The Odd Mix

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Location: Virginia, United States

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Let's Talk...

I have noticed a trend. Or maybe it is more of a twitch. Several of the posts I have read in the last few days have been about difficulty in posting. Not being able to find the right words. Of feeling like the stories aren’t worthy of posting. That there is no value in the thoughts and feelings of the author. That perhaps they should take a break or even quit blogging. It makes me sad in a very personal way.

There is a huge gap in my blog - huge like months. During those months I would think of so many things to tell, but could never seem to force the words out of my head and into my blog. I have struggled with depression and anxiety for a couple of years now. Sometimes it seems impossible to start a task – even one I am looking forward to – for fear of having things go wrong. For fear of not finishing. For fear of failing. Just for fear of fear.

Looking back, I wish I had just posted. Quick notes. Just a picture. Even a single word. A few of those thoughts are in my scattered notes. Some I will remember when I look at my pictures. A few still rattle around in my head. Many are lost. Thoughts I felt were worth sharing; stories I found funny or touching; pithy sayings and quotes; valuable moments of life, captured in image and word. Gone like loose pages in the wind. I am sure I will find one from time to time, stuck in the tall weeds at the edges of thought, yellowed and curled from weather and time. I will press out the wrinkles – maybe copy them onto fresh paper. But even as I do I will think of the pages lost for good.

I have (mostly) learned now that my communications with my friends (and friends we are - even if we've never met) need not always be an inspired essay. But it is still hard sometimes. I wonder, “Is this going to be good enough? Can I make someone smile? Will someone relate to what I write? Could someone learn from my mistakes?” All these things are important to me. I write for me, but I write for you, too. I don’t speak in conversation because I like to hear myself talk – I speak because I desire to give value to my listeners.

So now begins the part of this post where I presume to understand your thoughts – or at least assume that you come to this imaginary land of blogs with the same sense of community as I. The thing I try to remember is that my listeners – my readers – are my friends. They don’t come to read for literature’s sake; they come to communicate – to be part of a community. I presume that you value my thoughts. I presume that you want to have discussions of substance with me. I presume that you wish to understand me better; to empathize with my troubles; to share my joys; to be friends. I must so presume or I am like the lady in the fountain – talking into the wind while others pass by. I do not believe that I am, for I come to your blogs for the reasons I presume you come to mine.

So, my friends learn from me. As Nike said, “Just do it.” Don’t quit; for I wouldn’t loose a friend. Don’t hold back; for I would know you better. Don’t hide your feelings; for I would laugh with you, cry with you, affirm you, encourage you, and support you as best I can. Don’t go away or shut me out; for my friends are important to me – old and new.
“Let us speak, though we show all our faults and weaknesses, – for it is a sign of strength to be weak, to know it, and out with it, – not in a set way and ostentatiously, though, but incidentally and without premeditation.”
– Herman Melville
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes – and ships – and sealing wax –
Of cabbages – and kings –
And why the sea is boiling hot –
And whether pigs have wings.”
– Lewis Carroll
Let’s talk, my friends…

Note: While I am content with this post as it stands, in rereading it I recognized that it could be misunderstood. It is intended as an expression of the value I place on our little community and each of you whom I have come to know as friends. It is intended as an honest description of my struggles with depression and anxiety as they pertain to blogging. And it is intended as an encouragement to my friends who might be engaged in similar struggles.


Blogger LotionBarBunny said...

I think we are one in the same. I often wonder if anyone reading my blog is thinking, "How stupid." lol. But then there are times when I start getting emails from readers who say, "Hey I can relate."

I do feel like my readers are my own little community of friends. It feels good when my readers say I make them laugh, or I inspire them or I gave them something to think about, or that they can relate and no longer feel alone in their struggle.

Just be you and nobody else. Like you said, we all come here for a reason. I come here because most times you say things I am already thinking, or you give me something to think about, or you just post beautiful smiling pictures of your family and its nice to look at. ;)

So keep posting, no matter what, I will be here reading. :)

8:33 AM, April 20, 2006  
Blogger Kelli said...

Thank you for this post.
There are SO many times when I want to post & can't think of anything "worthy" but then I try & remind myself how happy I get when any of the blogs I read have a new post...and hope that maybe someone will be just as excited to see that I've updated my blog.
I do enjoy the blogging community - and its ever-constant potential for growth & "meeting" new friends.
Thanks again - and I promise to keep reading if you keep posting!

9:10 AM, April 20, 2006  
Blogger Lumpyheadsmom said...

What a great post. A sure cure for bloggers block!

9:47 AM, April 20, 2006  
Anonymous dee said...

What a great post. I just followed a link here from your comment in another blog and found this.

There are days when I have nothing to write and days where I have so much to write I have to force myself to stop. Then, there are other days when I think what I am writing has no significance and nobody will want to read it. But, I sit back and remind myself that all that really matters is that what I write matters to me, and it does.

9:54 AM, April 20, 2006  
Blogger Mainline Mom said...

Hey that was a really relavent and inspiring there. I have quit caring so much how many readers I have and what kind of posts will generate the most interest and comments. I don't use my blog as my own personal journal though, either. Thanks for sharing.

9:56 AM, April 20, 2006  
Blogger momrn2 said...

Thanks for posting this. I must admit I have wondered at times if I needed to stop (although I have just barely started). I think this post delves in to what so many of us feel and think from time to time. Thanks!

10:02 AM, April 20, 2006  
Blogger Circus Kelli said...

I understand what you're saying here. For me, I write just to get the words out. Sometimes, there are no words, but I still feel like I need to write -- not out of obligation, but just to do it for me. I've been known to write posts about not having anything to write about. ;)

Some days I have a story to write, some days I just have a couple of sentences about "whatever".

There is ALWAYS someone out there who will smile, relate, and perhaps laugh with you. You just never know how what you write will touch someone reading it -- good or bad.

Keep on keepin on. :)

10:06 AM, April 20, 2006  
Blogger Tink said...

It seems to be a virus running through the blogger community.

"The thing I try to remember is that my listeners – my readers – are my friends. They don’t come to read for literature’s sake; they come to communicate – to be part of a community." I couldn't have said it any better myself. Thank you for posting, even when you're unsure of what to say. You'd be missed in my world.

12:40 PM, April 20, 2006  
Blogger KTP said...

Hmm. Was my latest post one of the twigs to fuel this fire?

As we say in my house, "Yeppy yeppy yep." It's an affirmation.

3:36 PM, April 20, 2006  
Blogger Wiccachicky said...

One of my blog friends sent me a link to yours because I've been struggling lately with similar issues. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it, but I'm not all that successful at the moment...

5:26 PM, April 20, 2006  
Blogger Cat said...

i hear you, Oh Wise One. I hear you...

12:02 PM, April 21, 2006  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

This is a great post. Thanks. :)

3:50 PM, April 21, 2006  
Blogger Susie said...

Word. Literally. I struggle with this constantly. Sometimes because what I want to blog about isn't fit for my family to read. So I censor. I hate it. But I can't freak out my aging parents. Othertimes I read so many well written blogs and then I feel very small. Like how can I say anything when they say everything so well. Then I shake it off and go back to expressing me again. It seems to be very cyclical with me. But thanks for the encouragement!

6:33 PM, April 23, 2006  
Blogger Mom Underground said...

Thank you for writing this!!

7:32 AM, April 25, 2006  
Blogger Tree said...

Can I just say that you rock?
You do!
And, while I'd rather read your words, it's ok when you don't post, too. Silences mean something, too.
That said, keep posting, darnit!
'Cuz you rock!

10:25 AM, April 25, 2006  

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