April 6, 2012
I've been blogging for a while now. Since 2008. That's a pretty long time for a blogger. I've also read plenty of blogs. Funny ones, useless ones, personal ones, topic-specific ones, mommy and daddy ones, lots and lots and lots.
I've gone through periods when I had lots of readers and lots of comments. Times when I had none. It's never been important to me.
One thing you begin to notice, though, from being part of the "blogosphere" (as much as I hate that word) is that a few themes will begin to stand out.
There are the mommy bloggers who think they're rebels because they eschew play groups or baby Einstein, or because they say "crap" or drink a glass of wine in the evening.
Stay-at-home-daddy bloggers who are trying to find themselves in such a female-dominated world.
Comment and/or attention whores- Their main purpose in life is to have hundreds and hundreds of readers and commenters. Kinda sad, really.
Folks who think they are quirky or weird or different or crazy for the exact same reasons everyone thinks they are. All humans try to be different, but we're all just dancing for food in the same menagerie. You can quote me on that.
There are plenty of others. PLENTY of others. Mostly useless. Much the same as my blog, yes? Because the truth is, no one thinks their thoughts are useless or unimportant. And if you do, you are more than likely in therapy because of it.
The bloggers I'm talking about here are the sad bloggers. The ones who are perpetually trying to "find themselves." The ones who lament not having lived to their full potential. The ones who talk often about all the things they could have or should have been or done. There is a constant hashing and rehashing of worry and nostalgia and pessimism and self-loathing.
Everyone goes through things. Everyone has their time. Or times. When they are down or kicking themselves. When they are utterly engulfed in loss or self-hatred or hurt. The range of human emotions is rather shocking, actually. All the way from simply having an itch you can't scratch to dysfunctionally suicidal. Some people experience all of it during a lifetime. Others not. Some struggle eternally. Others rarely, if ever.
And bloggers create and belong to a world where these emotions and thoughts and feelings are surrounding and pervasive and perpetually on display.
I write about it sometimes. But unfailingly, my writing usually ends with the realization that whatever pissed me off was my fault to begin with. Or it ends with a dirty joke. I wind up laughing in spite of myself. And get on with it. I think, search, write, close it out, and put it away. Writing should never be purposeless. If it were, I'd already have an entire leather-bound anthology with my name on it called "Grocery Lists."
And so I wonder to myself sometimes, when I read these kinds of blogs, if the people writing them enjoy living in this place of grayness and discomfort. Because in my mind, if you don't like feeling something, make it stop. Fix it. Make it go away. Now. I know it's much more complicated than that. Believe me. Oh yeah. I know. I really, really do.
And it is because I really, really do that I also know a few other things. Happiness isn't something you are going to find. Ever. Because it's not lost. You can look and search and pay hundreds of dollars for therapy. You can lose weight or pile thousands of dollars into your bank accounts. You can have a fancy house or send your kids to the swankiest schools. You can have huge circles of friends and places to go every weekend. You can take 'round-the-world vacations or run marathons or write a novel. If you are not happy, you won't find it in a bucket list or a midlife crisis or a tangible object.
It starts with something so, so, so much more simple than all of that. Happiness starts with liking yourself. That's it. Liking what you see when you look in the mirror. Liking the skin you're in and the brain in your skull.
Does it sound a bit narcissistic? It might, but it really isn't. How can you expect others to like you if even you don't think you are likeable? How can you be better if you don't believe you are worthy?
Being proud of who you are right now and what you've already accomplished builds a bridge that will lift you far above those things that were pulling you down.
Bloggers use their writing to vent. I get it. They use this rectangular white space to sort things out, organize their feelings, writing their way to clarity or catharsis or resolution.
It's a kind of therapy.
But I think some folks get themselves stuck in a rut. Spinning their wheels of repetition, writing and writing and writing but never really coming to any insightful conclusions.
I don't have any answers. I'm just another random blogger who likes to hear herself talk.
But I think I can toss you a little tip. From another writer, a learner, a living soul, breathing and laughing and full of faults. Another human. A girl who's been there and done that. Who's lived it, walked it, dreamed it, grabbed it, and let it go.
Be kind to yourself. Smile randomly, and smile with your eyes.
It won't fix you.
But at least you'll be smiling.