So here’s the thing. This blogging thing is hard for me sometimes. Existentially so. It is hard because, depending on the day, I literally crack myself open and say come hither and take a peek at my soul and this makes me feel vulnerable and rightly so, I imagine. And then there are those times when I publish something raw, and real, something that matters to me, and deeply, and there are crickets. Silence. A mere trickle of comments. And this makes me feel more vulnerable. And I am a creature who is wired to question everything and I do, I question everything. I wonder why I continue to do this thing, this odd and beautiful thing, even when it makes me feel shaky sometimes.
But then. Once I start down this predictable path, this avenue of analysis, this road of self-examination, like magic, something happens to snap me from myself. A comment appears. A note arrives. A friend says something. A person, a real person, gets in touch with me, little me, and says two words, two good words, two of the best: thank you. And here I am reading or hearing the words of a real person living a real life somewhere who is thanking me for doing this odd and beautiful and often scary thing I do, and saying that it has made them think, and feel, and realize.
And when this happens, I’m blown away. And all of those doubts evaporate, become beyond silly. And I feel it. A surge of strength, of purpose, of knowing. This thing I do, whatever it is? It feels right. Even when it feels scary, it also feels right. And I am coming to appreciate more and more as the days march on that it is not just about me, my feelings, my fears, it is about our feelings. Because, yes, we are in it together. This life thing.
And it happened again. Not long ago. I was all cozy, cuddled up in my own insecurities, having that threadbare (and tiresome) conversation with myself, in bed but writing my novel (it is getting good, friends!) late into the night while Husband was away on business and – ding! – an email arrived. And I read it and I smiled. And I felt it again. That thing. That ineffable and incredible thing. And I knew it. Again. Anew.
That I would keep going.
And I will.
I’m not sure where to start. I am a long time reader of your blog but I’ve only commented once…
I thought about writing you with my ‘real’ email address but chickened out. We are fairly close in age, and based on the fact that you went to Yale, and I went to Harvard Business School, I’m guessing we have some acquaintances in common. We have a few other things in common. I have two baby girls, which is one less than I would probably have if it was only up to me. I have a graduate degree that I’m not always sure I want to put to use. I go by my given name, maiden name, married name. I could go on, but I want to get to the point.
There are a couple of your recent posts that have been of a huge help to me. One was the post about giving up drinking for a year and the subsequent posts. I do not drink a lot, but I do have a few glasses of wine, and i’m not sure it’s for the best. Your post about wine and anxiety was a huge eye opener for me and I discussed it all with my husband on a long long long walk last week. I told him your story and how I felt it related to me, things I had never really told him about before. Thank you.
And your post yesterday about your miscarriage. My first pregnancy also ended with a miscarriage and it has forever changed me as a person and as a mom. I try to be open about it with my friends, but not always, and I am not quite ready to even begin talking about it on the internet. So it broke my heart when I read your comment about the lack of comments. Sorry I cannot comment in public, but know that your blog is helping me in more ways than you can imagine.
This email came from an anonymous address. I don’t know who wrote it, but I do hope that whoever you are, you are here reading today. And if you are, I want to say thank you for taking the time to write words, and to send them. Thank you for making me think and realize and reaffirm why I am here day after day doing this. Thank you for reminding me how important, and meaningful, it is to press pause on Life and write that comment, or send that email, or communicate that thought. These gestures never go unnoticed. They matter. A great deal.
Sometimes, they are like magic.
Do you take the time to write notes to people in your lives, those you know well and those you don’t know? Why do you comment or not comment on blog posts you read? Does the universe ever step in and encourage you to keep going, to keep doing the things you do, the things you love?