“It’s just something I’ll never get…your compulsion to do that every day…”
This was something my husband said to me recently when he got up and saw me in my usual spot, typing away on this blog before the sun even rises.
I’ll admit, I got defensive because – I mean – it didn’t sound like a thing he wanted to understand. He had that tone…the same one I use when I comment on his video game playing. That exasperated What is the POINT? tone.
This month/week marks FIFTEEN YEARS that I’ve been writing on this blog. The dominant content has changed over the years from struggles to having kids with a nightmare reproductive system to struggles to parenting small children (all still with a nightmare reproductive system) to grief after losing my Dad to discovering the joy of running to mental health to…where are we now? What is my dominant content nowadays? Books? Bullet Journaling? Self-Love? Politics?
No matter what dominates my content this week, through it all you there have always been a few constants: My hatred of boob sweat (Remember the summer of the boob sweat induced boob fungus? THAT WAS FUN!), my fear of left turns, my love of donuts, and the difficulties I face as a secular liberal in a Christian red state.
It really is a compulsion to write here every day, there’s no other way to describe the pull without concrete reward. Over the years this blog has never brought me any sort of constant income. I did get a few trips paid for in the early years when blogging was new and my traffic was good, but I’ve never monetized this content. I don’t know how many people read my words every day, based on comments it’s maybe 10 people but I ingest a ton of content I never comment on so I’m not sure comments are a good metric. Either way – it’s not like I’m getting so much feedback that I’m pushed to write for my massive audience. Compulsion is the perfect word because there’s no explanation of my need to return to this screen every morning over my first cups of coffee.
And yet for 15 years I’ve done it. There’s over 6,000 entries on this blog although about 4,000 of them were moved into “draft” over a year ago when I pulled all of my “parenting” content out to filter through…but I haven’t done it yet. I can see all of the parenting posts on MY end, but they’re not public because I wanted to curate them a little better.
But I wrote all of those words over the last 15 years, all because of some compulsive need to process my life through a keyboard and a website. And I try not to feel weird about it, no matter what tone my husband uses discussing the blog. If I think too hard about it I do get a little shy, is blogging weird now? When I started EVERYONE did it, but now people are documenting their lives in other ways using forms of social media. Is it weird that I’m still typing away most weekday mornings on my little personal website with my personal dot com?
I don’t know. I know my Dad read everything I wrote and so there’s always a part of me who does this for him. In a few months we’ll cross the 10-year mark since he’s been gone and that’s harder to believe than the age of this blog. Time is weird.
I do want to thank anyone who has ever read my words here. Many of you are long gone. When I stopped writing about my fertility and reproductive struggles my audience vanished (which is also when I stopped looking at my numbers so as not to get depressed about the vanishing audience). But to anyone who stuck around or to anyone who is a new reader or to anyone who has every emailed or commented, there are no words to describe the piece of my heart you all have. The internet has removed geography as a limitation for connection, but it has also offered me a bridge to connection that crosses over the raging rapids of my own anxieties. It’s much easier for me to connect over the keyboard because I’m not over analyzing your tone or your expression or worried about my appearance or my in-the-moment conversational mistakes. I can spend time with my words and I can read yours without the burden of my insecurities that I fight through in face-to-face interactions.
So, thank you. Thank you for giving me those connections over mutual vulnerabilities. I’ve commiserated with so many of you over parenting struggles and reproductive issues and grief and self-love and…it’s so much easier to connect about those things here than in person. Thank you for meeting me in those vulnerable moments, for holding my hand, and for sharing with me your own struggles and failures and successes.
Fifteen years. Thanks for sharing some or all of it with me.
In celebration – the photo from 2004 that I used to mark the “first” entry on this blog.