Four score and one husband ago, I used to have a blog. It was a different time (almost ten years ago!) when I lived in a different state (physically and mentally), and it was undoubtedly a VERY different stage of life. My kids were 8,6, and 3 at the time, and I am so grateful that I documented what was happening in that crazy period. We were so busy being busy, that I easily could have forgotten most of it. I recorded summer days and Christmas chaos, birthday excitement, Father’s Day fails, dinner party prep, date night anticipation, and my all too delightful discovery of a new online time-suck called Pinterest (which is still going strong, so make sure you check out my page). But a funny thing happened that I didn’t expect. What began as a personal journal of sorts, unexpectedly grew into something else entirely. Oddly, my writing introduced me to so many interesting people, and I was offered the opportunity to write for local publications as well as our local school district blog. I was asked to sit on city planning boards and even had a full-page spread (complete with wardrobe and makeup session!) in our local magazine and it really gave me a personal tie to places and people in the community that I otherwise would never have encountered. Now, remember this was all before the invasion of social media. Facebook was not used to sell, promote, or be political. It was merely a means to connect with family and long lost friends and share pictures of your babies and pets. Instagram was actually launched the same year I started my little blog (how’s that for feeling old, kids?) and it certainly did not include things like stories, IGTV, filters and the ability to put fancy cat ears on your face. At the time it was pretty snazzy to snap a photo in the Hipstamatic app and post it on your feed, (often without a caption) and be super flattered if someone actually saw it and hit “like”. I don’t think we even realized at the time that one could comment and engage with others on such a platform. Ahh, the nostalgia of it all…
Today our feeds are literally littered with ads, political pieces, boatloads of negativity and let’s face it, a whole crapton of weirdness. “Blogs”, per se, are really a thing of the past (leave it to me to rejoin the party when it’s pretty much a dying space, but whatever, wait for my point on that) as most people get their daily dose of info by scrolling. The advancement of Instagram has allowed “bloggers” to showcase their writing and photos in posts, give microdoses of inspiration in stories and then catalog it all in highlights (Dad, I know you’re struggling to keep up here, but you’ll learn). Many people don’t have a website unless they’re selling something or advertising a service, and blogs are now primarily just an addition to a website, not a stand-alone entity. Many people have actually asked me, “How do I even find your blog?” “Why don’t you just write on Insta”? So, what I’m hearing is- why a blog? Why now? Very simply, I like to write. I write like I speak, with an ever opinionated stream of consciousness, and I enjoy the creative outlet that writing provides. I’m a keen observer of people, places, and situations and I have found that for me, a blog format is a perfect place to collect and catalog all the chaos of information that comes my way each day. If people like what I have to say and want to read, fantastic. If they don’t, that’s great too.
When I write, it’s usually personal. We all get enough small talk and chit chat throughout our day, that I find myself gravitating solely toward those voices and writers that are authentic, honest, unfiltered, and vulnerable. And a pretty feed and/or website doesn’t hurt either, but here’s the real reason I started to blog again. I read through my past writings and detect a tone in that almost forty-year-old mother of young kids that was such an odd mix of confidence and naivete. I had stumbled upon a truly fulfilling, yet unexpected sweet spot with the local popularity of that blog, but just as suddenly as I arrived there, I had to stop. Unfortunately, but not uncommonly, my life took a dramatic turn and what I thought was genuine and authentic in my voice, turned out to be anything but. I felt that what I was going through was not going to translate well onto a public page, so I retreated. For years.
Fast forward through six-plus critical years that included, but were not limited to- one excruciatingly painful divorce, a U-turn back to the wine industry after a 13-year absence, loads of therapy, deep soul searching, friend thinning, family reuniting, heart-healing, love awakening, Minnesota leaving, California returning, children growing, life-embracing, full-circle moment back to the person who loves to write. And likes her voice. And can once again do it with an honest view, open eyes, and a mature, realistic outlook on life. Small talk not included.
And there ya have it, folks. That’s why I “blog”.
I’ve been there, done that, and look forward to all that lies ahead.