I began my first ever blog post by asking this question.
This month I celebrate my 10th anniversary of blogging.
When I read that first post, I can see a lot of the same fears that I still feel every time I share a bit of my story. When I started blogging I really didn’t want to. My husband thought it would be a hilarious read for our family and friends for me to write about what our life was like in our tiny semi-detached house with a growing family, particularly at this time when I tore all the ligaments in my ankle and was sidelined for 6 weeks with a 1 year old, 3 year old, 5 year old, and a very helpful 10 year old.
After a decade of blogging, following other people and their blogs, and discovering so many random posts that have helped me find solutions to everyday and not-so-everyday dilemmas, the definitive answer is yes, it does. But this is a short answer for a question that is not so simple.
We are inundated with information. My email inbox used to give me so much anxiety because I used to subscribe to so many cool people doing so many cool things which of course made me more anxious when I read about them because I wasn’t doing anything cool. While I was reading all abou these cool people, I was probably nursing a child in the same yoga pants I had worn for a week trying to get my shit together to do one load of laundry – or at least re-wash that one load that didn’t get transferred to the dryer fast enough so now it smelled like wet dog.
And of course there was no time to do anything cool because I was also spending a stupid amount of time sorting my inbox.
When we adopted the philosophy of minimalism as a family, I took a machete to my inbox. I subscribe to a handful of newsletters from people I resonate with. People who are my people. People who I would love to hang out with for coffee. Imperfect people who are doing their best and sharing their current best along the way. My husband has his own people that he follows that also speak his language of protein, deadlifts, and email management systems. (Thank God.)
I realized that I don’t have to stress out trying to read all of this amazing information out there. Read what brings you joy, what makes you laugh, what makes you stop and go, “I never thought about it that way.” We all have strange preferences too and the beauty is that we can find that specific person that also loves to talk about whether Jean Luc Picard was a better captain than Kirk or how Comic Sans really should be deleted off of every font list. (Yes, you can expect future posts on both.)
I would prefer a world with an abundance of cool and interesting stories than one where I can’t find the diversity or can’t access a story that feels like mine.
And this is the point. My story is mine.
As Anne Lamott writes,
Yet, I get to tell my truth. I get to seek meaning and realization. I get to live fully, wildly, imperfectly. That’s why I’m alive. And all I actually have to offer as a writer, is my version of life. Every single thing that has happened to me is mine. As I’ve said a hundred times, if people wanted me to write more warmly about them, they should have behaved better.– Bird by Bird
The intersection of all of my experiences and my observations and the insights and connections that I infer, are particular to me. And that’s what I have always set out to do here. Writing for me helps me lay out the dots so I can connect them and then blogging is a way to say, “Hey! Look at the picture I created after connecting this and that dot!”
And that’s what we can do for each other. We can connect our dots and share them because maybe someone has two dots that they just haven’t connected yet. Islands that need to be bridged. Chasms that need to be crossed. We learn from each other.
Try looking up female biographies written by females in Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome. Or ancient female historians and what they recorded. Or original sources of women’s private art journals during the Renaissance. Tell me what you find.
Nada. Zilch. It’s like women didn’t exist. We know they did because the civilization lasted for quite some time and we can find images of women rendered on vases for the home taking care of babies or of course, weaving.
I am not so arrogant that my little blog of writing will be an important story that is preserved for future women who specifically have a big family, live an unconventional life for this time and place, and who choose an alternative learning method for their family.
What if there were a database of all of our stories and we could sort them on relevance – relevance to us? I would love to be able to look up a woman’s journal from ancient times. Did she care about those last 10 pounds (or 20) after having her third, fourth, fifth child? Did she crave a room of her own, thus rendering Virginia Woolf’s narrative as a remix of an anthem that women have always sung through the ages? But if we had the evidences of this journal to begin with, then maybe women would have had this room all along.
Being a part of Soul Seed Gathering and Soul Seed House is another step towards this collection of our stories. But maybe we can start now by having the courage to tell our own, to weed through all the things we tell to really see if we planted them in earnest or they were grafted onto us by someone else – old conditions of a belief system we no longer wish to support.
I want to know if another woman existed like me. What did she experience? How did she do it? We are so disconnected from passing down wisdom from woman to woman that maybe we all need to just bombard the internet with our blogs. I guarantee that you will resonate with a lot of our collective stories maybe not all, but the point isn’t to agree with all the stories. The point is to have the freedom to write them and for others to access them.
So yes, the world needs another blog, another story, another perspective.
And for me, the greatest thing has been able to look back through my writing and see how our life has changed, how I have changed. In this last decade, we went from four to five kids, we started to homeschool, I reclaimed myself as an artist, and my daughter moved out or from her perspective, we moved away…to name a few.
At the end of my first post, I wrote:
So finally here we are. My first post. Here is what to expect from this blog: things I love, things that annoy me, grammatical errors, daily observations on my experiences as a mother of 4 girls, occasional four-letter words, things I create (which depending on available spare time-sigh-will be posted on an irregular basis), things that make me piss-in-my-pants laugh, things that I remember, run-on sentences, things I learn, mistakes I make, guilty confessions, my mommy adventures, dual personalities, and the oh so random…
Because really, this is my story.
(I apologize in advance for offending you and providing many-a-giggle at my family’s expense.Tomfoolery and Shenanigans
And sometimes things don’t change. Expect all those things still when you come visit me here…but maybe I am a little less apologetic.
Thank you to all of who have been reading since the beginning – my husband and my parents really. And all those who have read a post or two since. Thank you to my children – my biggest source of inspiration and content. Excited to begin another decade of tomfoolery and shenanigans as we trade the snow for the sun and add random Spanish words along the way.