OK guys. I think I’m blogging again. And it’s not just the predictable New Year’s resolution to do more of what makes you happy, though that’s part a big part of it.
Here's what else happened: A few weeks ago, I got a “do not reply” email from my blogger account which said that my domain name “mamamzungu” would be up for grabs, if I did not pay my annual fee. Even though I hadn’t written a blog entry for about a year, that name was mine, Damnit, and I wanted to reserve the right to spew musings on that domain name if I ever had the inclination again.
So, I clicked on the link it asked me to. But Google had changed their payment system. So, I clicked on another link. And another. No luck. I entered my username but the site defaulted to my work account. I created new accounts, new passwords. Nothing. About 3000 link clicks and 5 hours down a kafka-esque rabbit’s warren (e.g. you can only get to a help line once you’ve successfully logged in to Google's admin account, which was precisely what I needed help doing), I finally successfully paid my annual $10 fee and have been assured ownership of The Site You See Before You until next year.
I guess, sunk costs and all, I should start blogging again.
But I suppose to avoid the all too common New Years resolution pitfall, I should first examine why, after years of blogging, I ever stopped in the first place.
Well, I got a job. Full time. FULL time. Not just the opposite of part-time, but the kind of job I cared about after hours. The mental and emotional commitment seemed to fill all the spare space in my life.
Now, it might not have seemed like it, but most of my blog entries were not just ramblings but things I spent several think sessions (in the shower, patting my child to sleep, staring out the car window) mentally chewing on before I wrote about them. Now all those space-out/contemplate times were filled with work stuff. I was afraid if I luxuriated in personal musings I would somehow fall behind in being the best I could at work.
But now, I’m thinking of it like this: I can think about/write about more than one thing in my life. It’s like learning 2 languages. People used to fear that children couldn’t handle it. That something would inevitably be sacrificed. But now we know that not only can children absorb new languages better than adults, but that there are even benefits to brain development doing so. Maybe if I let myself write and think in another arena, it will only enrich both spheres? Could work.
The other thing is my mom. After several months of blogless existence, she told me she missed my blogging.
“I do too mom! I miss writing.” I said wistfully.
“Well, I just miss keeping in touch with you. Seeing what you’re up to.” She replied.
My heart sank a bit when she said that.
I was starting to think of myself as a writer. I had started publishing on other sites, got some positive feedback and even received a few paychecks for words I strung together. Symbolic amounts, but still. I had enjoyed the process of writing, putting some precision to my thoughts and seeing if they resonated with others. But almost as much, I liked that new identity – intellectual and artistic - more than just about any identity I’d had in my life.
But that’s a whole lot of ego to attach to what was essentially a hobby and I suppose, to most, just a way to connect with someone they love who now lives half a planet away. Sure, my blog was read by strangers, but it was consistently read by people I knew. It was those discerning anonymous strangers who kept me working and re-working and perfecting my thoughts, making each post a multiple-hour ordeal. Those who love me would forgive lazy thinking and bad grammar.
Thinking of it as a way to connect my thoughts and feelings with people who feel far away certainly takes the pressure off.
So, that’s what I’ll do. If strangers take a gander and like what I have to say, fine. If not, fine. Whew. But I miss writing. And, yes mom, connecting with loved ones. Let's just make this the place to do that again and maybe I won't go a year without another post. Agreed?