I had a million ways to start this post— like many of the posts that I know will continue on for longer than I’d like or should. And like most of my ramble-y beginnings, I’ve lost all my introductory thoughts—- my confirming and solid thoughts to a (non confrontational) love story to blogging.
I’m usually late to post things. It’s rare for me to post things in real time— things happen, days go by, I keep going through the daily grind (whatever grind that might be for that week) and then I blog later. It’s been a little while (not long) since the trailer to American Blogger has been released. I have so many thoughts on a film I have yet to see. (Like before,) I’m still tremendously nervous for my role in all of it. BUT, I’m learning and working on being okay with all of it. One of my newer goals this year is to step forward more. To not just sit behind this computer and type, but to break through my anxieties, to put my face (best or not, ha) forward, to meet strangers, to say “Hey, I’m shy, and nervous as all hell, but I’m here, I did it!” — I’m working on it.
*Quick intro to American Blogger in case you have no idea what I’m talking about. Casey blogs. Her husband, Chris, makes films. He created a documentary about Casey and the connections she and other bloggers have made in their online spaces. I’m painfully awkward to watch on film, but I’m in it.
Once I moved past the complete mortifying reality that I had allowed myself to be filmed— and I re-watched the trailer (days after my initial first watching), I felt nothing but love for Chris and Casey. As someone who was filmed, has talked to Chris, knows Casey pretty well (or well enough to call her a friend I’ve met in this space), I know the vision and the love story in the film. And I’m in love with that dream— that dream followed by Chris. This blogging story, it’s his story too. This sounds sappy as shit, but it’s all our stories— putting yourself out there in search of a community, familiarity, and entertainment– it’s something we all do. As someone who has publicly shared so much of my very own personal life for so very, very long (I’ve been publicly over-sharing for 13 years now), I know there’s big risks (but big gains!) in putting yourself out there. As someone who will forever be working on stepping out of my own shell and personal set comfort zone, I admire the idea and film Chris has created.
I’m going to warn you, this story is about to get (more) ridiculous.
The first time I stumbled upon Casey’s blog a few years ago, I thought it was fake. Not just “oh she only focuses on the good stuff and hides the bad” kind of fake, but a full on “omg, this person has in fact stolen someone else’s photos and is cat-fishing hundreds of innocent readers” kind of fake. (I warned you this would get ridiculous— but hey, whats a good honest story without the term “cat-fishing” being used at least once). It seemed too perfect for me. Beautiful images and wishful words, that I had yet to be able to understand and relate to. (And at that point in my blogging game, I had seen my own life be faked enough by others to know, blog cat-fishing as crazy as it is, is real—- So I’d like to think this wasn’t a completely absurd theory.) I was in a pretty shitty place at that time. I mean, okay, not really shitty—- I was in a decent to good place, but the mind space I was in was in no way comparable to the place I’m in now. I was alone and I was lonely. Doing the single mom bit, struggling to find myself in the choices I made, the feelings I felt, and the jealously and hurt I would feel when seeing other real (non internet) families together. I wasn’t a miserable person by any means and I wasn’t the worst I had ever been, but I wasn’t feeling the fulfillment in life I so badly wanted either.
I asked around, some people confirmed they thought Casey’s blog was real. I wanted to believe them, but wasn’t sure if they were correct– and even if they were, it didn’t matter— Casey was SO different from me. Yes a mom, had some beautiful art, lots of color, but so many things in Casey’s life didn’t match up with my life or of my view of the world. I closed her blog and moved on. A year or so later, on a procrastination-wine-drinking type of night, I was poking around on the internet and stumbled upon Casey’s blog again. I had seen her image, links, whatever else a hundred times since my first encounter, but always steered clear. But this half drunken night (with skepticism in my mind), I clicked over to Casey’s blog again. I scrolled through, clicked around, and I stumbled upon one of her open hearted posts. A sappy post— an emotional post. And if you know me, I don’t do sap very well— but I stayed and I read. And what I found was someone who was still so different than me— different views on child raising, food eating, religion, interests, whatever, etc— I still found those initial differences, but that night, I also found a connection. A common ground and parallel dreams between us— both of us wanting to be in the same dream place. That fulfilled place— where we individually put fear aside and take big risks to lead vivid and colorful lives. She wanted that too. And I realized I made a mistake— as different as she would be from me, Casey was and is real too— pushing forward in her own struggles, and trying everyday to move towards self betterment— just as I was.
Being the really professional internet person that I am, I took another half drunken sip of (probably) wine, and emailed her immediately. Into the keyboard, I poured my (sometimes bite-me-in-the-ass) openness to her. I told her my original doubts in her, how I felt sorry for judging her and disliking her. I admitted that I based my own view on her superficially, through a few images and words I had scrolled through. I told her I was happy to have moved forward to look again and to find more. And I meant it. I had moved forward and I found more. I’m grateful for the good I’ve found in Casey.
I think we all have a love hate with the internet and blogging these days. We come here for entertainment and a community— and without a doubt we can and will find both. There is so much good and so much bad online—both are easy to find. How you feel and where you look will determine what you find and see. For me, the magic has been looking past (and through) the bad, and choosing to step into the good.
I’ll never be like a lot of the bloggers I’ve found or will find— I don’t want to be or need to be, but I’m grateful for the chance to peek in on someone else’s perspective on the world and the familiarities I can find within it. More than a new blog to read, space to visit (or an emails or questions that come in), I’m grateful to find people also striving for happiness in the positives— people that I can find a connection with (even if it’s just a small one) and new friendships that can grow.
You can see my original post on American Blogger HERE. I read through it tonight— and even with the continual growth of this space, I can say, I still feel strongly about the words I wrote almost a year ago. I’ve been extra emotional about this space lately and all that has come from it, and all I can say, like always, is thank you for being here.
I hope you have a great weekend, friends.