Friday, October 17, 2008

I am blogger, hear me roar

I was contacted recently by a PhD student who is writing a thesis on, of all things, blogging.

He randomly contacted about 500 bloggers and asked for help in filling out a survey. The questions were targeted primarily at a person's motivation for blogging. I was eager to help him, envisioning my brilliant answers paving the way for a groundbreaking thesis.

I imagined it impressing his professors - so much so - that they would seek me out personally in order to dig deeper into the great, vast, intellectually superior territory that is my psyche. There would be a bestseller book written. The Today Show would be calling. I would have my moment in the sun.

Yeah, I know. Came down off that cloud real quick.

But it did give me pause to reflect on my motivations. Why do I blog? Why, after almost two years, do I still do this thing? Why do I log onto the internet and prattle on about my everyday life for friends, family, and strangers to read?

There is a part of me that does it so I don't feel alone. Knowing, at this exact minute, there are thousands of women across the country, doing exactly what I'm doing, makes me feel part of a greater cause. It makes it easier, somehow, to laugh at cleaning spaghettios off the ceiling, or dealing with the sick kids, knowing that others are doing it, too.

Because maybe, if we had to deal with it all on our own? We'd just go with our instincts, let out the crazy, and break down sobbing. Or take it out on our husbands because they innocently went to work instead of spending the day covered in a child's throw-up. But suddenly, there is an outlet for the crazy things that happen. And then it all somehow seems more manageable because of that.

Reading blogs also plays a role. Once in a while, I read a blog that makes my struggles seem small in comparison. Tears have been shed when I read about someones baby girl being diagnosed with cancer, or someone longing for babies that just don't seem to be coming her way. I feel a kinship with these women and feel blessed by their ability to share their stories with the rest of us.

I laugh daily with old friends who have moved away, and it is as though we still live in the same town. I see pictures of their kids and feel connected to their lives. This, too, is why I blog. These women are hugely important to me, and they are part of who I am. It's nice to not have to let that go, just because someone moves away.

I also blog so my kids will have a daily record of what they did and said. I do not look at it as a replacement for my journal, but a photographic supplement. The words in my journal will not be read by them until long after I am gone, but the blog? They can read that right now. They can know that even when they were hard, and even when I wasn't as good of a mom as I could have been, that they were loved.

The simplistic beauty that is our ordinary lives has been captured out loud. And to me, that is priceless. It's those everyday things that get forgotten. They were not scrapbooked or recorded until now. And lately, I find myself wanting to remember those things most of all. This is the good stuff. The sick kids, the spilled milk, the embarrassing stories, the silly time at the breakfast table. It's what is building our character, and shaping our lives.

I blog because I have a voice. It is not a voice that many people hear, but that does not make it any less important. Years from now, when I am old and gray, I want someone to know that I mattered. I want to feel that my life was lived well, with tears and with happiness. I want to remember the good days, the bad days, the struggles, and the ordinary perfection that was our little life.

I always want to remember what made me who I am.

We've all got a voice. The key is letting it out. I say let it out, blogging sistas. Let it out.

[Oh, and let us not forget that it's also a nice outlet for mercilessly mock your brother.]

40 comments:

Christy said...

Nicely written. And isn't nice to know that other people find your life interesting?

Terra said...

I completely agree, when I started my blog it was to replace my long neglected family website. The website served as a photographic scrapbook of all things us for many years but it became too time consuming to continue. I started the blog...it turned into so much more. It is an outlet, a scrapbook, a journal of piece of me and a piece of my girls. Someday I hope they will sit down and read the whole thing (when I am gone) and feel the love. Maybe it will help them parent if that time comes for them - and maybe it will inspire another mom to do something we did and enjoy it...I know other blogs do that for me.

Now, If I could just figure out a really great way to archive the blog to disk in case of catastrophe and if I could find a better way to post my photos so if I change my picassa albums the photos won't disappear! Hmmmm.

Keep Blogging - I adore your family!

Terra

Nikki said...

Well said and so true. I bet the Today will be calling soon!

CJ, the Purple Diva said...

I hear ya sista LOUD AND CLEAR! Wonderful post! Forget the Today show...Ellen's got your number! LOL

Jen said...

Well said. My 'mommy brain' doesn't remember much these days and I like that my blog captures our every day - the good and not-so-good.

Lindsey said...

Perfectly written. I couldn't agree with you more. :)

♥Shally said...

Matt Lauer will be calling soon.

3leftturns said...

Wow Thoreau, very deep.

Why did I stop blogging?

Because no body would read a blog about blogging... my life is much less interesting than yours.

Oh, and I didn't have time.

Keep it up!

Amanda D said...

Great post. You have said it perfectly. I loved the line about "the ordinary perfection that was our little life." Love it. Thanks!

calibosmom said...

VERY well said! I HAVE A VOICE!!! ROAR!!! I also enjoy blogging because it gives me a voice. I am actually a very private person so this gives me a chance to open up a bit. "Ordinary perfection"-precisely! He will definately get an A+ on his thesis!

andrea said...

you almost made me cry on this one. i'm having a very overwhelming week, so i appreciate your insight.

and if your kids are still getting spagetti o's stuck on the ceiling at their ages, you are in a way worse place than i am.

Christina B. said...

This post is so beautifully written. I love it! I can't wait to see you on the Today show! :) I think you described perfectly why blogs can be so great. I think your blog itself could be the bestselling book, I'm glad you share it with all of us.

Kimberly said...

Couldn't agree more!

Michael said...

I wonder if your PhD candidate has a blog, and if he's going to blog about the results of his survey and about his pending publications. Hmmm... Also, where are all the man bloggers?

Lauren in GA said...

As always...so, so well said, Stie. I love the reasons you blog and you articulated it so beautifully. I blog for many of those reasons, too.

You are a blogging force to be reckoned with...

terahreu said...

Well stated. I agree. For me, it is also a record of what has challenged me and how I have overcome. It allows me to appreciate what I have gone through and how I have gained strength. Having it there in black and white makes it easier to reflect and be grateful.

It also is there to embarrass me at any given time. It is good to keep humble.

Musings of a Housewife said...

Amen, sistah! Well said.

JanMary said...

So well put.

I wonder what the thesis will say about us all?!!

Lisa-Marie said...

You nailed it. And you nailed it beautifully, of course!

I hope when you are on The Today Show you will wear one of your darling brown H&M shirts!

kframpton said...

you look so familar. i think i might know you...

Zana said...

You really know how to put thoughts to words. Well said Sista'!

crystal said...

"when I am old and gray, I want someone to know that I mattered. I want to feel that my life was lived well, with tears and with happiness."

Beautiful.

Ashleigh (Heart and Home) said...

I've been trying to find the words to say this for four years. You hit the nail. on. the. head.

gab said...

You were born to blog, my dear!

So glad you share your inner thoughts with us, because I feel that I have come to know and love you even more through this new form of communication.

Thanks for converting me to the truth of blogging, too.

Diane said...

Who knew we could reconnect this way? It has really been great reading about the everyday things that happen in your life. I doubt that I ever would have known some of this random stuff. Glad I do! You've made blogging fun!

beth - total mom haircut said...

This is a great post. I'm new to your blog and found you through some linky love. I can see why - you really captured what I think all of us addicted to blogging experience.
Here's the part I sooo hear:
"Because maybe, if we had to deal with it all on our own? We'd just go with our instincts, let out the crazy, and break down sobbing."

danandcindy said...

Borrrrrrrring.....................

Wendi said...

"I am blogger...hear me roar" was the name of my very first blog post.
It has been almost one year ago.
I remember writing you for advice that you so kindly shared with me.

Loved this post.
Beautifully written.
I could not agree more.

Jessica said...

Of course I loved it.

Another reason I've realized lately: a chance (for a craft-impaired gal like me) to create (think Uchtdorf) something from nothing: a blank screen one minute, words that people seem to like, laugh at, relate to the next.

So fun.

nicole hill said...

you're such an amazing writer. i'm so glad you're a blogger.

Steel Magnolias Quote of the Day:

I will not allow my personal tragedies affect my ability to do good hair.

Bridget said...

So true Stie. You are one of those friends for me that I am so glad we can keep in touch still this way even though we have moved multiple times since living near each other.

Kristy said...

Perfectly stated. You will be famous soon and I can say I knew you when you were 12.

Emily said...

Thanks Stie, and I love that you are just a click away from me. I rely just as much on you as ever, it's just a bit easier on you now! Plus, I love updating Chris on what you guys are doing as if I just got off an hour long phone conversation with you. So keep it going, I can't be without my Stie :)

Ilene said...

I love blogging because it is a place where I can express MY voice. Being a woman, so much of my life is about my kids, husband, church, etc. Blogging is a corner where it is all about me. Every woman needs her own space and blogging brought that to me.

AMY said...

ROOAAARRR! You hit the nail on the head. You named every reason why I broke down and got the internet again. I may just cut and paste your whole post to my header!

Amber said...

See, that's the difference between you and me. I was contacted by the same PhD student and instead of taking the opportunity for some deeeeep thoughts like you, I hit the delete button. And look what I missed out on!

D-dawg said...

This post is awesome. I was just having similar thoughts the other day when reading my old blog book and posts from a few years ago. Blogging is just the best.

diane said...

I love your voice. Thanks for sharing. It brightens my day. Let us know when you are on Oprah.

Jenny from Chicago said...

Stie I haven't commented on a blog in six months (mostly because of the exhaustion) but I had to write you on this post. It's right on the money. I'm so glad you have a blog that I get to drop by whenever I have a minute. It's a joy to know that you are out there working away just like so many of the rest of us.

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