I've been wondering lately if I have anything left to say here. There are so many things I would like to be able to express, but writing with purpose is much more difficult than just channeling the fully formed rambles of my sub-conscious mind.
But then there are times when the conversations and connections I have and make here on the Internet are the nearest thing I have to a social life. I don't have a voracious social need, so while it's not a substantive enough sense of connectedness to leave me feeling satiated, most of the time it gets me by.
A few days ago, I stayed up late to share my pain with the Internet, or at least the four people who regularly read this blog. Michael left a comment and wrote this on his blog and so, in response, I'm finally writing the mandatory 'Why I Blog' post.
I can relate to Michael's comment about a blog being "a desperate appeal for attention and approval", but it's primarily been more than that for me and if you'll excuse the presumption, having enjoyed his blog for some time now, I suspect it is for him too.
In spite of the fact that I'm not very good at it by most standard measures, blogging has been an extraordinary experience for me; it is not hyperbole to say that it has immeasurably changed my life for the better.
On it's most basic level, it's a grand conversation; thoughts and ideas bounced back and forth; expanded, expounded and compressed.
It's also been profoundly cathartic. I've been able to effectively let go of compounding pain and trauma from my past that had become a terrible burden to me, simply by recording the stories here and having them acknowledged by just a few generous and supportive souls.
Following from that, my blog persona is, ironically, often a truer reflection of me than my real life interactions will allow. I'm still more honest in the world outside the Internet than benefits me, but I have learned to hide aspects of myself and my life from most people in order to ensure an easier passage and less disturbed frowns. That process of live-editing can be exhausting and sometimes it's a relief to be able to just get on here and over-share, knowing that should my ramblings cause discomfort, closing a browser window, unfollowing or unsubscribing in a reader are fairly easy and non-confrontational acts.
For someone who tends to get a little lost in her own head at times, the opportunity to lay things out in a (somewhat) ordered manner and invite the views of others can be invaluable in maintaining a balanced perspective.
Given that my real life social interactions can be Spartan at times, writing it down and sometimes having it acknowledged or even validated allows me to file it away. In the absence of that opportunity, I can enter into a real life conversation with a list of things that I need to say; to have acknowledged. When this is the case, I am not truly present in that interaction, which means that I'm not giving proper attention to the person I'm speaking with, which, of course, makes me a poor friend.
And so to sum up, blogging is good for my mental health and makes me a better person. Having said all that, however, I do very much understand Michael's need to derail his approval seeking. Sometimes a habit, so ingrained that it has a life of it's own, needs to be approached sideways. If you can't play the game in a healthy way you might need to step out of the game altogether. But more on my efforts to sublimate my own approval seeking when I have more time. Moving is taking forever and I'm starting to fear I won't have everything done by my deadline.
I'm looking forward to seeing where this next step takes Michael's wonderful blog, Always Going, Going Going on Beyond.