get anxious posting some things. I’m not sure why.
Now I feel a level of confidence when I write. I’ll never be completely satisfied and that’s not the point for me anymore. When I post I think, Hey, guys! Whassup? Here I am, this is me. And what about you? It’s that basic human connection, that someone out there might “get me”. This is the only reason I blog now. (I’m not sure there was ever any other reason.)
This confidence has spilled over into other areas of my life. I went back to college full time and I’ll graduate as a medical assistant next week. I made the Dean’s List every semester, high honors. Yes, I think I have permission to brag because I studied my giant mass of thigh/ass off. I start my externship soon at an OB/GYN office and hope to train to become an ultrasound tech. I’ve done things this year I never thought possible at this stage in my life.
Was I scared the first day of class when I realized I could be my lab partner’s mother? Hell yeah!
Was I shaking like a leaf the first time I had to draw my lab partner’s blood? Of course! But then, so was my lab partner.
I wanted to quit school so many times, to just give up. Fear was this heavy weight bearing down on me (much like your bookcase and again, I’m sorry) Every semester I wanted to run and hide underneath the covers.
Instead I made a choice to face my fears head on, to allow myself to make mistakes and to be okay with it. I know you might not believe me, but blogging has been a catalyst in this transformation.
By writing again, I’ve found the true me again. She was there all along, buried underneath choking fears and insecurities. (again, poor choice of words but I told you not to buy that large-print copy of War and Peace)
And I really like this new me. She’s all right.
Blogging has changed my life. It’s opened up a door I thought was closed forever. My creative side is back, I’m writing again. I’m starting to do things in my life that make me happy.
After all, I believe it was the great Shakespeare who once said, this life sure as hell ain’t gonna be lived by anyone else. You’re right, it was Oprah.
So thank you.
Thank you for reading all these years.
Thank you to all the other bloggers for constantly writing entertaining posts so I have zero time to write my own freaking posts, you big jerks.
I’ve met some amazing people in the past four years, some I’ve gotten to know online and some in real life. I feel truly lucky and blessed to have ridden this wackadoodle WordPress rollercoaster with you guys. (ridden’s a word right? ah, who cares)
I’ll be posting on my blog much less this year due to my new career sticking people with needles and all, but I’ll still be around now and then. Writing is like breathing for me, without it I’m as good as dead.
And hopefully I won’t ever write another post about writing or blogging again. You’d like that, wouldn’t you?
Okay, that’s all from here. (too much from here by the looks of my word count, damn!)
Have a great summer guys! See you around. Take care of yourselves. Stop sending me Candy Crush Saga requests on Facebook.
(And I sincerely hope Mr. Pickles finds forgiveness in his tiny heart and dials 911 for you. In the meantime, read War and Peace while you lie there waiting for my next post. I hear it’s a good story.)