Blogging, A Reflection

I feel like the time has come for me to openly accept blogging. I talk very little, if ever, about my blog with anyone who does not already know of its existence (which generally comes to be through their own web stumbling or me posting a comment). I'm not declaring that from this moment forward I will tout the fact that I have a blog to everyone I know. But you know, it kinda feels like I'm finally reaching the point where I accept online dating, like I'm getting over the stigma of being a blogger. I really enjoy the connections it brings to my daily life, the very small moments of interaction between like minds. Refreshing. Do you know how little of that I would receive otherwise? If I did not have any sort of non-professional communication outlet, if cell phones too were obsolete? I'm not saying it can stand in place of interpersonal friendships, surely nothing can replace one on one interactions. True, I have my moments where I tire of it, where I feel as though (in whatever blogging niche I follow) blogging is oversaturated by the monotonous repetition of of-the-moment styles and trends, that we find ourselves with a case of, what I like to call, Jr High Syndrome, and everyone in their quest to be individuals, comes out looking the same... I have my moments. However, blogging, for what it is, and not asking it to be anything else, is pretty great.

I'm currently (especially) enjoying Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose. The main character, Susan Burling Ward, is an East coast artist who marries and follows her husband out to the new, wild, developing West. Her desire and longing for the companionship of friends back home manifests in the letters she writes home to New York,

Willingly or unwillingly, she collected experience and wrote it back East in letters. Perhaps she wrote so fully because she wanted to divert Augusta's depression. Perhaps she was only indulging her own starved desire for talk. (104)

To say starved for talk in my case would be over doing it, but hungry? Certainly. With the current roots technology has grounded in today's culture (the ways in which it has become an essential part of daily functionality according to societal norms) my circumstances are in no way as dramatic or severe as Susan's. But I can understand, sympathize in a way more fully than ever before, her sentiment, having recently made a long distance move myself. I don't think it is a bad thing to go out into the unknown, I don't think Susan thought it was a bad thing either. It's an adventure that provides unique experiences and insight, unattainable in any other way. But as an adult, finished with my undergrad, who doesn't belong to a church, who is in a relationship... the opportunity to make new connections and friendships comes seldom. For the friendships I have created, we're adults with jobs and lives and schedules, it doesn't always work out when you want or need it to.

I feel glad and lucky that I do enjoy being alone. I like hanging out with myself. I lived alone for a time in college, I'm comfortable with it (side note: I saw this cute video, How to be Alone on the red thread that you may enjoy). Having a lot of "me time" has also helped me to reflect on my self-motivation (in ways both good and bad). But personally I am not enough of an introvert that I desire to be alone exclusively. I rather enjoy good talk, face-hurting laughs, and just shooting the shit sometimes. I enjoy sharing the things/projects I do alone and I look for validation in others, in my relationships. In the words of my dear Susan Burling Ward, "Don't you know how we lose the sense of our own individuality when there is nothing to reflect it back upon us?" I wish I didn't find such truth in her words, but to be the most honest with myself, I do. How lucky then, that there are communities of sharing, sharing the silly, beautiful, menial, creative, thoughtful, personal, superficial, and inspirational things with one another. To help us fulfill the primal need we have for connection and a friendship while we simultaneously work ourselves into the ground 10+ hours a day, with responsibilities at home, and personal wellness to worry about. Because at some point, those moments between the more demanding scheduled tasks of the day, I need to be silly, beautiful, menial, creative, thoughtful, personal, superficial, and inspirational...

This blog has surprised me, the way it's allowed me to share things with friends and family, the way in which it has reconnected me, surprisingly, with people from the past, not to mention the new connections (no matter the depth of friendship) that it has brought to me. It's my personal white board, and the only people who read my white board are the people who will also snicker at the inappropriate joke, will touch eyes with me when I see something and need to share the look when everyone else has turned their backs... I can post something small and have my giggle, ask that question or for that opinion that has been riddling my mind, and move forward with my work or my day or whatever it is.

So all this culminates to: thanks friends. For humoring me, for coming around, for saying hello, for spying, for validating me, for helping me find my reflection on hard days.

I hope to keep seeing you around



P.S. Summer Playlist #5 Neko Case - Vengeance is Sleeping. Please don't judge me for the accompanying videos to these songs. I don't know why the only studio version of this song on YouTube is "accompanied by images of revenge and questions of identity." Seriously, I have no idea, just listen.


libby said...

oooo, you even put your real name. a first??

Rachel Swan said...

You're welcome! You've created such a unique + original space here, it's such a great site. I recently started telling people I have a blog, too. I was worried that no one would get it, or that I was trying too hard to be somebody else (which I think happened the first time around), or maybe think I was being too self-centered. But since I am home 95% of the time, and I have such a hard time finding people like me in this huge garage, stucco-crazed, costco-lovin' suburban town, I need this. I need people like me to care about what I find interesting. I need outside voices to validate my opinions, tastes, and political affiliation. I need to stop feeling so isolated.

So, THANK YOU, for being my blogging buddy, chiming in on my ramblings, and for being different from everyone else around me. I'm so happy I found you (again)!


Emily said...

L: I think it might be a first... *record scratch*

R: I think "huge garage" is the best human categorization I've ever heard because I know exactly what you mean :) xxooxxo