Life is a bizarre mix of chances missed and opportunities grabbed. And whether you intend to miss those chances or grab those opportunities, sometimes you find yourself somewhere unexpected. You see, this whole blogging business is something I’ve muttered about for nearly 13 years.
Back when I was 21, I was invited to write a column for the (desperately under-subscribed) Shetland Life Magazine. The editor asked me why I’d never written a blog. Thankfully he asked me this over email and I had a spare 20 minutes to “Google it”, which, dear readers, took a lot longer in those days. I didn’t have a good answer back then. And when Daddio asked me the same question about a year ago, I didn’t have an answer for him either. So after procrastinating for a full 12 months, I decided to give it a shot. And here we are…rocking another Saturday night on the keyboard.
The thing is, me the blogger has much more confidence than me the person. I let my fingers blurt out lots of things that I’d desperately avoid talking about in real life. Then someone I don’t know that well utters the words, “I read your blog the other day…” That’s the point that I start to sweat a little and wonder what on earth I wrote about “the other day”. You see, the thing is, in a rather confusing fashion – I desperately want people to read my blog…but I don’t want to know they read my blog. Well, except I do. Because if the statistics page showed a big, fat zero, I’d be very upset indeed.
I suppose what I’m trying to say, in perhaps the least articulate fashion possible, is that the me who blogs is over the moon to discuss what you were reading “the other day”. It’s just she very rarely goes to Tesco. Or is out for a coffee. Or can be found really anywhere other than sat at her keyboard. She is a strong, confident, ultimately hilarious (well, mildly amusing) woman who loves to share with the world all her embarrassing and noteworthy experiences. The normal me is an overweight, under confident, slightly ditzy and terribly clumsy mum – who would largely like to keep her embarassing and noteworthy experiences tightly under wraps.
So, I guess it’s a bit confusing why I put myself through this. Why do I overshare the things that I shouldn’t? Why do I feel able to tell the world about my largely uninteresting mum life? What is it about this keyboard that turns me into a blabber mouthed nut case? Well, since I’m oversharing about my tendency to overshare, I shall share the answer to the question none of you actually asked – Why do I blog? Because it makes me a teensy bit less neurotic. Why do I hate talking about my blog when I’m in the middle of Tesco? Because I’m neurotic. It’s all quite simple really.
And the important thing is, that with blogging has come a little bit of self acceptance. Because, however unnerving it is to have people talk to me in person about my blog, they’ve said some incredibly kind things. And from behind the keyboard I have seen some fantastic comments and some genuinely baffling statistics. People are reading my disorganised and rambling paragraphs while they’re eating their breakfast (it’s true, 7am is my busiest hour of “traffic”, apparently).
More than that, blogging has brought me comments I never thought possible. When discussing mental health “the other day” I received so many lovely messages, I was truly taken aback. I was also really happy to have brought the issues to the surface for some people who were struggling to discuss them at all. It’s an incredible thing to have people you hardly know feel able to talk to you about things that are so personal and important.
I suppose if I were to really dig deep, I could probably admit I enjoy it. That tapping away at this keyboard brings a strange sense of contentment, that the rest of my life doesn’t. Now, don’t get me wrong, the other parts of my life are incredible. Holding my boys doesn’t just make me content, it makes me elated. Looking over at Daddio watching Ancient Aliens and smiling to himself when they say something he agrees with gives me a warm fuzzy glow I cannot describe. But blogging? That’s just for me. It’s one of the very few things that I do only as a way to care for myself.
And yes, when you’re a mum, self care also about being a good mum. But ultimately, being a good mum is good for me too. So it’s all one big method of inducing contentment. And it’s grabbing me an opportunity. An opportunity to write. A chance to share. It helps me process my thoughts and produce something that may entertain someone else. Which may be their way of gaining contentment. Which, again, makes me just a wee bit happier. So even without a plan, and without intent, grabbing the window of opportunity once Mini Milk is sleeping to write a few hundred words has made a big difference. And just because you don’t intend to take a certain path, doesn’t mean it doesn’t take you to exactly where you’re meant to be.