It took me a while to allow myself into the world that is blogging. Not only writing, but reading blogs made me feel uneasy. Kind of like I was 13 and reading my sister’s diary….shhhh don’t tell her. My challenge is that I have always been in love with people, their lives, what makes them tick. Truly, I should have studied anthropology in school….but yet, the creative force in me just had to break free, so art school it was. An artist I am, however, I have never been a real writer and the only reason I have this blog was because my son and I realized that people needed to hear our story, to feel less alone in the world of mental illness. I am now hooked on blogs……and to celebrate my 50th post, I thought I would tell you why.
I was an avid reader from a young age. We didn’t have a television until I was in middle school, instead, my dad enrolled us in multiple book clubs. When I would exhaust those books, I would immerse myself in his book club finds , the Reader’s Digest collection, an extensive series of Kodak books and pretty much anything in the encyclopedia would grab my attention. Yes kids, E-N-C-Y-C-L-O-P-E-D-I-A ….the grandmother to Google. I was a binge reader, still am (it took me 2 weeks to read the entire Harry Potter series). Aside from thrillers and graphic novels, I enjoy most genres. From Shakespeare and Austen to Nicholas Sparks and Jude Devereaux, I am an equal opportunity reader. If you give me a good story, I won’t put it down.
In my teens, like many were, I was introduced to Anne Frank. This opened up a whole new world for me, the biography. My love of biographies then carried over into my love of biographical movies. The thought that even the idea of a movie was based on a real person or real events would draw me in. So why then, did I have such a challenge with blogs? I think it made me feel voyeuristic. I was reading people’s lives as they happened, not something from the past.
‘But you’re here now’ you say? Well, I learned to appreciate blogs in a new way. I love that these are people in the here and now. Not historical figures, not glamorous celebrities, people who are living their day-to-day, just like me. People that I can learn from in their experiences or simply have a laugh with while reading their humorous antics. I take a new approach to blogs that helps me get over the voyeuristic aspect that bothered me initially…..I read people like a book. If I find a blogger that I really connect with, I go back to their first post and start from the beginning of their story. I have been binge reading in this way lately, too. Last spring I followed a young woman’s 2 year journey to freedom from abuse while maintaining her faith. This summer, I read about a mother’s inspiring battle with the depression that effects both her and her son. Just this past week, I cancelled all holds I had at the library and read almost 18 months of posts about a mom of 2, raising an autistic child and struggling with the world of single parenting, dating and general life, all with a wonderful sense of humor.
Just like Hogwarts, Green Gables or an Attic in Amsterdam, I imagine the worlds of these women…..but their worlds are real. I have found myself loving this form of reading and writing. It connects me to the world in a way that no book could ever do. The only problem is that now, I have to be patient and wait for little sequels on a daily basis.