I’ve noticed many people quitting lately. I’ve come across boxes of business cards from conferences that happened years ago and realized many of these people aren’t around anymore. Well, I’m sure the people are around, but their online persona has disappeared. Dozens of more people show up everyday and it makes me even more desperate to reach out to the people who have been here from the beginning…Angela, Colleen, Chrysta, Bree, Brittany, Sarah, Beth, Shannon, Dawn, Mandy…I know you all by name and seeing your email address in my inbox is a constant comfort to me that things haven’t changed that much and that people do stick around.
I’ve realized that while I have been plodding away with all of this because it is so much of who I am, I have been doing it with blinders. Unless something or someone stands right in front of me and says “LOOK AT ME. LOOK AT THIS.” I often miss it. It’s not that I don’t care, because I genuinely do, there are just some days it feels like such a fight to keep going myself. No matter how long you have been around chances are you have noticed a change. People are commenting less, reading less, clicking through less…but they certainly aren’t caring less. I have kept all of this up because first and foremost it is for me, for my girls, for my own emotional health. In all of the surviving I have been doing over the last several years I feel as though I am suddenly coming out of a dense fog surrounded by thousands of new voices and I’m convinced that each of them is more talented, more resonating and more entertaining than my own. Five years ago I would have felt an overwhelming desire to quit. Today I’m grateful to still be numbered among them, noticed on occasion and I will be eternally grateful that I have been able to help a handful of them.
I know there are things I need to upgrade and update. All this mobile theme talk…mine is practically non existent. Photos don’t show up. *shrugs* Not everyone cares that my site is easily navigated on the latest and greatest phone. They care that I show up on occasion and that I continue to fight through the difficulties I’ve been dealt.
That’s what I care about too.
Technically speaking the tools I’m using to put my words out into the world are outdated and certainly not geared towards prime traffic or major exposure. But my heart, my heart has grown on these virtual pages. I feel as thought I don’t belong to much of anything and yet I have been blessed to be a part of everything. I know so many of you. I wish I knew so many more of you. Writing has become the infrastructure that holds me up through the darkness. It may not be eloquent, properly punctuated or executed but they are all tiny threads that combine into one unbreakable rope that keeps me upright.
To those of you who are just starting to find your feet on this path so many of us have been on for so long? Welcome, I hope you find all the joy and wonder I have found in my time here. I’m grateful to be here with you. To be counted among you as part of this social network that has brought us together like never before. Nothing should be scary anymore, nothing should be impossible because suddenly we have access to thousands of men and women who have been were we are or are headed where we too are going.
I know people are still out there reading…the numbers tell me they are. Even if they weren’t I would still keep writing because maybe someday someone will stumble across them when they need them most. Like Hande in Turkey who is pregnant and scared. Or Vinessa who is going through invasive treatments to get her baby here. Or Erin who is scared that her mental illness may pass on to the children that she too is so desperately trying to get here as well.
Six years ago I sat down and thought “I’m going to start a blog. If Heather can do it, so can I. And maybe one day I too will make someone laugh until they pee or feel until they cry.”
I never imagined I would have landed here.
Keep it up, whatever your part is here on the Internet, because you matter. You matter to me. From the lurkiest reader to the most engaged, from my very pregnant best friend I talk to daily to the girl I hugged that one time in an elevator.
(Yes, you…what you have to say matters.)
Completely unrelated, a photo of my very chubby baby pinching her own pinchable parts and poking her bellybutton.
It just feels strange not to include a picture when I have so many.