Some days are hard, but not necessarily in a bad way. Things are swimming along well, but you’re just caught in its undercurrent, constantly trying to surface for breath. When you catch a break, all you want to do - can do - is breathe. And that’s how this week has been for me. In a good way, I should add, because it has been a week of savoring little people and their little people ways.
I usually start writing when my girls are in bed at night, but while I have a few posts brewing in my head, nothing is translating well “on paper”. I spent two hours writing yesterday, and at the end of my post, I decided to scrap it.
What I’d imagined in my head morphed into something else altogether when I forced my tired, unmotivated mind for words. My sense of obligation to “just post something” churned out nothing of substance, which this post is quickly turning into if I don’t get to my point soon.
My point is that sometimes I just don’t feel like blogging. Sometimes I just want to veg in front of the TV and let it drain me. More often than not, I don’t have the time to dedicate to this blog like I used to. But yet, I make myself do it because, well, I do it for my girls, of course.
Little Miss was the reason I started this in the first place, but when I found my place within a blogging community that I adore, that’s when it became a joy for me. I was inspired by these women, who are fellow writers, bloggers, and moms, and rejuvenated by these new friendships. Above all, I love the spirit and support of our community, evident in my post from last week, when so many banded together in support of one of our own.
But then, something else rather unexpected happened. People started to reach out to me because of my stories. And I don’t mean those who comment openly on my blog. I mean people who either don’t know me or who are just “Facebook friends” or friends with whom I’ve lost touch have written me personally in response to an experience I shared in my post, one to which they could relate.
Whether it’s my struggles as a full-time working mom, my challenges with a difficult preschooler, or my relationship with My Guy, some of these stories have resonated with certain people. Even friends who wouldn’t otherwise unburden on me have come to me with their own stories after reading mine and that has naturally made us even closer. It is both heartwarming and an honor that people would either choose to confide in me or just to share their version of the story.
I’m also unbelievably grateful to know that my words mean something to someone (other than my family), and that I’m not alone in this. That there is someone else out there going through exactly what I’m going through. Like my blogger friend, Amy, said to me on Twitter, “THIS is the real Internet. Connections like this.” To that, I say a resounding YES! After all, we’re all just trying to make connections aren’t we?
Here’s one such connection that blew my mind. Last week, after my post on helping out a fellow blogger, someone sent me the following message in private:
I've been meaning to tell you something for awhile and your post today finally made me sit down and do it.
2012 was a shit year for us. <Background story here, which I’ve omitted to respect the privacy of the sender.> It was an extremely trying time and I was lost and, though hopeful for reconciliation, really scared I was going to lose everything - my house, my relationship, my security, my sanity.
Even though I didn't know the details of yours and your guy's story, it got me through our tough time. If you could do, we could do it. You guys gave me the hope that all is never lost and there are peaks beyond the valleys.
I am happy to report that my husband and I are in a better place than we have been in the 8 years we've been together - happy and solid and madly in love with each other.
Thank you for giving me light on my darkest days.
That letter brought me to tears. Happy tears! The fact that we triumphed in our struggle to get back on the path as a family again was one thing, but to be able to inspire another? It’s incredible! Besides, I knew exactly what she meant – the heartbreak, the joy – because I was there too. I felt every bit of her angst and elation, and to relate at such a deep, emotional level with someone I’ve never even met made me see just how much blogging has brought to my life. How rich and robust this experience is, even when it only exists inside my computer.
It’s connections like these that really make this an amazing space for me.
The fact that my stories could help anyone at all is incredible to me, but it was never my intention when I started blogging. Now, however, it’s one of the reasons I’m still here. Even on a week like this, when all I want to do is watch a marathon of Californication with a pan of homemade raspberry-oatmeal cookie bars on my lap every night before going to bed.
I keep coming back to this space because of my daughters, and because of this connection. Also, I ran out of oatmeal – no cookies bars for this girl. So here I am at 1 a.m., popping Cheez-Its into my mouth to quiet the rumbling, ravenous belly because my linguine with clam sauce from my 6pm dinner has long been digested. My family is sound asleep, and I should be in bed myself.
But for now, I’d rather be here. For you. For me.
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What amazing connections have you made on the Internet? What does the Internet mean for you?
This is a Bigger Picture post. Read more about it here.