Saturday, November 5, 2011

3 am

It's 3 am and I am...awake.

This morning, I am lying in bed, thinking about a post I wrote. It's a post I feel like I cannot publish. I've been working on it for a while. I finally felt finished with it, so I emailed it to my mother - my sounding board - and had her read it. "Is it thought provoking? Is it sensitive enough?" Yes. I cried a little. Yes. "Will it hurt anyone's feelings? Will it make anyone angry?" Maybe. "Specific somebodies?" Probably.

She urges me to change the specifics, create a different lead. But the one I've used is true and honest feels poignant in a way that I can't imagine any other being. We debate the merits of changing the details or of asking someone else to publish the post. And none of these solutions seem satisfying to me. It's my story. The way it unfolds is important. I can't change it. But I also don't want to hurt other people when I tell it.

This is the end of One Year of Blogging for me. I reflect. Sometimes bloggers apologize for reflecting on their blogging, but in many ways, these reflection-on-blogging-posts are always my favorite - even when I was just lurking around and NOT blogging myself. Isn't reflection a huge reason that we, especially in the mommyblog-o-sphere are blogging? Maybe, maybe not. Well, it's ONE of the reasons I'm blogging.

That and I like to create things. I find nothing more satisfying doing something and then being able to say, Yes, I did that. Studying architecture and becoming an architect was a natural fit for someone with good math and art abilities. But if my grades had been less good - or the amount of time I had to spend in school less generous - I could also be happy in trades - a carpenter, perhaps? a mason? a painter? I like to be able to see a product after I work. The influence that this product has - this is important to me. But whether or not I personally am liked because of this product? Whether or not my product is validated and loved by many? Actually, I find this 'liking' business a whole lot less important to me than the creating. But that doesn't mean I'm willing to hurt anybody in the process of creating.

For me, blog posts are about creation. Some bloggers have beautiful, coherent, carefully-crafted essays as their posts. These essays focus my attention on the product. Some bloggers have spontaneous, chaotic snippets. These snippets remind me of the process. But either way, whether posts are process or product, I love seeing the various sides of creation. It's endlessly fascinating and interesting. I have loved watching and reading others for many years. It's fun to now be on the other side, trying it out myself.

One might think, as a mother, I'm up to my eyeballs in creating little 'products.' That my children are my product - or at least my product in process. It's a valid interpretation; but it's also one that I've had a really hard time seeing in everyday life with little kids. Endless diaper changing, spilled milk cleaning, and laundry doing have a way of filling up the little picture and distracting from the bigger picture. Also, with Noah, I feel like he's revealing to me whatever impact I've had on him very slowly. The ability to have 1) the space and 2) this accumulation of posts for reflection is important to me. And even if I sit here at my computer, typing a post for three months before I hit publish, three months still feels like immediate gratification. Hey, I made that! I thought about it coherently. Um, kind of. There IT is! Now quick, fix those typos!

I don't know how long blogging will continue to fill me like this. I'm open to the possibility of longer term, but still weary of the limitations this format gives. It's important to me to fill that big hole in my life that occurred when I stopped working and became a SAHM. But blogging doesn't completely fill the hole. It doesn't give me the recognition that I got from a job with a paycheck under my real name. So, blogging is still a compromise, but a compromise that I'm enjoying. For now.


Swistle said...

I like reflection posts, too. I tend to like introspective people, and so I like introspective posts.

Pregnantly Plump said...

I don't see how this could offend anyone. I understand about the creating something. We are the type that spend most spare moments working on our house. I know our friends must think we're so boring and crazy, but we truly enjoy the learning something new aspect of the work, as well as the finished product.

Ann Wyse said...

Oops - I guess I didn't really make it clear - but I didn't - and won't - publish the post that seemed offensive. I hope creating doesn't make people upset, too!

We also spend large amounts of time and energy on our house and enjoy it! I'm pretty sure our neighbors think we're crazy for buying a new house and immediately changing it. ;-)