Songbird's writing about writing. Journals, blogs...what do they do for us? How do they function (or not) in our lives? And she got me to thinking.
I received "My Diary" with the little lock and key when I was in about fourth grade. Of course I planned to write in it EVERY.SINGLE.DAY, but that fell by the wayside quickly!
However, by middle school and high school I journaled fiercely. For many years, in Peanuts spiral notebooks that I kept in a box under my bed. That was where I wrote about my unreasonable parents (!), my escapades with my friends, my crushes and my loves and my sorrows.
I looked through one recently and found an entry that stated "I am so upset right now and I cannot even write about it, but it doesn't matter, because I will NEVER FORGET THIS TERRIBLE NIGHT!!!" And of course now I have no idea what that was even regarding. :)
Blogging is different from journaling, but meets the need for me that journals used to. Of course blogging is for others, too, so I am often writing with attention to the turn of phrase and how it flows and does it have an ending? Or, frequently, blogging is just stream of consciousness. (I do keep a private blog that's just for me...for the things I can't blog and for when I need to scream and shriek and swear.) I can still go back to both blogs, say, two years ago and see what was shocking, wonderful, earth shaking...and with the perspective and context of now. And this is what the journals did for me: Gave me an outlet and then showed me a pattern.
I've been thinking about middle school since Songbird's post of yesterday. She referred to her daughter's day ahead at middle school as " a full day of Academic Achievement and Social Injustice." And that about says it for my experience, too!
No one could have told me this, then, but the greatest problem with that age, for me, was the entire lack of context. In middle school, high school, college, whatever, we have no idea how small the trials and triumphs of those days will one day be...next to what we will have faced later on. Note that they will not be insignificant, because every one of those things will have made us who we are.
And we have to live through it to realize it.
My mother, always my greatest champion, has long been convinced that one day I would write things that people loved to read. I've never been one to secretly write novels or short stories with the idea that they'd be published...nor at all. I've written poetry just for me, but certainly that doesn't need to be published.
My longtime mantra is, "It's all about the relationships you build." This is broadly construed: including life, at the grocery store, professionally, at the vet's, at church, at Boy Scout troop. So it's the community aspect of blogging that intrigues and engages me. It helps me deepen relationships and leads to friendships. It increases my understanding and it changes my life.