Five years ago today, I started my blog.
Bloody hell. I have inadvertently become a dinosaur of the blogging world. A toothless old doyenne who still doesn’t really know what an RSS feed is or why you’re supposed to add links. But that’s not the point. That is not why I blog.
So why am I still blogging after all this time?
Mainly for those rare comments – the ones that say “thank you so much for helping me feel that I am not alone in thinking this, or feeling that”. For the people that I have met because of it and for the opportunities my blog has brought me. For the discipline of writing. For the record of my haphazard journey – starting from the very sad and dark newly divorced days. I’m not sure whether that is a good thing or bad thing. But it is a “thing”, nevertheless.
My blog has dramatically changed over time. It started as a very personal anonymous diatribe about life – suggested by friends who could no longer bear to listen to my daily disasters. So, I set out to find a sympathetic ear about the unfairness of life when you feel betrayed. About stuff. I loved it then because it helped me hugely. I received advise from others and it felt like I was part of a community – that somehow there was a safety net out there in cyberspace.
I’m not sure what I’ve specifically learnt in five years about life, but I know I’ve got stronger and I know that being true to yourself is vital. Divorce is a terrible thing in so many ways. Painful beyond belief. My children have suffered. I know that. But they have also become strong individuals who have learnt how to deal with some of life’s traumas. I didn’t have any traumas to deal with until my 40’s when my marriage fell apart and I fell spectacularly into a deep dark hole. I have had to reassess and redefine and whilst my life is far from calm I feel mostly a sense of deep gratitude for all that I have. Three beautiful children. Supportive friends and family, who have totally been there for me. My life distilled is very, very good and I have learnt to appreciate the most important parts.
Forging forward, even if its head first without a helmet into a life that i wasn’t expecting has been challenging to say the least. I have learnt that I can’t please everyone all of the time. There are those who don’t agree with anything I say. I can’t help that. I can just try and do the best that i can. Without compromising on the things that have become important to me. I haven’t been able to write honestly about what’s going on in my life for a while now but perhaps that is no bad thing. I mean who really wants to know if I’m seeing anyone at the moment and who…it…is…
So there we are then. I’m still blogging because I love it and because it’s mine. Through my blog I found a voice – albeit a small, croaky one to begin with. Now it’s opened up a whole new world of opportunity and I have met lots of lovely people. Been asked to give blog talks (worryingly), travelled because of it, done reviews, lovely things…
Who knows where it is all going, but here is my first ever post – the reason why I started – and it feels good to still be here after all this time:-
“I am conducting an experiment. Another one. My life seems to be full of them at the moment. I apologise in advance to anyone that has the misfortune of accidentally stumbling across my ramblings. I am not a writer, nor am I a regular user of the internet. This particular exercise feels so abnormal that I might as well be attempting to make contact with aliens. I don’t even know what a “blog” is, let alone what a “blogroll” or “blogosphere” means. I have been advised to get my head around RSS feeds – is that a related condition? A new blog is born every second and according to one source there are about 70m blogs in existence that have been built up over the last 10 years. How is it that I am just catching on now? I thought I was cutting edge…
I read somewhere that we should all attempt to challenge ourselves daily. To step out of our comfort zone in some way shape or form. I imagine it’s a bit like becoming a teenager again. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for those, like myself, who are old enough to know better and who can’t really cope with the adrenalin rush associated with putting yourself into an unfamiliar situation. Had I previously been in the SAS or MI5 it would have been fine, I might have welcomed them back with open arms. However, having only ever had about 3 or 4 adrenalin rushes before the age of 40 (not including my 40th birthday party), it is manifestly obvious that they are not good for me. They result in things like acne, sweaty armpits and irregular periods. For a teenager, this is a normal part of growing up, for me it feels more like having all my clothes removed and maybe one or two layers of skin and then being expected to stand in front of a crowd of people who can’t stop laughing.
By way of introduction I should probably just let you know that I am a nearly divorced mother of three who has arguably lost her way. If I’m honest, I would prefer to go back to my old life. The one in which I felt safe. The one in which I knew my boundaries and understood my place in the world. I swathed my entire family in cotton wool and enjoyed the feeling of being comfortably numb. If it wasn’t for the fact that I have had to cope with a major life changing trauma, I wouldn’t be here, attempting to understand the complexities of the modern world. I’d be in bed reading a book or watching television or warning the children not to reveal their postcode to anybody on the internet because a paedophile might come and find them.
My aim is simple. I plan to use the internet as a place to experiment with a new identity in order to find my own voice again. I would like to understand the allure of cyberspace and to embrace the wealth of possibility, rather than to fear the danger. I would also like to remain one step ahead of my children, although I suspect there will be no chance of that. It was not long ago, when my 14 year old asked if I’d logged on yet, that I replied “what do you mean?” Silence. “What part of “have you logged on yet ?” do you not understand?” he said incredulously. It will be mildly interesting to become an active participant in our most traumatic of daily household dramas, that of whose turn it is to use the computer. The children communicate constantly with their friends in this way. I don’t understand it – what’s wrong with meeting for a drink? Or talking on the telephone? They would argue that they can talk to 10 or 15 friends at the same time, but it can’t be right to have a one dimensional relationship with people, to not be responsive to facial expressions and non verbal communication. But that is the way of our brave new world and I for one have been teetering on the edge for too long. I am going to jump in. So here goes….Hello? Is there anybody out there? My name is … well, actually I am quite sure my name is of no interest to anybody, so let’s dispense with formalities for now”.
So, I’d just like to say a big thank you to everyone who still finds the time to pop over and good luck to anyone who wants to start. Give it a go. You never know what you might find out there.