Wednesday, April 4, 2007

With a Little Help from My Friends

When I set out to write a blog, my only real intent, or rather the foundation of what I was doing, was simply to have an outlet.

I found motherhood so isolating and life-changing (duh!) that I had to find a way to explore my own essence, the little bits and bobs of who I am that come to the surface through personal writing. I realized that the hopes and dreams of the life left unrealized, along with the frustrations of the life I chose, were grinding me down and somewhere along the line I just didn't feel like me anymore. Hell, I didn't even look like me, but it took me three years to realize that. Blogging gave me a way to draw my own map out of the darkness, a light to shine on the parts of me I'd just as soon keep hidden so that I could scour them clean, repair them, or cast them aside.

At some point, I realized that there were other women out there who felt in ways very much as I did. By blogging I was not only adding my voice to the chorus of joy and woe being sung by countless other mom and dad bloggers, but I was also giving a voice to those not yet ready to share their own experiences.

In reading other blogs, I found hope and encouragement. At times I've read things that broke my heart, others that made me laugh out loud. Many, many blog entries have made me pause to appreciate this life of mine and the many blessings in it, while others have made me yearn ever more for the freedom I gave up to become a parent. The one thing the blogs I enjoy most have in common is the way they make me feel connected to humanity as a whole.

I know. It's crazy. A little mawkish, perhaps. But honest and real.

When I read that A.'s children aren't sleeping either, it allows me to see that I'm not the only one and serves as a reminder, that like millions of mothers before us, both she and I will survive this time in our lives as difficult as it is. And when I see Evilynmo's list of the seven songs she's currently into, it gives me a peek into the life and interest of someone else and opens my eyes (and ears) to new possibilities. It's the same way I feel when I read cable & tweed. I may not listen to half the stuff I read about or go to any of the shows listed, but reading the blog keeps me aware of all the possibilities and who wouldn't want to do that?

Where am I going with all this?

When I first started to write, I often wondered what the hell I was doing. I wondered if anyone would ever read what I wrote and if they did what they would think. I wavered between thinking it didn't matter what anyone thought and actively hoping someone, anyone, would read my blog and react positively to it.

Right now, a friend of mine, who writes a killer blog is thinking of dropping it because he's not sure that it's relevant or that anyone will want to read it. Other friends suggested that his interests are too specific and only people interested in the same stuff would want to read it. At least that's what I took from the e-mail he sent me today.

The thing is neither of us knew the other had a blog until yesterday. I sent him a link to my entry about my NY trip because I was short of time, but wanted to share what happened with him. In turn, he told me about his blog and what's going on.

I think it would be a shame if he quit blogging. Of course, he may convert it all into a web site that is less personal and more focused on his musical interests and that's fine. I just would hate for him to be discouraged and think it's not worth blogging because someone thinks his interests are too narrow.

That's such a big part of why I read blogs. I love taking a peek into the lives of others and seeing how they're not only similar to mine, but different. It makes life far more interesting and rich and varied. I was so happy to read Jeremy's blog and get a peek into what he's reading and listening to; hearing stories about his son.

This was a long and roundabout way of saying thank you to all the wonderful bloggers that help me keep it real even if they don't know they're doing so. And an even longer way of saying to a friend that what you're doing really does matter.


Rich | Championable said...

"I found motherhood so isolating and life-changing (duh!) "

You say "duh" now, but how can anyone know what it's like to have kids until it happens. There is nothing, nothing, nothing that can be referenced as a near-equivalent.

Blog connections are oddly touching, aren't they?

Rock on.

Suzanne said...

Hey Girl!

Love it. Check these 2 blogs, Charleston girls now in San Fran.

Hadyn said...

Hey Dawn! I just read your "Day in the Life" article in Atlanta Baby (or is it Atlanta Mommy?) magazine. I'm in the ATL as well but on the other side of town in Brookhaven. Loved the article (though it made me sweat just reading it as we anticipate bringing our 11-month old son home from Guatemala and expecting #2 in October the old-fashioned way!) Been lurking on your blog this week as a result of your magazine article. My husband and I used to live on the Upper West Side of NYC, so I enjoyed reading of your recent visit. Artist friends & dinner parties are just not the same outside "the city." We miss it terribly.

I'll be checking in on ya :)
God bless.

dawn said...

Hey, thanks y'all!

Haydn, thanks for checking out my blog. I hope you enjoyed the article. I'm still kind of shocked that I was able to write anything that soon after Beckett was born, but as a writer I've learned never to pass up an opportunity.

I bet you do miss the city. Every time I visit, I think I want to move there. My two previous trips were prior to having kids, so this time I was hyper-aware of everyone with strollers and little kids. We visited friends who have a 7-year old and saw their massive apartment. I don't even want to think about how much it costs to have enough room for children. Yikes!

Anyway, I'm so happy you dropped by and I hope you'll be back.

And as far as having two coming so close to one another, just keep telling yourself that you can do it. I have a friend who just had her fourth and she keeps telling me it's easy because she just does what needs doing without thinking about it.

Best of luck!