Lisa at LisasChaos is hosting Fun Monday (Aug 27th). She writes:
I'd like to know more about you, what makes you tick. I’d like to know how you started blogging. Did you keep a diary under lock and key safely hidden as a child? Do you still? Do you share the same things on your blog that you would have, or do, in your diary? Why did you start blogging and why do you continue? May as well throw in any roadblocks you have run into while blogging. If you still have your old diaries we’d love to see them.
I don't keep a diary. I never did. The only thing that comes close is a journal that I kept as part of a psychology class in high school. We would write about the things we thought about and felt, what we did and why, and then once a week, you would trade your journal with someone else and they would read and respond to what you wrote, by writing in your journal (sound familiar???). It was an eye-opening experience for a shy teen to read other people's deepest thoughts and realize that maybe we weren't so different after all. We worried about the same stuff. I still have that journal in a box somewhere (where most of my stuff is located these days). It had a great impact on me then, and I sometimes find it instructive to go back and read what that girl wrote all those years ago.
But that was then. This is now.
If you read my blog a lot, you probably already know that I have a huge family. A mom, a dad, and five brothers. I also have a huge extended family. In-laws and all that that implies. Aunts and uncles and cousins overseas in England. Many, many firsts, seconds, thirds, removed and step cousins here. And a few friends as well. They ALL read my blog. In a way, it's brought my entire family much closer together. There are cousins that we knew, but we didn't really KNOW, and a couple we hadn't even met. Some were closer long ago, and some have always been close. It was my blog that drew me closer to my mother's cousin and his family - to the point where we were invited to spend the 4th of July with them, and then were close enough to give some comfort when tragedy struck the Monday after.
What the blog started out as, and continues to be for me, however, is an open letter to my family. As large as my family is, I was failing miserably at writing enough letters to really stay in touch. Whenever there was news, it was news to me. And no one could really keep up with how Zboy was growing and changing just by receiving a Christmas card every year. He's so much more interesting than a picture and a short blurb. Enter the blog. They all read it, though they rarely comment (I think brother John might be my biggest family commenter!). In fact, the only serious letter-writing I do is to both my living grandparents - one in London and the other in the wilds of North Wales. One doesn't go on the internet and the other doesn't own a computer at all.
But to me, the beauty of the internet blogging world is the many friends I have made out there that I have never met or heard in person. Just through their written words. They make me laugh and cry. They inspire me to be a better person and in turn help someone else work through their own struggles. In many ways, they know me better than my in-person friends do because they are privy to my thoughts and feelings far more intimately than the IPFs. And still they keep coming back.
My blog has another purpose as well. It is a record of my/our lives for my son. One day, I won't be here. And he may wonder who I was and what his childhood was like. What we did for fun and why we did some of the stuff we did, what my relationship with his daddy was like. He won't remember much of this stuff until he hits his teens, and even then, I'm sure he will mis-remember a lot. So this is also for him. I'm working on saving this blog to disk so I can take it somewhere to be printed out. A book, just for him.
Nikki at "My Husband Calls Me Weird" is hosting Fun Monday next - but we're skipping a week due to the Labor Day holiday. Drop by her blog for your assignment, if you choose to accept the challenge.