Somehow the universe sent me a message tonight to check the date of the first blog post of the Jenaissance and–what do you know–TODAY is one year exactly from the birth of this blog. I, of course, feel this needs to be marked by at least a tiny little short blog acknowledging the fact and maybe reflecting, just a bit, on what has changed over the course of the year.
Has the blog been a good thing? Have I learned anything? Had fun? Lost friends? Damaged my reputation? Made bad decisions? Embarrassed anyone (other than myself)? Been destroyed by online criticism? Been stalked by perverts?
Will I continue blogging? Why?
First things first, a link to the first ever post on the Jenaissance, one year ago today.
Now for some reflection. Hmmm…. (thinking, thinking, I have to write this kind of quickly and there is a certain “urgency” that it be posted today as the date is rather critical to the nature of the post). YES. That is the answer to the question about whether the blog is a good thing. The blog helped me to leave a job that I needed to leave. The blog helped me to record a song and post the video on YouTube. The blog helped me write the mom opera. The blog gave me an outlet of expression. The blog drove the creation of my 40 till 40 countdown.
Learned anything? Trickier question. I’m not sure. I’ve learned that I can’t write for my Facebook friends. And that if I don’t post my blogs to Facebook that I can feel and be more authentic. If I want to share later, that’s fine. But if i have in mind that I’m writing for that audience, or if I think about who might be reading, I get all locked up and can’t hear my own thoughts. But if I think of one good friend who loves me, or if I just listen closely and write what is true for me at the moment, it feels good and I am happy when I read the post later. Sometimes. And sometimes I read later and wish I had edited more closely, or not said that in that way. But mostly when I read what I wrote later I feel like I can hear myself (better than I can during the rush of most days) and that I—gasp—like myself. Like I can recognize who I am and that I’m pretty ok with who she is. When I’m surrounded by all of the rush and busy and undones and the measuring, I can feel like I’m not enough. But when I read what I wrote a year ago, I’m ok with me. I like that girl.
Had fun. Yes. The mom opera was the best part. I’ve also loved some of the sillier posts and I want to write more like that. But I have to feel it and I have to be connected with a particular muse and most days have more of the trudge elements and it is a challenge to keep the silly spark lit. But I want to. I REALLY want to.
Lost friends. None that I can directly attribute to blogging, but it is not unfathomable. I don’t know. It is possible that there are people who would have invited me to their birthday party one year ago when I had not publicly exposed myself as whatever it is that I am. I don’t mean to be disrespectful to whoever it is who disapproves or thinks I’m weird/self-centered/a bad mom/whatever it is, but I guess I’m ok if we aren’t friends. I don’t know who you are and I’m guessing you aren’t reading this because you disapprove. I wish you all the best. I hope you have a lovely birthday party with your non-weird friends. But I think blogging helped me decide that I need to be me and stop trying quite so hard to be what I’m guessing everyone else expects of me.
Guess that’s tied in to reputation – I’m not sure what my “reputation” would have been. Hard-working, serious person who cares about the world and does what is expected. I’m ok with a and c but I needed to change b and d. I’m not saying I have to do what is unexpected, or that I can’t be serious, but (see paragraph above).
Bad decisions. Paying $15 to get those jeans patched a second time may not have been a great decision (time will tell). Also, I’ve mentioned the expensive blinds. We bought the house BB (before blogging) so that is not under consideration here. Otherwise, I’m sure there have been choices that, with perfect information, I would have made differently. But I can’t really think of any regrets specifically related to the blog, or really regrets about anything important since I started blogging.
Embarrassed anyone? The only possibility–I think–would be my husband but he’s been pretty supportive. My kids can’t read yet, nor can their friends. I am sure they will be embarrassed in the future, but that’s a given no matter what I do, right?
Online criticism? Well, first of all people have to read your blog to criticize, so I’m relatively protected there. Most of my comments come, I believe, from people paid to leave comments on blogs. I haven’t figured out who these people are, or who is paying them, but pretty much every comment I receive unless it is from a relative or close friend, I assume is coming from someone who is being paid to surf blogs and leave comments. This is primarily because the ‘user name’ is something like “RayBan Outlet”: “I love your blog” or “FastAbsNow”: “I looking for many times at good content of yours. This for my report helps.” or “Online SEO”: “Hi. Your site could get a lot more traffic if you follow this one tip…” So, if you’re curious, I haven’t had any slanderous comments yet. I guess we build to that.
Perverts? None that I know of. But I was pulled over today by a policeman for a moving violation, which I did, in fact, commit. (I saw that it was a turn lane, but it looked like there was a police car parked to the right so I couldn’t figure out where the straightahead lane was and I was also busy singing Wicked at the top of my lungs. Turns out the police car wasn’t ‘parked’ there. He was in the straightahead lane.) Why mention this with perverts? Well, after he didn’t give me a ticket he asked me for my number. But I clearly had on a wedding ring and two car seats in the back of my VW (diesel, don’t get me started, for another, ranting, day). So i figure he must have needed the number for some reason that I cannot for the life of me fathom. Or maybe he thought I was driving my sister’s car (this just occurred to me). And wearing her ring? No, he needed the number for an official reason and is not going to turn Ray Liotta on me (note to millennials – this is a reference to the film Unlawful Entry). Otherwise, I mean including today’s episode, no perverts noted. (He was a very nice, respectful policeman. I’m just unclear about the number is all.)
Yes. I will continue blogging. When or why? Don’t know. I’m kind of enjoying just writing when life allows and when I am moved to do so. I’m not writing to make money. I’m not building a list or going in any particular direction. So we’ll see where it goes this year. I don’t know exactly what ‘happy’ is but I’m more content, more comfortable in my own skin, more me, more alive, more at peace than I was one year ago and that feels like a good thing.
So Happy Birthday Jenaissance. Thank you.