Discussion: What Blogging Has Done For My Life
What Blogging Has Done For My Life
I don't normally do this personal of a post, but I felt it was time. A few conversations with good friends have made me want people to understand just how much this community has done for me... and how it may have saved me too.
For those of you that may not know, 4 years ago I lost everything to an apartment fire. And I mean EVERYTHING. All I got out with were the pajamas on my body, my dog, and my car keys. No shoes, no purse, NOTHING else. My boyfriend at the time had the sense to grab our cell phones, but that was it. It was pretty awful to say the least.
And yet, it was a blessing in disguise. I had been with my boyfriend since 2006. (The fire occurred in 2011) Things between us... weren't great. And they hadn't been for quite some time, but I was a very selfish person who couldn't afford to live on my own and needed help paying bills. I know I cannot live my life with regret, but I did (and still do at times) for a long time. After my boyfriend broke up with me earlier in 2006, that should have been it. Instead, we got back together that summer and ended up moving in together a year or so later. Things were great for awhile, but then they weren't. He was not the type of guy I needed in my life. He wasn't a bad person by any means, but was content to live a stagnant life. He wasn't very ambitious and we wanted different things, but had gotten to a point where we were comfortable together. I had known him since 3rd grade and was one of my closest guy friends, so it was hard to let go. After the fire, I had to remain where I was to finish out the school year and he moved back in with his parents. While we were apart, it gave me such perspective, so one weekend while I was visiting, we both called it quits. It began as a mutual thing until a week or two later the 'I miss you' texts started coming in. I made the decision to cut him off cold turkey and therefore severed a 10 year friendship in the process. After being together 5 years (and being miserable and unhappy for about 3) I decided it was time to start a new life and move on. So that's what I did. There is much more to my story, but I will spare you the messy details. I am not proud of the person I once was, but I can definitely say this was a learning experience and I have grown up a lot in those 4 years.
I thought things would be great and that life would have so many things in store for me. I moved back home, started at a new school, and thought I was making new friends who I would really click with. Unfortunately, things didn't truly click for some reason. My excitement quickly faded and I felt so lonely, only having my parents to hang out with. I tried to reconnect with a few friends from high school, but it seemed like too much time had passed and they were already locked into their new lives with their own group of friends.
I turned 30 this past year and I have so many fears that I'll never find love, never get married and have kids, or just have someone to help shoulder the burdens of life and growing older. It's very disheartening, but blogging has helped quell a lot of that pain and loneliness. I feel my life has drifted into a very stagnant place, where I'm not going anywhere. I am not happy with my job and desperately want out of teaching. I don't know for sure that a career change will even make a difference, but I just feel the teaching profession is not where I'm going to find life long friends or a romantic relationship. This profession mainly consists of women and I have noticed a lot of them are already married with kids. It's hard to find people who have the time to go out for drinks.
Reading and blogging became an escape for me. I was not happy with my life, so I read about fictional ones. I made all these great blogging friends, started reading all these amazing books.... this community has helped bring me out of a pretty dark, hopeless place. There are times where I still succumb to that darkness, but being able to interact with my blogging friends seems to help pull me out quicker lately.
Things are still not the greatest in my personal life, but I have made so many friends through blogging that I talk to on a daily basis and that really helps fill the void of my lack of friendships here where I live. There are still nights where I get really lonely and sad because I have no one to call and go out with. I know that I need to put myself out there more, but after being in a relationship with a homebody who NEVER wanted to go out and socialize, I fear it's been extra hard to be that vibrant, outgoing girl I used to be.
I see so much pettiness in the community at times, with jealousy over ARCs, attention, and feeling the need to compete against others. I started this blog to help me remember the books I was reading, but it turned into so much more. I have made some of the most valuable friendships I wouldn't trade for the world and even though I don't get to see them face to face on a daily basis, I always know they are a text away if I need them.
So. Without blogging, I honestly don't know where I'd be. It was a great time filler for me and helped keep my mind off of the fact that it was the weekend and I was once again hanging out with my parents (who are awesome, but not exactly the best people to go out with if you're looking to maybe score some male attention!)
Thank you to all of you who have commented on my blog, befriended me on Twitter, fangirled with me over book boyfriends. You really have no idea the impact you've had on my life and I am so thankful I have met you all.