A funny thing happened in June.
I started the month out on another trip for Charles & Hudson, where I met more amazing bloggers and was treated to a world I didn't really know existed out there. This time I was in LA, where I've never been before (and am apparently more allergic to than Ohio, which is saying something) and through listening to the conversations of the more successful (mostly) kitchen & bathroom design bloggers I realized a handful of things about blogging and what it means to me and everything I've been doing right and wrong all this time.
This is my 600th post here, by the way. That accounts for part of my writer's avoidance -- round, celebratory numbers feel much heavier than the others, for some silly self-imposed reason.
I'm still not over the fact that when I go to these things people know things about me -- I know most of it is research, to know me as a blogger and as a potential marketing outlet, I get that -- but to have people ask me if my son is named for a rock star seemingly out of the blue and I pause bewildered, because how could they know his name?
And then there's things like running into one of Kiedis' teachers and getting praise about my blog, this blog, and I sit stunned because oh god, now you know all of our secrets but they're not really secrets because I would tell anybody the same stories in person, if they asked, but still, it's slightly alternate-reality-ish, because for so long, those spheres never overlapped.
And now they do.
But I'm able to come back here because, basically, of a lady and her book, which I read in one 90 minute flight on my way to LA. Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess as many of us know her, and her book Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir). Her candor and ability to share and laugh at herself and her insane experiences just hit a nerve with me, reminding me of what it's like to talk about the banality of your life and to have positive responses, from humor to commiseration to even the one-upping, showing you that your life isn't so bad, in comparison.
I know that I'm often the latter in that last situation, but I'm okay with it if you are.
The part that grabbed me the most, that stuck with me throughout the blogger retreat and beyond, was not even a part of the structured stories, but in her acknowledgement -- to her husband. It simply read "To Victor- Thank you for giving me a life worth writing about."
And it stopped me dead.
I realized I had this all wrong, this blogging thing as of late, about trying to gauge the value of my stories by page views and comments and likes and whatnot -- it's not about what you, the reader, think at all. I mean, I like the nice words and all, don't get me wrong, but I shouldn't be writing for an audience because I feel that I owe you or that I have to do it a certain way to be considered good enough.
I have a life worth writing about. *BOOM*
I have a husband who works hard and tries to facilitate my desire to tap out all of this stuff trapped in my head. I have friends and family near and far who always encourage me and applaud me for the simplest of efforts. I have these children who never stop creating stories for me and with me and who are the inspiration for me to be so very much because they deserve parents who are happy and fulfilled and chasing their dreams so that they know they can chase theirs, too.
I have a life worth writing about, both given to me and hard fought for (and hard-won).
And I'm tired of feeling otherwise.
So I started journaling while I was away, real pen and paper shit in a brand new journal I'd impulsively picked up at TJMaxx a few weeks before then because it was (a) purple (b) felt like buttah and (c) had a great quote about making opportunities every day embossed on it. For $5, I'll take it.
And I just wrote for no one but me. Well, I'm pretty sure the 40 year old hipster dude on one flight was reading over my shoulder, but whatever. Should have just given him one of my business cards and told him to catch up, already. I didn't do it daily or even weekly, but when the mood struck, instead of firing up this wounded laptop (effing cats knocking it down, now I have no sound and the fan is wonky and I lost two USB ports GAHGAHGAH) I'd just grab a pen and my new journal and go to town, for as long as either my life or my mind would allow.
Slowly, that giant wall of bricks keeping me from my words started to disintegrate.
As far as I'm concerned, you all are here for the banality. You are here not just for the heavy stuff or the deep stuff, but just for the stuff. And yeah, there are people here for the sole purpose of tearing me down to make themselves feel better, but you know what? Fuck 'em. FUCK THEM, I say!
Most of you are here because you know me and love me and the feeling is mutual, so much more than many of you realize. You're not looking for the next major life-changing blog post, you're just waiting for the next chapter in my story, whether that's potty training horror stories or tales of these unexpected travels or just the ramblings of my racing and wandering mind.
I have a life worth writing about.
And I think I can finally do just that.