One of the reasons I started blogging was the need for an outlet to talk about my life and all that is going on. A place where I could write (or practice writing) and also talk about my life, feelings, etc... In some ways it was selfish because it gives me a place to toot my horn - sort of an annoying version of the Christmas "we are the most perfect family" letter we all get from at least one person every year. I actually like those but it has been ingrained in me by my charming mother is this overwhelming sense that those letters are bad. She hated them but that is another story for another time... I also write about negative and silly stuff so it is not all ME centered.
Another reason I started to blog had to do with releasing emotions. I always felt pent up emotionally and this provided me with a release. We live far from family and do not have a HUGE social circle. Also, being working parents we tend to have little time to be social beasts. I like to think if I were a SAHM I would be a more social person because I feel a strong urgency to do that - I am a social beast to some degree - GAWD, I love that word... weird, I know - by nature despite my total hatred of the phone and lately of e-mail.
Mostly I started blogging because it enlarged my social circle. It gave me the chance to find like minded people I can relate to (parents, a sense of humor, working parents, strong women with a voice) and an intellectual stimulation I desperately needed. The blogs I read regularly are written entertaining, intelligent and wonderful people. I may never meet most of the people whose blogs I read but it gives me this sense of community I crave deeply but have little time/energy to build. By the end of any given day or week, I am exhausted. My job is emotionally draining and it is hard work. Raising a child while working adds even more pressure. Don't get me wrong - as I have stated, I love my job and I do not look at work as a negative aspect of my life because for me work gives me one more form of community. But it makes me tired, plain and simple.
I long for the 50s Leave it To Beaver/Mayberry community at times (without the total of lack of feminism!) Where people seemed to know their neighbors and cared for one another. Where family was close by and helpful AND... and loving. Where friends and family gathered to help raise a fence, move you from one house to the next or just came over to sit on the porch for lemonade (or cocktails.)
I long for all of this but time and pressure some times do not allow for this AND despite being a social beast by nature I am a bit how shall we say... socially awkward. I am actually a bit shy and reserved. I am not one to go out and greet the new neighbors. I sometimes forget to wave at people when I see them or say hi when Matthew and I stroll by. I will avoid someone in the store or when I am out and about if I have only met them once & hardly know them. I am weird like that. Blogging gives me the ability to avoid that one on one contact but still interact with a wonderful fun loving community.
I think often of my most favorite movie eva, Breakfast Club when I think about blogging FOR ME:
Brian: Well, what I said was that I'm in the math club, the latin club and the physics club.
Bender: Hey, cherry, do you belong to the physics club?
Claire: Thats an academic club.
Claire: So, academic clubs arent the same as other kinds of clubs.
Bender: But the dorks like him, they are. What do you guys do in your club?
Brian: In physics, well, we talk about physics... properties of physics.
Bender: So its sort of social. Demented and sad, but social, right?