6,100 people follow this blog. My stats page tells me so.
My stats page also tells me that only a few dozen people read my posts regularly.
My most visited posts this quarter was “Rara sends her love,” which got lots of visits through no magic of my own.
Am I a successful blogger? I could drive myself crazy trying to answer that based on the numbers. So today I asked myself during my seemingly eternal commute: What was the moment you felt most successful blogging?
I could answer that immediately, with two equally important moments:
- When a reader told me I had the insight of a funeral director, and
- When a grieving mother from whom I’d learned about grief shared one of my blogs and called my words perfect.
To me, both these comments said: You are listening, and you are listening well. You are learning how to hear people even when they can’t find the right words.
Their comments told me so much more about whether I’m “successful” than a bunch of numbers sitting idle upon a screen.
I suspect my blog is too melancholy for day-to-day reading by most.
That it’s best read in times of loneliness or heartbreak.
You know what?
I don’t need to be read by everyone, everywhere, every day.
If I am read by one person whose grief seems insurmountable, and that person finds the briefest glimmer of hope from my words
(as I have found hope, connection, and respite from theirs),
then I have been successful beyond my wildest dreams,
no matter what any number seems to imply.
How do you measure your success?
You might know me as a married mom of two.
You might know me as a marriage equality advocate.
You might not know that I once co-founded a club called YAMS, or “Youth Against Marital Situations,” that my choice to marry didn’t reflect an ounce of general enthusiasm for the institution of marriage, or that many days I still can’t believe I consciously, conscientiously chose marriage.
I chose it for a million reasons outside the scope of this post. I chose it for myself, not for my children.
When I said “I do,” I did so believing that there are as many right ways to parent as there are to be.
Regardless of my rationale, my mom would’ve been thrilled to know I married my sweet man.
Rachel Platten sings that “a single word can make a heart open.”
I’ve harnessed and witnessed the power of words countless times in my life. Only last week, I read a few sentences that will have changed my whole life before long.
Words are powerful generally, but sometimes, a few words can change entire lives and history all at once.
I read such words today, and remembered why I ever wanted to be an attorney.
I wanted to be like my mom’s attorney, Bill. It’s easy to remember that.
Another large part, a part forgotten until some external circumstance jogs loose a distant sense of longing, was wanting to work the kind of word-magic that could change lives for the better. I wanted to wield my pen for a better world, for better, safer lives, for joy and for happiness. I envisioned being a lawyer as like being a superhero whose superpower was words.
Today I read the text of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on OBERGEFELL ET AL. v. HODGES, DIRECTOR, OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, ET AL.
I felt like I was witnessing a superhero at work, not in the end decision but in the actual steps leading up to it. Read more…
Tomorrow my son graduates from kindergarten.
So what? shouts the contingency who snap and share photos of their every restaurant meal. It’s not like there won’t be another half-dozen graduations in his future!
To them I say: It’s not like you won’t eat another couple of meals out tomorrow and share all those pics then, without pride of agency. You share that which you obtained only by money. I share that which I’ve helped shape by love, sweat, tears, pain, focus and dedication, day in and day out. How is it less acceptable for me to proudly–frequently–reflect on the vast and beautiful changes in this little boy who’s been my heart outside my body for most of six years?
Tomorrow, my big-little boy will don a little blue robe, and I will weep. It won’t matter how anyone else feels about the merits of kindergarten graduation. Read more…
“I have black friends!” I’ve heard cried countless times. It’s made me want to ask:
But have you talked to those friends about race? Have you talked to them about racism, and the times they’ve been singled out–by silence, by microaggression, by rudeness only identifiable as racism if you’d experienced the totality of it?
Or have you assumed your friends have never experienced racism … because they would’ve offered up their experiences to you conversationally if they had?
White people are remarkably efficient at self-segregation. We have the luxury of choosing this, and then still pretending we have nevertheless heard and understood the experiences of those outwardly unlike us.
As I think about the future well being of my sons in this country, in this world, I think they will be safest in a future where White people don’t pretend to know but ask:
What have you experienced?
Rachael (The Ramblings of a Would-be Writer) is my just-younger sister, my Silver Star. She’s a little late to the FTIAT shindig, but for my Big Little Sister? I’d extend just about any party. And, hey … for this once, it’s not even a pity party!
Sharing her thanks on my twentieth bloggingversary means I’m compelled to also share a relevant blog excerpt from 18.5 years ago:
A boy asked her out last week and well, let me tell you, he’s got the Big Sis’ seal of approval! He’s at that wonderful awkward stage that all teenagers seem to hit… you know, that one I’m still not past. 🙂
Recommended post: Surrounding Yourself with Good: How We Chose Our Children’s Godparents
The Nitty-Gritty Life of a Med Student’s Wife
So, as most would no doubt imagine, being the spouse of someone attending medical school while raising two small children (one and three years old, respectively) and working full time can get a little stressful. And while there are days that I ache with every fiber in my being, where my head feels like exploding, my chest thumps the ‘can-I-really-do-this-and-keep-my-sanity’ heavy thump of near-implosion, and my eyes droop from too little sleep – with all that being true – I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Read more…
I already wrote my twenty-year bloggingversary post, but there is so much more in my heart as my family and I drive back from Legoland.
When I wrote that first blog, I had just graduated high school. I’d already spent time living away from home. I’d long since held my first jobs as a Chinese restaurant hostess and McDonald’s grill girl. Read more…