In 2000, I started out just keeping an online journal of my life for sorting my thoughts about things happening in the world, near and far. Doug told me I was “blogging” and showed me what other people were writing. Maybe that subconsciously gave me permission to keep doing what I was already doing, but from that point on, doing a little bit of daily writing and reading became an important part of my day. Instead of being one of the school nerds who hid in the computer lab during chapel, I wear my geekdom as a badge of pride.
Blogging helps me keep the things that happen in my life in perspective and find the humor in the mundane. I find myself mentally composing posts in my head when I’m away from the computer. When I dropped a magic eraser into a pot of soup cooking on the stove, I didn’t get upset. I just mentally said, “I’m blogging that.” I carry my old camera with me everywhere to keep a photographic record of our lives to accompany the words I write. I can look back in my archives and see what I was doing and how I felt one, two, three years ago.
Unlike a diary, blogging is interactive. I love it when people comment and e-mail me. I really feel like the people I have met through blogging are my friends. When I read their blogs, I hear a real person’s voice in my head, not HAL. I have met most of the local bloggers face to face and someday I will meet my other blogging friends.
I felt a little like Marsha Brady when she lost her diary the first half a dozen times I was on the receiving end of a conversation that began “I found your blog and . . .” Now, I just smile and enjoy the feedback. It’s not always good feedback. A lot of people are afraid of the Internet and think that they must wear a mask when interacting with it. We have no delusions of secrecy. We are who we are, good and bad. Willingness to admit our faults as well as rejoicing the small triumphs is what bloggers do. Others may react with satisfaction that they are normal or they may take pride that their life is better than ours. That’s ok. As a Mommy Blogger, I may have less credibility than a political blogger, but I see myself as having more freedoms. I can talk about social issues one minute and diapers the next minute. I can even talk about sex. I’m a married adult and it’s part of my life.
I see the humanity in blogging. The similarities in all people instead of the political labels that others would like to use to divide us. I live in a small town that thinks it’s a big city. Everyone here is connected by far less than six degrees. I hear gossip that I can’t print. I try to do no harm. Yes, I would like to write things that take more than five minutes to compose, especially on the topic of Aspergers, but I have five children and spend most of my life in the car. Maybe someday. For now, I’ll just be satisfied with the little bursts of words that I make with my fingers. Instead of leaving behind an attic filled with journals, I am leaving my memories and feelings on the Internet.