I’m not sure what I was expecting. Nor do I know what’s coming next. But I do know that writing and sharing this blog have yielded some unanticipated dividends in the here and now.
The Joy of Affirmation: I entered the blogosphere feeling very exposed, daring myself to make an externalized exploration that those who know me well will tell you is outside my usual comfort zone. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust my audience, which is small, intimate and mostly well known to me. I have wonderful friends and I wasn’t surprised that they would prove supportive of my adventure. I just didn’t anticipate how assertively affirming people would be.
One friend is an especially attentive copy editor, catching me before others see me fall. Another is a gleeful cheerleader, dishing up enthusiastic accolades that feel like Christmas and the Fourth of July rolled into one. People I don’t even know give me a thumbs up. Others send notes thanking me for an insight, for provoking a thought, for being brave, for giving voice, for making space.
How delightful that something that feels so self-indulgent can also be a gift to others!
Inspiration is everywhere: I’m not a kiss-and-tell blogger, but I confess there are all sorts of stories I want to share. I’m learning: everything has Blog Potential, tho’ not everything is Blog Worthy. God grant me the wisdom….
Blogging keeps me present.
The Power of Articulation: Ever since we each learned to talk, we’ve known the power of being able to put things into words, giving ideas forms, emotion voice. He Who Must Not be Named loomed all the more ominous precisely because he wasn’t named. I’ve found the dark lords of my new enterprise are much less daunting when I call them out, shed a light on them, dissect and scrutinize them. In identifying and describing my fears and small victories, I regain – or attain – a sense of proportion about them.
Honesty is the Best Policy: It’s tempting to get all glossy in a blog, to put a tidy sheen on things, make myself look good. But the most powerful entries to write are the ones that make me feel naked. For someone who likes things to be smooth and tidy, the discipline of “no varnish” is potent medicine. Vulnerability feels unexpectedly empowering.
The Comfort of Structure: Deadlines can get a bum rap, but I’m a fan. There’s nothing like knowing you need to show up with something — preferably at least moderately interesting and well-crafted — twice a week, to impose order on your days. Even when I might feel a little adrift, I still have a place I need to be, a promise to keep. The accountability is important, instructive; incentive.
(Re)Connecting: Turns out, a blog is like a welcome mat. Lynn is in and the door is open. Last week, a high school friend whom I have not seen in more than 30 years reached out, on the brink of a major life transition, wanting to compare notes. I’ve learned a thing or two about friends who reply “me too!” to one confession or another of mine. It’s as if I’m tossing a ball of twine out into space and its lose strands touch and connect me to countless others. A new twist on a “world wide web”!
So the big bonus is you. Thank you!