Why I blog
We live in an amazing world. Everything is changing, and it is changing by the second.
More and more by the second, those with internet access have the ability to see what life is like for people around the world and in walks of life incredibly different from their own.
This is amazing, yes, but I think it can be terrifying, too. I see behind some fearful assertions questions like, “How the heck am I supposed to take in what someone else feels and believes if I don’t even know what I feel and believe yet? How am I supposed to answer questions today that couldn’t have existed outside science fiction a decade ago?”
I am exhilarated by the change. I’m thrilled to be living in this world where objective and subjective information is becoming ever more available, if I’m less thrilled by how easily the subjective is currently confused for the objective.
My fifteen-year-old self dialed up local bulletin boards in the early 1990s. She thought it was amazing to connect to dozens of strangers in her own community. After she created her own website in 1995, she was even more astonished when she began receiving emails from around the globe. She suddenly understood the world to be so much smaller than she’d realized!
Fifteen-year-old me would be flabbergasted by 2016 reality, which is that people around the world will soon experience connectivity in ways we can’t fathom today. The horror lover in me finds this a little creepy, but most of me thinks the world will probably be less lonely and less exhausting as we learn to see the commonalities underlying all the apparent differences between people.
This is all a very long preface to a comment whirling around my brain a couple weeks after reading the post instigating it. Blogger Tessa‘s daughter Eva lived a short but brilliant life. My world is larger, more understanding, and more full of love for reading Tessa’s candid words about parenting Eva, who will never be able to speak for herself about her own experiences.
The thought of Tessa’s voice being censored to honor others’ sensibilities frustrates and saddens me, though I recognize that those calls for self-censorship reflect the fact we live in a world of dynamic, ever-present change leading us to puzzling new questions daily. There are a million ways for any given person to answer each correctly with what she knows today, a truth that will and should remain in this complex, aggravating, breathtaking world of ours.
Eva lives forever in my heart. I will forever be grateful for how her mother’s immense love for her shone through her honest reflection about trying to navigate some of the challenges particular to raising her: not every child everywhere, but precious, unique Eva.
I love that I live in a world that enabled me to know Eva and Tessa despite their location half the world away from me. I love to know that Tessa is out there, reaching out to others otherwise apt to feel alone.
So if you really want to know why I blog, why I keep tapping out these posts read by a couple dozen people at a time, you’ll find the answer in my comment on Tessa’s post “There’s a battle going on.” As I wrote there,
I have a million things I want to say to this, but I can’t quite find the words for any. I’ll simply say instead that forcing others to alone endure hardships–no matter how lovingly they do so–alienates and isolates them. That makes a hard journey even harder. It also deprives them of the opportunity to connect with others who need to know they’re not alone in the kinds of experiences they’re having.
Earlier this week I thought how amazing it is that we can google just about any practical thing (“how to change your car’s front light,” “how to make nine-layer vegan lasagna,” etc.). I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for the people who write those articles and post those videos. I wished I had some practical thing I could write articles about in this beautiful realm of knowledge sharing and mutually increased wisdom. I decided that my blog is how I do my part; it’s not a collection of specific, bulleted how-tos, but I think some pieces might occasionally help point someone the right direction. I have certainly been pointed the right direction by others.
I believe we benefit collectively by honestly sharing our experiences, when we feel it’s appropriate, even when those experiences center on someone else. There’s no telling who will be helped by the plain fact of their there-ness, which is way better, IMO, than withholding the story and denying someone desperately in need of community the strength derived from such community.