Wednesday, September 23, 2009

4 years in, and Blogger's spell check still doesn't recognize 'blogger' as a word...

This week marks my fourth anniversary here at Never That Easy, and it has me doing a bit of reflecting.

A lot has happened in these four years, in my life & in the world, and I have been immensely fortunate to have this space to come and talk about it all. I may not be the most popular blogger, but I do have commenters who care and who take the time to read my often long and rambling thoughts and then let me know what they think about what I've said. You guys have been amazing: so much more than I expected when I first signed up for this blogger account and racked my brain trying to come up with an anonymous name for my space.

Over the course of the 4 years here, I've tried some things that didn't work for me, I've gone weeks without posting - and posted every day for months. I've learned the basics of html, figured out how to make a generic template my own, and considered adding ads (and realized that they wouldn't make me a profit). I've written things I felt guilty about posting, and not written things I felt guilty about not posting. On one memorable occasion, I was made to feel like much less than I actually am, and on occasions too numerous to count, I am made to feel like I am so much more than I am.

Because I am a blogger, I am a part of a diverse, often inspiring, and sometimes overwhelming community - it's a community with flaws, just like any other, but the support I've found here, the welcoming and understanding, far outweigh any flaws I've encountered. It's something that is hard to explain to people who don't read blogs - it's sometimes hard to explain to myself.

All I know is I have found connections here, and that those connections came at a critical time for me.

Living with chronic illnesses can be a very selfish thing, by necessity - and not even always in a negative way. Self care is vitally important, especially for those of us living with chronic challenges. But if you spend all your time monitoring how you are feeling and what is impacting that and which pills are helping or which doctor you have to call again for the 1000th time, it's so easy to spiral into a place where the energy required to make it through your daily life means you wind up focusing, almost exclusively on your life. (At least for me, it does.) And that's not the way I want to live.

Blogging has also made me much more aware of how much other people are going through: it's not as if I didn't know that life is hard for everyone before I started reading blogs, it's that I didn't always feel it. It's a lot harder to stay self-centered when you're reading about other people's lives, when you feel compelled to comment on particularly poignant posts, when you've just spent 10 minutes crying over someone else's loss.

I've always connected to writing - books have been my salvation more often than I can count - but connecting through the fabulous writing of bloggers means connecting
to the lives of real people. And having them connect with you.

I don't know where I'd be if I hadn't found people who understood - or who at least made the effort to understand. I didn't know there were so many people out there who had similar issues, who could get it, or people who have no idea what it's like to live my life, but who would listen to what I was saying and actually care. It still seems impossible to me that you all show up here whenever your Google Reader kindly informs you that I have said something else.

A lot of what I say is nonsense - memes and quizzes, random flotsam and jetsam from the wreckage of my brain - but a lot of it is also meaningful.

It's stuff that's hard to think, let alone write.

It's stuff that's personal and private and I that I never figured on sharing with anyone (let alone a bunch of people I've never met.)

It's stuff I'll always want to remember, and stuff I'd rather forget.

I don't have any promises for you about what comes next - I know there are some things I'd like to try this year, some stuff I'd like to feature in this space - but all I really know for sure is that I'll be back. Even when it seems like I just am not ever going to get around to writing half the posts that are littering up my head, I know I have to say something. So, thanks for being here when I do!

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