I don’t mean has blogging caused you to spend more time in your jammies or have less time to clean your house, or keep you up at all hours, I’m talking about a change inside you, that effects the core of who you are – or thought you were.
Last night, I was talking with a friend of mine who I’ve known since I transferred high schools at age 14 in the middle of the year and she was the lucky one who had an empty locker next to hers. She befriended me that first day and we have memories together that we both still cherish and often wish we could re-live. We’ve had our share of ups and downs and now, 22 years later (ugh, I’m that old?) we still keep in touch. She was commenting on how she has been surprised at the things I write about and how I write about them. Not in a shocking, “I can’t believe you wrote that” kind of way, but in a “wow, that’s not a side of Kim I’ve ever seen before.” And she meant that it was growth, positive personal growth that I could express myself in a way that I never had or could before.
I’ve never been an outgoing, bare-my-soul type. That is part of the whole “accidental mommy” persona. I’ve never been mushy. I didn’t hug people, my motto was “get away from me.” When others were sharing their hearts and minds, I was the one who gave the appearance she had it all together. I didn’t get emotional. People didn’t see me cry. I never asked for help or cried on anyone’s shoulder. Was I just “keeping up appearances?” Not really, that was me. Still is in a lot of ways. Not that I was cold and uncaring, I just was more of an observer to a lot of things that went on around me.
When I had kids, something inside softened, slowly, but it softened and I did find myself becoming more emotional, more frought with worry – the irrational kind – and overall more mushy. But still, it wasn’t an outward thing. I didn’t share it with the world or really even those close to me in my world. But lately, I find myself able to share a lot more of myself.
I think a lot of it has to do with finding an outlet that I am comfortable with and being able to communicate my feelings without having to look anyone in the eye. There is no immediate fear of judgement or “saving face” because initially I’m writing with myself as the only audience. It’s pure and honest and for some reason the words flow so much easier than when I try to speak them out loud. That being said, I am finding a new ability to vocalize my feelings out loud, something I could never do very well at all. At least when it comes to my kids and some other things. I rarely discuss politics or hot topic issues frankly because I’m somewhat of a diplomat and just prefer it when people get along.
I also think the community aspect of blogging has helped fuel this change because I have found people that I really connect with who don’t even know me, yet they offer support, encouragement, and acknowledge that “no, you are not the only one who experiences that.” It is a completely different thing when you can be reassured, supported and comforted by a complete stranger. There is a connection that is made because of something I wrote in that moment, or something I read that another blogger wrote, and it has a power to inspire that I cannot explain.
So how about you, have you noticed that blogging has changed you in a profound way?
This post is dedicated to Pam on her 7 year Blogoversary!