Friday, April 8, 2011

Some thoughts on the blog

I love my blog. I really, really love it. I love that you guys read, mostly quietly, sometimes with comments, and I love that I have this space to express myself in. I also love reading other blogs, and read a variety of them on a regular basis (except lately. I'm behind in my reading, because I had a baby, which is a pretty good excuse). I've noticed lately on the Natural Parenting Network, which is a parenting website I am a mentor and once a month article writer for (terrible sentence, I'm aware), that lots of blog writers are really into increasing their readership. We're engaged in this idea on Mothers of Change, but we're wanting to expand and spread the word and engage with birth advocates across the country and beyond, but for a personal blog? I'm SO not there. I've never cared how many followers I have or how many hits I get or how many fans I have because the purpose of this thing is to express myself. Journey, online, in a way both personal and nearly anonymous.
It's hilarious because although I know it doesn't make much sense, I find facebook to be much more intrusive than blogging. I understand the logic of being absolutely aware of who is reading what we put out there when it comes to facebook, but on the other hand I have friends on there who would be insulted if I unfriended them, but whom I don't want reading my deepest thinkings on birth, parenting, and working as a paramedic with a bunch of semi emotionally stunted individuals wrapped up in the warped social equivalent of high school meets oil field....
It's certainly possible for anyone I work with, for, or around to stumble across my blog accidentally. This happened recently, with a mom from my kids' school (Hi Maria!). But to have invited them in or accepted their friendship and then spill my guts? Not so much. I'm much more guarded on facebook than I am in this space.

I also find it interesting when my friends (the ones I know only in real life, who don't read my blog) express gratitude that I don't 'push' them to read my blog. I've gotten this on many occasions, where they say thanks for not getting insulted that they don't read it. What do I care if they read it or not?! I'm not trying to be intelligent or particularly funny. I'm just talking. If it's important, we'll talk about it in real life!

I also have been accused by several OTHER people of attempting to communicate solely via blog. This makes absolutely no sense to me, since I don't actually push anyone to read my blog, ever. Hence, if they miss out on what I'm slathering all over the internet I don't assume they read it, and I fill them in when we're together. I think this accusation has its roots in the fact that I'm horrific at keeping in touch by phone. Like, awful. Embarrassingly so. So, for those who communicate more frequently by phone, I'm this elusive enigma. I've got time to blog, but no time to talk on the phone. Yes, I know. Anyways, that's where I think this perception that I try to communicate by blog comes from. I'm not trying to maintain relationships on here, I'm just doing some cyber stripping.

Blogging has helped me to meet new friends, which is cool. It also damaged an old university friendship of mine, which is not cool. At all. THAT girl won't befriend me on facebook, that's for sure. The internet is weird. I think that really just sums it up. We're designed to communicate face to face, with all the verbal and non verbal communicating tools all mixed up together. But how can we do face to face, solely? People we love live so far away! The exchange of ideas and thoughts and art and emotion is so valuable! Anyways.

I also have to confess a weakness of mine. I really hate to feel left out. HATE. Little else will push my buttons and stimulate my anxiod self faster than feeling left out of something, or cast aside in a relationship. It reaches way down into a foundational crack in my heart, which came into existence pretty early in my life, and shakes it up a bit. The older I get and the more I establish my family and discover who I am, the less I am affected by this weakness. There are now far fewer people in my life who can touch this deep when it comes to being left out, but they still exist. I wonder why. I wonder why I fear this so much, this cast aside-ness. No one wants to feel they are less important to someone than they wish to be.
Another fun step on the road of self discovery. *FUN!* Don't we all really want to be loved? I don't only like to be loved, I want to be FAVORITE. Which is part of why being a mom really works for me! Moms are so important. Moms are always favorite, even when they are vile nerds (and I don't mean favorite over dad; I mean favorite over the rest of the world), and we always love them and revolve around them, and need them, and wish for their approval, always.
So. I have a drive to be imperative.
I need to care far less. I just....can't....

I'm also wrestling with What's Next as far as my vocational direction is concerned. I'm done with BC Ambulance. But I am still wistful when an ambulance drives past me, sirens wailing, off to wrestle with the world's pain in all its manifestations and dysfunctionality. I am hoping to somehow turn crochet and knitting into a small, modest type of income for myself. Doula work inspires me only really when I do it for my friends, for whom I do it for free or nearly free, and it makes other income earning work difficult to logistically organize. Like, if I do childcare a few days a week in my house, I can't do doula work those days. You can't conscript birth onto certain days per week, so you know, that won't work.
There's midwifery school.
And there's art.
In a perfect world, I would simply be an artist. I'd paint, I'd go to shows and see other peoples' art, I'd read art mags and maybe write some articles for them, and I'd be doing installations and murals and small paintings and large ones, and pushing philosophy around on canvas with acrylic and oils. What if a perfect world really happened?
I think that really might be the scariest concept out there. [except maybe for feeling left out. ha! i made a joke at my own expense....]
Can i leave medicine behind altogether? I don't know. But I can't develop as an artist 'on the side' in the same way that I can as 'vocation.' And I'm still passionate about birth. Gahhh....
This is the first time I've voiced this particular self struggle. Out loud or in writing. Because who wants to look at my art? And if nobody's looking, is there a point? And what? I'm going to take us to the poorhouse because I wanna be an artist?

I'm reading a book right now called The Help. It is REALLY GOOD. I'm going to stop writing about all these really big topics that are very close to my heart and go read, because its easier.

Peace out.


Caryn Ouwehand said...

Ah yes, the good old, "What are you going to be when you grow up?" question. I wonder if that one ever goes away...

literal mama said...

We've been discussing this on the other blog, the idea of just changing course. What stops us? Are we on the course we want to be on, etc? Lots to think about. Lots for us to talk about as 6 children run around us.

I can't wait for the old-fashioned face to face this week. My life is full of cyber relationships that were once human relationships and sometimes I am starved for touch, a smile, the sound of a voice. Blogging, email, facebook have a purpose and I am grateful for them but they do put up artificial walls, make us paranoid, fail to show the whole picture. Sometimes I wish I was brave enough to say no more and rely on letters and phones and visits over tea but almost everyone I love most in the world is so far away. How could I?

I miss you. Just to confirm, you are never left out of my life. You are part of our daily conversations and prayers. You are family. You are a friend. You are there till the end baby. xo

Tonya said...

I love you. And I love that you called it cyber stripping! Ha ha ha!!!

I'm so with you on how weird it is to communicate via the internet so much. And I stink on the phone anymore. Having a conversation, with 50,000 interruptions, when I should be getting 50,000 things done just isn't realistic. It's much easier to put something on FB or my blog and assume that you'll read it if you want to than to call 300 people and tell them.

As for my blog? My husband has NEVER read it. I started it thinking it would be a good way to keep in touch with family, but my mother never reads it, my sisters MIGHT read it once every 6 months. A couple of my sister-in-laws read it some. That is all. If I can't even get them to read it, I'm amazed anyone else does! :-)

When I grow up, I'm going to be lazy. :-)

Keli said...

I want to see your art!!

Tamie said...


Could you guys afford for you to pursue art and not bring in a major income for a while? If so, why not try it?

I would just like to say that google is a big problem. Without google and other search engines, people couldn't randomly find us on the internet.

I read The Help. Good stuff.

Your blog is easily and by far my favorite blog of all the blogs I read. So that is one way you get to be a favorite!

I also suck at communicating by phone. With a couple people I'm super good because talking on the phone with them is really natural. With everyone else, I totally suck.

Love you.

Louise Chapman said...

Mel, so many things to say but here are a few:
1. I do not like talking on the phone either. I really only like talking to my sister and best friend on the phone. The one problem with blogs is I have to watch what I say because of who reads it. It is really for my kids and also it's therapeutic for me. Oh the other thing, people don't feel the need to ask me any questions because they read all about me on my blog. Gary doesn't even ask about my day, he just reads it. A little ridiculous.

2. I was petrified of leaving teaching. I loved it. I was good at it. I was meant to be a teacher. I didn't ever think I would do something else. I am so thankful that I have been doing photography now. It works so well for our family and I get great joy out of it. I can always go back into teaching and maybe I will one day. Could you go back to being a paramedic or would you need to upgrade a lot etc? I just know that life is too short to spend time doing something that isn't right for you. Something that creates unhealthy stress (whether it's the job, daycare etc). I am so thankful I took the plunge. Yes, always something to learn in business. I wish I had talked to someone about it sooner. If you ever want to talk about owning your own small business, we can meet up or email.

You're awesome AND I'm just about to read `The Help' too:)

lori said...

I could say many things in response to this post, but I got onto the computer to post a blog, and often I find myself spending more time on people's comments than I do posting my own blogs. ha ha. Which is fine, because blogs like yours really encourage interaction. But, like this week I had a good friend ask via facebook if we were up north yet. Ugh. Been here for two weeks, but you wouldn't know it by my sporadic blog.


One of the main things I wanted to say is that I would love to see some of your other art! I have no idea in my head of what it would be like, but it would be yet another way of getting to know you, which would be super cool.

I noticed you quoted Donald Miller the other day. Have you read, or are you reading, "A Million Miles?" I guess that deals specifically with creating and living your best story. I've got it on hold at the old library. The Help seems interesting too.

I appreciate your vulnerability. Being left out does sucketh the big one. Funny, I was having a similar thought about motherhood the other day. It has the potential to fulfill a woman in so many ways, and sometimes I almost get a little scared by that fulfillment! Like, either this is yet another biological encouragement to breed just for breeding's sake, or sheesh, I was a needy joker before.

Better wrap 'er up.

Thanks for the post.

Tamie Marie said...

Lori, dude, I thought you said you were going to post. I went over to yer blog and, um, no post. What gives?

lori said...

Right - I worked on it, but never posted. That's actually why I'm on today, to post. But again, I usually read yours and Melissa's and some other blogs first, then I run out of time.

ha. What can be done?!