Friday, April 25, 2014

Why I started blogging... (part one)

My story, the one that is specific to me and when I started blogging is under my About tab. I stand by that, but here is the rest of the story....

The part that isn't there is the sense of belonging, the friendships and connections. Earlier in 2007 I had started reading blogs because of an article in a magazine. At the bottom of the page was a web address that changed my life. (And my free time, truth be told.) I visited that blog, and another and another, and I was hooked. Through the summer I started having a longing to join this community of moms that had an online life. But me? I was no writer. But that conference in Chicago? Man, I really wanted to go. 4 days away from my kids and household responsibilities sounded like heaven.

I started gingerly. My early blog posts are painful to read now. I hadn't found my voice, didn't yet know what to say, but I kept at it. And I kept it a secret. I was afraid of failing at making real friends online and having anything worthwhile to say. I didn't have a specialty, a passion, or a niche. But I kept at it. Reading and commenting with my silly blog name hoping to make some friends along the way.

Community is a funny thing. You start by standing on the fringes, smiling and interjecting to seem a part of the crowd, and little by little you're not on the fringes anymore. You're (read: I'm) certainly not in the center but there are so many around you that you can't see the fringes anymore. You've become a part of the group while you weren't even looking.

At my first BlogHer Conference in the summer of 2008, my goals were simple. Learn a little something, and meet (most of) the women that I read regularly. Looking back, I rocked those simple goals. The unexpected icing on the cake however, was that some of those women that I casually wanted to meet have now become some of my closest online and real life friends. It's crazy to think that I have known Carmen, Jennifer, Elizabeth, Michele, Gwendolyn, Casey, and Yvonne (among many, many others,) for seven years. As in life, I'm closer to some than others but seven years? Because I "wanted what they were having" and joined a circle of women writing about their lives online?

It's both simple and so, so complicated.

The making of the friends. That's what this life, online and off, is really all about, isn't it? After all these years that's what blogging was, and still is about. Connecting the dots to new friends with old connections.

To be continued.....

6 comments:

kyooty said...

yes! yes and more yes!!!

Kendra HeadlessMom said...

And you, Mary. Such a loyal reader and friend! Thank you for so many years!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Enjoyed this post and love the friends I have made along the way. I thank you for helping me when I started 5 years ago and brought a few of your friends over to my blog, one of which was Kyooty!

Kendra HeadlessMom said...

I love that we have this aspect of our friendship too Debby!

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

Yes!!!! And I'll never forget how RELIEVED I was when you came up and introduced yourself to me at Blogher when I was standing there like a deer in the headlights, about to turn tail and go home. XO

Rocks In The Wash said...

I so much enjoy reading your words! I miss you my sweet Sista!