When Worlds Collide

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You may have noticed in the past two weeks that the look and feel of my blog has been changing. Dare I say “evolving”?  This isn’t happening by mistake.  Oh, if only good blogs could happen by mistake.  Trust me, they don’t.

No, there’s no mistake to it; I’m trying to make my blog better.  I want to write, I want to write well, and I want people to read what I write.

I started this blog because I like to write, but writing isn’t something I just like to do.  There’s a part of me that needs to write and wants people to want to read it.  There, I said it.

When my salad days as Suzie HappyHomeschoolMom came crashing to an abrupt end, were waning, and I realized that the place where I used to write wasn’t going to be a place I could safely write anymore, I started this blog.

But, immediately, from my very first little blog post, I felt the keen lack of give and take that writing on an active forum provides.  On a forum, you write, others write back–reflecting your thoughts back and giving you their new thoughts–you write, they write, lather, rinse, repeat.  It’s a conversation.  And, as an isolated homeschool mom home all day with children, the thing I craved most, after a brand new pair of soft, flannel pajamas, was adult conversation. 

My very first blog post generated one whole comment.  ONE.  At least it was a good comment and it came from the person who probably was most responsible for my starting to blog in the first place, my friend, Magnolia, a wonderful writer who writes about Perimenopause

It’s been three years now since that first shaky little post, and slowly but surely, I’ve continued writing about the things that matter to me most: my kids, my faith, my rear-end, and people have stopped by for a read, and I’ve been very grateful.  I still don’t feel like I’ve figured out how best to connect to my readers.  I get few comments and usually only from my friends who have to comment because they love me.  I really don’t know what my readers think or want or feel about the things I say because I’m the one doing most of the talking here.  And, frankly, I must admit that I’m a bit conflicted to invite comments because I’ve felt the harsh, heavy hand of criticism before, and it didn’t feel very nice. 

So–blah, blah, blah, navel-gazing, navel-gazing, witty remark, soulful realization–let’s save us all some time and fast-forward to today and get to the point of this post; When Worlds Collide.

Two weeks ago, quite by accident, I stumbled upon an interesting fact: While I’ve been obliviously blogging whatever strikes my fancy, Facebook, Google, and Amazon have become like some creepy intertwined science fiction horror movie virus.  Innocently touch any one of them, and eventually you’ll find that every area of your life is infected by them all.  This is what happened to me and Chloe of the Mountain and, while it scared me to death, it also thrilled me.  Maybe it was time for it all to come together.

All the parts that I’d kept more or less compartmentalized: the homeschool mom, the blogger, the facebook friend, the forum friend, the forum dissenter, the sister, the mom, the wife, the daughter-in-law, and the Woman-Who’s-Had-It-Up-To-Here, were all going to come crashing together and, thanks to the magic of the cache file, there wasn’t anything I could do about it.  Because….

….The only way to stay safe is to isolate yourself from the world.

I know some are doing that, but I’m just not going there.

Aside from the depressing social isolation and being forced to have sex with a man old enough to be my grandpa, me and the Fun Girls would look terrible in pastel drop-waist prairie dresses.

These are the Fun Girls:

The Fun Girls

These?  Not so much.

The Not As Fun Girls

Whether we like it or not, everything we now say and do is being recorded for all posterity, searchable in a moment with just a point and a click.  I warned my own children about this, hell, one of my posts here on this blog is about this very thing, but I didn’t really think it would happen to me.  Oh well.  It’s what it is.

Ann Lamott, one of my writing heroes who almost single-handedly saved my Christian faith from a life-sucking, soul-crushing abyss, suggests that writers use fiction to safely tell their truths.  I’ve been thinking a lot about that and wondering if I could write fiction.  But even then the people whose names I might change to protect would know I’m talking about them.  And how would I ever change my own name to protect myself?  Actually, I tried that, but thanks to Mark Zuckerberg, everyone eventually knows who you are anyway; there is nowhere in this world to hide from one’s critics.  Only someone smart like Steig Larsson, who had the good sense to die before his works were published, gets away from their critics.   And I’m not willing to go there either.

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19 thoughts on “When Worlds Collide

  1. >Thanks for keepin it real Chloe – you have inspired me through the years via SL and now here, though I always smile when I see you over there too. I, for one, am thankful that you are one of the fun girls – I aspire to be a fun girl too, I used to be a not so fun girl and it was not fun at all being all self righteous and such. Keep on writing, I will keep reading, and laughing and being inspired and doing my part to change my little corner of the universe!Jessie in LA

  2. >Hey Jessie!! I'm so glad to see you here. Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment so kindly. I miss seeing you and all my day-to-day friends. But time marches on dragging us along with it, eh? Now my other life knows how real it really is.

  3. >I love following your blog, and the FunGirls. I aspire (like Jessie in LA) to be a fun girl, and push my boundaries and figure out who I am as I leave my homeschooling days behind me. It's nice knowing that some have traveled this path before me and can tell me that while the way isn't easy, it is better traveled in a rockin' leather jacket and some awesome shoes!

  4. >Hi Chloe,I think I got active on Sonlight right when you became less active, but I remember you from there. I've wondered what people have to do to be "known" on there, among the thousands of posters, and then, when I could tell that my post count was never going to top 5000, and I'd never be on the first page of posts count, I decided I didn't care if anyone knew me on there. But I'm really glad I've found a few people that I am eager to meet in real life, and you are one. I look forward to reading your blog and enjoy hearing your perspective on things. I'm not an obligatory responder, just someone who is genuinely happy to be here!! Kristy

  5. >Chloe, gotta admit, you kinda lost me on this post, LOL. Maybe too early in the morning for me….but, keep writing. Keep writing. Keep writing. You have a voice that needs to be heard, wherever you want to share it. Truly.

  6. >Kristy, I feel the same. It is easy in the isolation that can be homeschooling to forget that there isn't some homeschool mom mold out there that we need to make ourselves fit. Nor is it easy to remember that there are others out there like us just waiting to be met.

  7. >The Reader: Thanks for saying that. Likely I was too cryptic. I'm experiencing the uncomfortable reality of having my online persona and my picking-up-my-groceries-at-Kroger reality meet-up on the WWW. It is one thing to write about things important to me and quite another to have people in my real life read it.

  8. >There's a bible verse I thought of yesterday…."A Man's Gift Makes Room for Him"I'm convinced that if we start walking down a path, or exploring a desiring or tapping into a passion we've kept locked away for fear it could never come to pass, that it will indeed happen. Another friend of mine used to say that "whatever we focus on expands". Not exactly a new concept, but an interesting way to phrase it. And it's true. Becoming self-aware enough to notice what it is we are REALLY focusing on takes time. We don't focus in that part of our head that houses what I call the "day to day chatter". It is the thoughts that are much deeper than that which are the ones we are actually focusing on. But, it takes work to get to them.Anyway……I find it amazing that Anne lamott is able to inspire so many people. She inspired my friend. She inspired me. She inspired you.Because of her I'm now in graduate school pursuing a masters degree. Something I never thought I would have the guts to do. And I'm writing professionally now. Something else I never thought I would do.After this….a PhD. I also plan to publish in professional journals. It will happen. I'm focusing on it.I might also suggests that much of your life evolution right now is closely tied to menopause. You may not realize it yet, but it is. Might I suggest you read The Wisdom of Menopause by Dr. Christiane Northrup?You would find it amazing. Magnolia

  9. >Hi! 🙂 I find this a thought-provoking post for me. I waver between any anonymity I (used to) have and throwing all that to the wind and saying "whatever!". Should I have kept a pseudonym everywhere? Sometimes that could be good. 🙂 But other times, I don't worry so much about it. I continue to teeter….But I resonate with the writing aspect… I like it. I want it to be an interaction. Still trying to figure that one out. I'm here. I'm reading. Keep writing. 🙂 signed,she who wishes to be a Fun Girl someday… *sigh*

  10. >Jules, it sounds like you totally understand where I'm coming from. Small, seemingly little decisions we make take us places we never imagined.

  11. Kristy, I feel the same. It is easy in the isolation that can be homeschooling to forget that there isn't some homeschool mom mold out there that we need to make ourselves fit. Nor is it easy to remember that there are others out there like us just waiting to be met.

  12. Chloe, gotta admit, you kinda lost me on this post, LOL. Maybe too early in the morning for me….but, keep writing. Keep writing. Keep writing. You have a voice that needs to be heard, wherever you want to share it. Truly.

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