Thursday, July 12, 2012

Why I Blog... and Why I Hate Blogs

I'm a writer. I love to write. Always have. It's therapeutic... very cleansing. I can write myself into a better mood or find a solution to a problem without the influence of other people - just a conversation within myself.

I've kept a journal since I was teeny tiny and I have boxes of journals that I've filled up with my thoughts, feelings, lessons learned, funny stories, life events, my hopes and dreams, inspirations, and random tidbits of information about my daily life, etc. etc. etc. I drag these boxes of journals with me everywhere I live... every apartment I've moved to, my journal boxes have moved around with me. And they're not just packed away forever - I open old journals up all the time and have a good laugh at what I've written or cry remembering how a certain event felt or reminisce about an old friend. I love reading old memories in my handwriting, having funny stories that I only vaguely remember come alive just like I would've told them back then. It's like I'm talking to my past self and I gain insights into my life as a whole that I wouldn't otherwise, because memories fade and become distorted by what's going on in the present. My journal entries are insightful, detailed snapshots of me at a specific moment in time.

I've even attempted writing fiction a handful of times, but my bad habit of starting projects and never finishing them kept me from actually going anywhere with that. And I have a hard time separating my writing from my own life. I'd do much better at writing an autobiography or fiction where the characters are based on me and people I know. So, my writing projects usually involve scrapbooking and journaling rather than trying to come up with a "new" story. I'm writing a baby book of sorts for Kal right now, documenting everything leading up to his adoption and his first year and a half of life. I call it his Lifebook and I've been working on it for a few months. It's been a lot of fun and I'll have to share some of it when I'm done.

I also love taking pictures, because I only have a few pictures from when I was little. Whenever I would come across a picture that I hadn't seen before, I would treasure that thing like it was gold! Digital cameras are the best invention ever for me. I've taken thousands of pictures of Kal. And I'm so glad I have. He grows so fast and these moments are rushing past me. I'm afraid if I don't write about it and take pictures, it will all disappear and I won't remember everything. I always wanted to learn more about photography, but I haven't had the time to learn... so I just point and click and that's good enough for me. Quantity over quality. I'd rather have 100 average pictures than none at all because I couldn't get the perfect lighting, you know?

Anyways, my love of writing and taking pictures led me to starting a blog. And it was suggested to me as a good idea to get ourselves "out there" as a potential adoptive couple - expectant mothers who are looking for an adoptive couple to adopt their child love getting to know a little bit about a couple through a blog first before contacting them. So, that's why I started this whole thing. But honestly, I don't really know what I'm doing here. I write a little bit about this and a little bit about that... but I don't really have any direction to what I'm doing. I don't think it's necessary to put our lives on display, even in order to adopt. I worry whether I put too much out there and don't respect my family's privacy enough..?

So a lot of the times, I just don't write. I'm still taking pictures and I'm still writing, just not here. There are so many awesome blogs out there - so many people who write better than me, take better pictures than me, have a focus and a point to their words/blog... that I just kind of get stuck and don't know what to say. Because I'm comparing myself to other people.

Then sometimes I think that blogs are just about bragging about our lives in nice little neat entries. Like life can really just be sectioned off into perfect little squares! I read tons of blogs and sometimes I get to the end of an entry, and I just think, "Besides showing off, what was the point of that?" Look how cute we are, look what we did, etc. etc. etc. And I think, "Well - yeah. If I went around doing things and planning to blog about it, I could make everything appear so cute and put-together and perfect too." But I personally cannot enjoy my life if I can't do something without immediately updating my Facebook status or blogging about it. So, I'm choosing to live in the moment rather than thinking about what I'm gonna blog about next. (I honestly don't know how often people think like that and plan things just to blog about it later, but sometimes it comes off that way.) There's a joke going around Facebook about there being no point in going to the gym if you forgot to update your status saying you were going, because then nobody would know. Lol.

When we were first trying to adopt, I looked up lots of adoption-themed blogs to get ideas of how to "promote" ourselves and I kind of just kept on reading them, long after we adopted. It's kind of weird actually... that I know so many details about these strangers' lives. They have blogs for the sole purpose of showing off their family to potential birthparents. In the beginning, I struggled with the idea of everyone trying to appear perfect... and it made me super insecure and stressed out. It's a competition for babies... and that makes me sad. There is no perfect family. Adoptive families have issues too. Adoptive families have crazy uncles and cousins who do drugs and parents who divorce, etc. etc. etc. But they wouldn't put that on their blog, of course.

Today, I just decided to write. And forget about trying to section off my life into neat little boxes and fit into a mold of what everyone else does. I'm doing a deep-cleaning of my Google Reader and deleting the majority of the blogs I read, especially if every single entry gives me that "showing off" feeling with no substance or purpose. It's just conducive to comparing families to one another. Comparison is the root of all depression, I'm sure of it. You can always find something you're "lacking" if you look at another person. You can always find something your family is "lacking" if you look at another family. Why in the world do we care so much about what other people think of us? I just deleted a third of my Facebook friends, easy. Who are these people, anyway? I can count my real friends on my two hands.

I still don't know where I'm going with this blog - I may just be rambling. But I think for now I'm just going to write. And see what comes out. I'll be authentic and write about things that are important to me. And not try to put on a show. Because the neat little boxes version of me and my family is rather boring, in my opinion. And being stifled and stuck with writers' block because I'm comparing myself to others is dumb. Dumb, dumb, dumb.





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