A few days ago David said, "I guess your blog is dead now, eh?" I got all huffy and offended, and then I realized that he was probably right. I lost my writing mojo quite a while ago. I haven't written a single word here since school ended back in June. I've just posted lots of photos on Facebook and Instagram. Some of them have been very nice photos! But where were all the stories, the wry humor, the philosophical ramblings? Photos without stories are only one side of the story. Even before June, the monthly photo dumps here were a slow slide into banality. It was a symptom of a larger problem. I have avoided writing in depth about our lives for most of 2017, both here and on those social media sites.
I started worrying about sharing my thoughts and feelings at some point. It wasn't writer's block. It was more like sharer's anxiety.
I started worrying about being seen as self-absorbed. I started worrying about being misunderstood and judged. I had so many strong ideas and opinions, especially after election day, but I didn't want to offend or hurt anyone. I started worrying that writing about our privileged lives somehow takes attention away from people with real struggles. Blogging is a very millennial thing to do, after all, and even though I adore millennials, many people do not admire them.
Even more damaging, I realized that some people dislike ME and the way I share myself. It was not a nice thing to discover. I thought I was being open, honest, complex and vulnerable, but this could be perceived as being self-absorbed with a tendency to overshare. I really do care about other people's lives and pay a lot of attention to the world outside my own self though, so I don't believe I'm as bad as all that. It just took me a really long time to get past these ideas and worries. I'm not sure that I really am past them yet, but I want to be.
Before this year, I always trusted that our friends and family wanted to hear about our lives and adventures. Maybe that's narcissistic, or maybe it is just one of the ways I try to connect with people. Regardless of my motives, the boys absolutely love this blog. They love our online photo album, and are proud of this record of their childhoods. I have enjoyed writing here as much as they have enjoyed reading it.
My ideas and perspective would change as I went along, and I grew and learned about myself whenever I wrote. It's our version of a family photo album, complete with stories and commentary and lessons learned. I'm never going to be a simplified, picture-perfect, frozen-in-time, carefully composed scrapbook page sort of person, and I don't want to be! If I'm posting things, I need to feel safe to share the real stuff along with the pretty pictures. I think honest stories are important, and perfect pictures are boring. I think the messy details, the meltdowns, the opinions that change and evolve, the struggles, and the bad along with the good are all important and interesting.
I love writing about my life, my thoughts, my opinions, and my feelings. (It's true! It's also true that just saying this has me bracing for backlash.) If people don't want to hear about me and my life, then they can bugger off.
I'm going to try to find my writing mojo again. It might get messy, and I'll probably be really nervous and fragile about it, but those are good things. They're things that make me human and real. Not everyone will appreciate that, but the ones who do understand are my people. I'm sure there will still be photo dumps and vacation pictures, but I'm going to try to weave a bit more of myself around the photos. Stay tuned.