I feel like the dust is still settling from BlogHer.
I don’t really believe in “meant to be” but I do believe in creating meaning out of what might otherwise be deemed coincidence. A few things happened in quick succession last weekend. Actually they all kind of happened at once, spinning me furiously so that when I slowed enough for the nausea to pass, I wasn’t sure what direction I was facing, or what I was even looking at.
I’m still trying to get my bearings.
The first thing was this: I wrote that post about how much it annoys me when bloggers ditch their blogs mid narrative, never to return. I used strong words. I wrote in all caps. Honestly, that was my angry voice, the one I use with friends in texts when we’re chatting about something that just really ruffles my feathers. I don’t usually use that voice on my blog. It was very much “me,” the “me” that I show only to some people. I don’t know how it snuck out of the basement rec room where it is normally relegated, or why it broke free, but it did. I guess I just feel really strongly about that particular topic, and so I said some shit and didn’t really think about the consequences when I scheduled it.
But there were consequences. And people came to my blog and one of them was quite frank in the dialogue that ensued. And it got me thinking.
So the whole time I was at BlogHer, surrounded by literally THOUSANDS of women who do the same thing I do (give or take)–in very different Internet spaces and with drastically varying results–I was thinking about what had transpired on my blog. As I watched women find their tribes and connect with their readers, I thought about how I knew almost no one there (at the conference) and I wanted so badly to meet the people I did know through blogging, but I’d probably never meet them, and I cared so much and I had no real way of knowing if anyone else felt the same. I spent the whole time at BlogHer listening, trying to figure out why ALL THE WOMEN write, realizing there are SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE, so many women who come to blogging to talk about other things besides not being able to get pregnant, and losing babies and feeling broken and alone. They come to write about all sorts of other shit and they find their tribes and it all just seems a lot simpler, and at the same time harder to understand.
The blogosphere is a big place. I used to think that when I’d fall down the rabbit hole of comment links or BlogRolls and found woman after woman writing about IF or RPL or adoption or parenting after all of those. But I had NO IDEA how much bigger the blogosphere actually is. How our little corner is a thousand times smaller than I ever could have imagined. I felt so small when I was at BlogHer. Our community felt small. I’m not quite sure what that means.
A couple of other things happened too. I watched Elizabeth with her best friend and I was struck, as the cracks in my heart deepened, by the fact that I don’t have a friend like that. I don’t have a friend who has walked with me through so many seasons of my life. I don’t have a friend who has known me for that long. Most of the friends I’ve ever felt close to are gone now. I could barely maintain a brief phone conversation with them today. I have no one in my life that knows me to my very core. And there is no one I know that well either. It feels like a gaping hole in my life, and there is absolutely no way to fill it. No one will ever be… enough.
Finally, there was a small mention on someone’s blog about getting together with blog friends and I thought, I will never do that. I will never spend a weekend away with women I know through blogging. It just won’t happen. I’m not close enough to anyone to do that, and even if I were, it would never come to pass. Maybe that woman was right, who wrote those things on my blog. Maybe I don’t have any real friends in the blogging world. Maybe it’s all just an elaborate facade. Maybe I need to get a real life.
Those things–the post and the responses it got, the things that were said, being among all those thousands of bloggers, seeing the physical proof of how large the blogosphere really is, and what a small percentage our community represents, witnessing a real, honest, true friendship, and being forced to recognize that I don’t have that, being forced to recognize what I actually have here, it kind of threw me into a tailspin. I honestly don’t think I’ve landed yet.
I’ve been making plans, because that is what I do when I get sent into a tailspin, I grasp desperately at something, anything, to ground me. When there is nothing in the present to hold on to, I grope desperately at the future. Except the future is only an illusion. It’s just smoke and mirrors, and I’m left with nothing in my hands but scratches.
I’ve made myself wait. I’ve held off on actually doing anything because I want the dust to settle and I want to get a handle on how I feel. The thing is, I might not know how I feel for a long time, so now I’m trying to decide how I can trust myself enough to make some decisions now, in the absence of accurate information. It’s hard to chose a direction when I’m not quite sure yet where I want to end up.
This posts makes almost no sense, but I’m going to press post anyway, because sometimes that is what we do.
Please forgive me.