So today’s challenge was: Discuss ways that blogging or social media has changed you.
I have always been drawn to the written word. It began with reading obscene amounts of books and then turned to writing in journals. Since I was a teenager I have filled pages and pages with my scrawling cursive. There’s just something about holding a pen and the way that it glides across the page as you empty your mind into a notebook. Something beautiful about being able to go back days, or even years later, and re-read the story of your life. Where you’ve come from that gives you perspective about where you are going. Often times as I read through old journals I find “old me” giving “current me” advice. History has a way of doing that when we take the time to reflect.
Whenever I am writing I have this mental image of someone I love, (ie: family, friends, future children, future husband, etc.) looking over my shoulder, or perhaps picking up my journal a decade from now, or after I die, and reading the story of my life. Like a handwritten autobiography. I write with someone in mind hoping that one day the lessons I have learned on this “roller coaster of life” will assist someone else with their journey.
This desire to help others along this journey stems from something that I heard in college. It was a metaphor of how life is like a series of roller coaster rides and that we are responsible for passing on what we have learned from our own rides to the passengers about to ride. That is what writing is for me. A way to filter through all the things that I have learned, or am currently learning, and pass those little pieces of advice on to the “passengers” behind me.
This is where blogging comes in. At first blogging was scary. It was a hard thing to know what was “too much” and what was “just right.” If I was being too transparent with sharing the details of my life. Wondering if people even cared about what I was trying to say and opening myself up to criticism. But then I thought, “This isn’t about you. This is about the one person who may read this and in a moment may be challenged, encouraged, changed, by these words. So put yourself aside and get real.” Blogging has helped me personally become a better writer. But that isn’t the ultimate point. It has more importantly:
Stripped away the layers of fear that come from hiding pieces of ourselves from the light of being known.
Made me a bolder advocate for truth.
Helped me understand what I truly believe.
Helped me process life in a way that is beneficial to others.
Helped me see lessons that God has taught me through life.
Connected me with people who just needed to know that they are not alone.
And lastly, blogging has changed me, because it has heightened my sense of awareness of other people.
The awareness that other people have stories too. Some like mine, some not, but with valuable insight and wittiness that connect us. And that I am responsible to every person that I write for to be honest, real, gentle, firm, relevant, respectful, and genuine. Traits that carry over into my everyday interactions with others. As I learn to express myself better here, I learn to express myself better face to face. This blogging thing truly is just a labor of love. One more way to express my genuine concern for the well being of my “neighbor” and here in “cyberland” I have more neighbors than I could have ever imagined. So, here’s to you, neighbor, wherever you’re at. Happy writing.
May truth (which is often composed in the written word) change us.