Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Secret is out

Ok, well my blog was never really a secret exactly, but it sort of felt like one.

I started my blog on a whim back in January. I've mentioned before that it began as an idea I had about shaming myself into taking better care of my health. It was a bit of an experiment, and I felt a little strange about it. I wasn't really sure if I actually wanted people that know me to be reading it. I mentioned it to a few of my coworkers pretty quickly, but I didn't actually tell them how to find it or anything. I also quietly put the link up on my Facebook and MySpace pages, but that was just about the extent of it. I certainly didn't go shouting about it from the rooftops.

Whenever I was writing a post and Kevin would come in the room and ask what I was doing, I would just say that I was checking email. That's what I always say when I'm at my computer. That's just my term for all things that involve communicating with other people via cyberspace. I wasn't trying to hide it from him, but I wasn't sure that I wanted him reading it either.

When I started out, I had never actually read any blogs (except for one or two on myspace, but those don't really count in my mind). I really had no understanding of the blogging community at all. I thought that people who know me would find it odd that I had started a blog. I mean, my life is not exactly exciting material on most days. Why would anyone want to read what is essentially my diary?

Then one day I discovered that several of the women that I had become cyber-friends with when we were all pregnant had also been drawn in by the pull of the blogosphere. I started checking out what they had to say, and through them discovered more blogs, which lead to more blogs, and so on. It felt like there was suddenly this new world opening up to me, begging to be explored. Each new discovery left me giddy and wanting more. A spark was kindled within me, and each blog that I visited fanned the flame just a little bit more.

I don't really know exactly when it happened, but sometime between graduating from High School and the birth of my daughter I stopped dreaming for myself. The only thing that I knew for certain was that I wanted to be a mother, and thoughts of creating new life consumed me to the point that nothing else seemed to matter very much. I was content to sit back and let Kevin earn the majority of the money needed to support us, while I simply existed. I knew that I needed to have a job for us to survive, but to me it was always just that...a source of income. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore working with children and helping to mold their young minds...it's just that I was always waiting for the day that I could just stay home with my own children. I can look back now and see how foolish and selfish I was. If I could go back and do things differently I like to think that I would, but sadly things don't work that way.

Not long after I moved out here to be with Kevin circumstances caused me to abandon my education for a time. For one reason or another I have never been able to find the motivation to go back and finish what I started. It seems that I'm always waiting for the world to present me with what I want. It's kind of odd really. I actually have a terrific work ethic and I fully believe that things are sweeter when you've had to work for them. Yet I somehow have felt no desire to go out and work for a better life for me and my family.

I am a very intelligent person. I don't say this to be pompous or obnoxious. I say it simply because it is the truth. I enjoy learning new things. I like knowing the answers to questions. I have recently discovered that I enjoy having other people look to me to be a leader. I still struggle with actually being a leader, but I'm getting better about that. Yet something still holds me back from pursuing bigger and better things for myself.

Let's go back to that spark that I mentioned before. Exploring the world of blogs seems to have woken up a part of me that fell asleep somewhere along the way. I suddenly have a desire to go out and learn new things. To explore areas that I never would have thought that I would find interesting before. Kevin has been trying to get me to learn more about computers for years, but I could never get through any of the books he gave me. Heck, I couldn't get through one paragraph without feeling like I was trying to read Japanese and simply giving up. Now I am practically bursting with the amount of things I want to figure out how to do.

I have also become reacquainted with my creative and artistic side since discovering Bloggywood. It has always been a part of me, but I have never been able to find the right outlet to express myself. Writing seems to be a good match, and I think that photography just might be the key that unlocks another door to that part of me. (Now if I could just find the $$ for a better camera and some photography books)

Every time I read another blog I find something new that I want to learn about. Recently, I decided that it was time to go to my dear husband, who just happens to work in the field of IT and ask him for help. This was a big step for me. I don't know why, but I felt really shy and nervous about telling him about my blog, and about asking for his help. It seems like he thinks that my blog is just this silly little "addiction" and I think that I am scared that he won't take me seriously when I tell him that I want to learn. I can't say that I blame him, I don't exactly have a stellar history when it comes to following through with things.

Then last week was my Grandmother's birthday and I decided that I wanted to write a tribute for her. At first I was just doing it for the sake of doing it, but then I realized that it didn't really mean very much if she never got to see it. So, I decided to bite the bullet and send her the link, knowing full well that my entire family was soon going to have access to my "secret" world.

I think that keeping my blog to myself made me feel safe. There is a difference between writing for the faceless masses (should anyone ever care to read what I have to say), and writing knowing that the people that mean something to me might actually read it.

The secret is offically out. The people I care about, and who hopefully care about me in return now have full access to my "diary". It's a little scary, but I am determined to stay true to myself and continue writing as if no one is paying attention.

I have no idea where this road leads, and there is no road map to tell me how to get where I'm going. For the first time in a very long time, I am excited to just go out there and explore and see where it takes me. I'm pretty sure that there will be some detours to navigate, but I'm equally sure that I will discover some pretty amazing things along the way.


18 fabulous responses:

Dana said...

Hey, this was a very well written post! I swear to you, I have had the exact same thoughts you have. Almost all of them. I told everyone about my blog, because I started it for family, but no one ever read it (since I didn't update regularly). I am now aware that I have numerous people from my family reading (a little self promotion helped), and sometimes I let it censor me. The only thing I've ever heard is that I'm hilarious, but nothing too specific. Most people don't even mention that they've read it, unless it's just to send me an e-mail to say they did and they like it. Anyway, I'm not really sure what my point is, other than to tell you that this was a great post! Keep it up.

Melissa said...

Keep up the good work Shannon! We all need to remember to be true to ourselves, no matter who is paying attention and what they might think!

P.S. Love the new layout of your blog! Lookin' good!

Fawn said...

Hi Shannon, and thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. :)

My blogging started off for family, but for just a few of them. Now that more of them read it, it definitely has changed the nature of my blogging. Also, I live in a small town, and I know a lot of the people who read my blog, and have an appreciation for how negative comments about anyone here could quickly spread.

I don't think it's necessarily bad to alter the way I write because of who reads it. In some ways, it keeps me more responsible and thoughtful about what I say. And I still think of it as a forum where I can be fairly free, because I think of it as my personal space. So even thou there *is* the occasional co-worker stopping by, I don't let that stop me from saying the word "boobies", or whatever I'd say to someone visiting my home. :)

Auds at Barking Mad said...

This was such a well written post.

I think the single hardest thing, once you discover this "community" is to continue writing just for yourself. Especially when you discover the power hidden within the "community" ya know?

But I will share with you something that BOSSY once told me when I was struggling with this;

"You have to stay uniquely you. And the bonus is: people will appreciate you more."

She left that comment in response to this post:

http://abritandabit.typepad.com/spotted_dick_and_other_mu/2008/06/keeping-up-with.html

So now that the whole world knows about your online diary - your wonderful blog, don't lose site of why you write or how you write.

Loved this post, really LOVED it!

Jen said...

Checking email...too funny.

This post really struck a chord with me. I totally understand where you are coming from. Actually, I wrote a similar post a few months ago after my "secret" got out. For a few weeks after I felt a little self-conscious knowing that these people in my life were reading it. But eventually that passes and you kind of just go back to writing what is in your heart.

I'm glad you started your blog! Keep it up and don't worry if they don't get it or think it's weird (my friends/family did at first, but now I think they like it--at least that is what they tell me.)

Philly said...

Sista #1 and #2 are still in the closet about our blog and we fully intend to stay there.
Our hubs know about it and that is that !!

#1

Sandra said...

This was a really good post, I loved it, you wrote it so well :)


I've always told my family about it, as a matter of fact, I actually created the blog so that family in South Africa could be up to date with our daily going's on. :)

Lee Gaul said...

Shannon,
It is like reading someone's diary. But your sister said to me yesterday that she feels like she learned a lot from reading your blog. She was surprised by some of it.

There is no need to be worried. Your writing is excellent, your thoughts are interesting and I feel privileged that you are willing to share.

But I do understand. I have always hidden some of my writing. It is a window to the soul and sometimes a private place you don't want to expose.

I'm enjoying reading it. But if you want me to stop...I will. Love you! Mom

Carol said...

So well written Shannon. I don't advertise that I blog and nobody I know does so I know they think it is a bit odd.

But I love it and feel like it hasd helped me recapture a piece of myself that I had lost along my way in life.

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

I always feel wierd telling non-bloggers about my blog. (Even family.) But when I do get up the nerve to tell them and the DON'T visit, I get annoyed!

anti-supermom said...

I blogged that I added my blog as their 'favorites' on their computer. I feel like if they don't read my blog they are missing out on a part of me. Blogging has become a huge part of who I am and the stories I tell.

Good post~

Chelle said...

I love this post! I first stared blogging for my family. Now after meeting new people and becoming addicted to blogging, I sometimes wish nobody I knew would read it. Sometimes I want to blog about what makes me mad...what hurts me. Lately I've been thinking I will anyway. We'll see :)
Happy POW!

mom2natnkatncj said...

Congratulations on coming out of the closet ;). What does your family think? Any feedback so far?

Mamasphere said...

I've always written under the assumption that my friends and family are reading (though few of them do), and it's held me back the few times I've wanted to inappropriately vent (and rightly so), and it's also brought me closer to the people that DO read that know me, because I decided that it was okay to be vulnerable, even to them.

I think it's a positive thing for people to know.

Now my MIL, that's a different story. I'm so glad she doesn't understand English!

Kelli said...

Well said...I never thought I'd get so caught up in blogging either. Like you said, it's almost like a new world has opened up to me. I love making connections with other moms and seeing what people are up to. It's also been a great way to reconnect with myself. It's easy to loose that sense of self when you are caring for everyone else all the time. Good for you for letting your family know about it. My family probably wishes I'd be quiet about it already. I'm always saying, "Did you see my blog? " hahaha!

Mandy said...

Great post & happy pow! I have thought the same thing. Stop by & visit me when you can!

Formercitygirl said...

Nicely written and so true. Happy POW!

McMommy said...

I think you did the right thing. I really do! You are a fabulous writer and now your friends and family will know it too.

happy pow!