How Blogging Made Me Better
"It's not that much different from getting tattooed," I said, only about half serious.
"Huh?" He looked confused.
"I mean, not exactly, but it's out there for everyone to see, you know? Here you go, this is me, done."
There wasn't even a hint of understanding or acknowledgement in his eyes. Dudes are just like that, I guess. What I was trying to insinuate was that this blog, or any blog in which it's proprietor lets his/her head and heart flop free, is a liberating thing. It's an outlet, sure, but it's also a bridge between people, and it's a more apt tool for defining who you are, or articulating to others just who it is that you are, and what you believe in than any kind of clothing from the Gap, or perhaps whatever is on your iPod playlist (okay, it's maybe not as defining as your playlists). It's something like a very visible, and very eye-popping holy shit tattoo, except it's just ideas and stories. Everyone can see it, and everyone will have an opinion of it. You just learn to get comfy with it and shrug every time someone asks what it's all about. This blog has become the big, bright sparrow on my forearm, and because I have this blog to collect and share my thoughts and experiences, I have generally been able to live with more outward positivity and joy than if it wasn't all so public. Not such a confusing thing.
When you're writing publicly about your life I think there's a far greater urge to live a better one, there's certainly incentive to do those things that you've always wanted to do, or that look way more fun than what you might do if no one were watching. Putting it out there, so to speak, helps me to find inspiration in the everyday things and also in myself. No one wants to read about my new found affinity for pharmacology or my sad predilection for Jimmy Stewart films and old Alfred Hitchcock Three Investigator novels. I have to live the way I've always wanted to live, or least give it a decent shot, or I've just shown the whole world that I'm all talk and no action...that I suck. I don't want to suck. I want to be the golden toned, hazy California photograph of a man and woman and their daughter playing on the Venice boardwalk, or walking beside the glowing blue of sea and sky in Encinitas. I want to be the photograph of the family bathing in the oak filtered light of some Central Park lawn, with towering buildings and possibilities looming in the background. I want to be the photo of a grinning couple at the Rose Bowl, or the road trip weary family portrait from the basketball tournament in Kansas City. Just like the unsettling voice that Ray Kinsella heard one strange day in his corn field, if you build it, he will come...just like that, except with ideas and experiences, not baseball fields.
This blog makes me conscious of everything I do and say, of the way that I live my life and that can't be anything but a good thing. The people whom I've met have been nothing short of amazing, and the sweet karma I've been planting here can't help but come back to me in the form of happiness and health. If you consider all of the gentle support and all of the shimmer and shine of the attending comprehension and clarity that these gifts have brought...well, it's difficult to put into words what this blog has meant to me...and with luck, to Zoey someday.
Thanks for reading folks...Barb, and Gail, Scott, Stace, Beth, Kev and Aim, Betz...Core, and Mel, Uncle B and Aunt Header...the whole lot of Grandparents and Japanese Aunts, Colleen, MaryAnn, Meg, Kylie, Merle and Stace, Denise, Mia, Aunt Netta and Uncle Ian, and anyone and everyone who has ever dropped on by. I like doing this, and I love having you, here and in my life. It's a pretty simple equation, this weird math that shows how blogging made me better...I just took everything that I am and dream of and hope for and believe and see, and added you to it...your curiosity, your quiet and anonymous love and affection, your inexplicable interest and unwavering support, and BLAM, we ended up with The Zoey Blog. Easy peasy.
Also, if I didn't have this, or you, the audience with which I had available to me to moon with a reckless kind of unapologetic abandon would easily be about 98% less.