Lovin' los libros

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Discussion: What Blogging Has Done For My Life

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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.

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Please don't offer false sympathy. I feel that is what you are doing with the first part of your comment and then in the second going on to accuse me of retaliating against your post. This was a deeply personal thing for me to write and you basically negated that when you turned it around to be all about YOU. I am very offended by this comment and the fact that you feel I am attacking you. First of all, I called you petty? Really? Where does it say that in my post? Because NO other bloggers act petty, right? It's just you? Well, the fact that you feel this is outright a reaction against you, what does that it say about your own insecurities? Obviously you must feel like you're doing something wrong if you had the gall to even turn this around.

      So thank YOU for this comment. It was very enlightening as well. I now see how you treat people you would call your friends and that their feelings obviously don't really matter.

    2. I think it's SO rude of you to a) assume this post is about YOU and b) mention your own personal insecurities in a comment. If you really felt like this was directed towards you, you should go to Jess directly and discussed it. She just put her heart out on this post and you take one line and turn it to something personally against you? AND, if what she said was petty and you FALL INTO that category, then yeah, you're petty.

      Also, you don't NEED money or to go to signings to "meet people." You said you and Jess have known each other for 2 years. If you aren't happy with your blogging experience, then change it. You are the only one that can. But I can honestly tell you that your actions speak volumes about your character.

      Jess - delete this post if you don't want it on here. I don't want to start something on your personal post, but I just could not sit here and NOT say something.

  2. I applaud and thank you for sharing such personal parts of your life. Lately, I've been struggling with my own blogger/bookish identity and haven't felt like an active part of the community. This has basically been the motivation to get off my butt and start commenting/making friends

    1. Thank you Sofia. That means a lot to me. I was not a very big part of the community for awhile and it took some real putting myself out there to find the friendships I did. It's not easy for sure, but the end results are so worth it.

  3. Aw Jess *HUGS* I applaud you for putting yourself out there! We've talked at lengths about all these things and I just HOPE that you find what you need and be HAPPY! You know I am only a phone call (text, WhatsAp, DM) away! <3 you

    1. Thank you. *hugs* I appreciate you being so supportive of me, as we've talked about all of this before and I really wish you lived closer to me!

    2. Of course! You are one of my closest friends I am ALWAYS here for you!

  4. Jess, I've only known you for a few short months, but I can tell you that my life has certainly changed for the better. I look forward to your texts everyday and I just love talking about you about basically anything (even the pervy stuff ;)). You have to realize that if I were anywhere close to you, I'd be all over you and would drag you out with me everyday - I can be super clingy. :)

    I had a feeling you had gone through something tough, but I didn't know exactly what. I'm so PROUD of you for sharing it with all of us. I've had nothing but respect for you but my admiration for you has increased a bazillion times having read this post. I can't even imagine how tough everything must have been for you, but you're one kick-ass lady and I love you a ton!

    In real life, I'm not the most outgoing person, but if I were in the presence of my blogging friends, I would be wild and crazy and you all would not want to associate with me (HAHA!). One day (SOON), we'll make it happen!

    Honestly, Jess, I'm not the wisest person out there. I still have a lot of learning to do myself, but I firmly believe that one day you will have all the happiness you deserve and it seems like you're taking the steps towards it, which is already a wonderful sign. And I wish you nothing but good luck on this path of yours.

    I'm just so glad that blogging has helped you through everything. I don't think a lot of people realize how it can be life-changing and the kind of life-long friends you make through the process. It's not the ARCs or free books that make this a wonderful experience, it's all the great (pervy) friends that you make.

    Love you, Jess!! <3

  5. I just want to give you props and a big hug for putting this all out there. It's difficult to be so vulnerable where anyone can see. I had no idea the things you've gone through. I know I haven't known you all that long, but I am so very glad blogging and our shared love of books, book boyfriends and sexy scenes have brought us together! I wish you were going to BEA again this year so we could hang out! You know if you never need anything, even if it's just to vent, I'm here. :)

  6. So last night I was working on a yearly recap post and I went back and realized I've know you for over two years now HOLY CANNOLI. sometimes it feels like I just met you and then others I'm like I've known you forever. I applaud you for this post and for being so brave. I am so glad you found blogging when you did and that it has become such a big part of your life. And for selfish reasons I'm glad you started blogging because we got to meet and I love being able to call you one of my friends. Heart you big Jessica!

  7. This is just such a huge statement to those who are undergoing tough times and thank you for sharing your blogging experience! It just brings so many others to the world of blogging. I'm so glad you found asylum in the blogging world and may the years to come just bring more and more creativity and greatness. You are an awesome person, gurll!! I applaud you so much. Keep doing good!

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

  8. Blogging can really be a life-saver sometimes, right? I have thrown myself into reading and blogging even more for this past year since my break up. I can understand those feelings of thinking you'll be alone for the rest of your life, but in my case I feel like I'm not gonna be ready to try and get out there and try to find someone else in a long time... Stay strong and push your life in the direction you want it to go Jessica.

  9. I may not be super close with you Jess but I remember you from when I first started blogging and I've always liked visiting with you here. Well done for putting together such a beautifully poignant and personal post. I can definitely relate with some of the things you spoke about here so I appreciate you voicing your thoughts and feelings and sharing them with us. Book blogging has been an incredibly positive in my life as well and as an introvert it's made it easier for me to chat books and fangirl with other like-minded people ♥ So again, thank YOU for such a lovely and heartfelt post xx

  10. JESS. I love you! I think it is amazing that you put together such a personal post because it takes a lot of strength to pour your heart out and let it out into the world! It's brave and I love that you shared this with us. I am so so thankful for our friendship and you don't know how happy I am that blogging brought us together!! What would I do without you?!?! When you feel down, just remember that we are here for you, to talk, to fangirl, WHATEVER and everything in between. I am truly wishing the best for you and that you find something that will make you happy. The future can hold anything and I like to think that everything that happens to us brings us to something better. Know that through anything, I'm here. I consider you one of my dearest friends and am so happy you are part of my life!!!

  11. You are an amazing person, Jess. Strong and so very sweet. I applaud you wholeheartedly and I'm sending you hugs, lots of hugs! Thank you for sharing everything you did, you are a brave and inspiring person. And I agree, blogging has come to be a sanctuary of sorts. I'm a shy person, I have anxiety, and I had a reading disability when I was younger, along with dyslexia. But books have made that better. My mom made me love reading, helped me learn that books are amazing, magical, and a wonderful thing to get lost in. But this community, it's been such a wonderful place to me, the people I have me met have been so friendly and kind. And sharing my love of the fictional world with like-minded individuals, it's an amazing thing! Thank you for sharing. Love you, girl!

  12. I am SO glad you decided to share this!! *hugshugshugs* I'm also glad that blogging has made your life better, that it has helped chase away the loneliness, and that you've made such a wonderful place here. I've struggled with some of the same things you have, especially with not finding those friends you can truly click with. I thought college would be that place for me, but everything fell through and I basically lost every friend I made freshman year. Like you, I kind of escaped into the fictional world to cope. Reading became my comfort, and with it, came blogging. Blogging has helped immensely with everything, and has made my life better too, and the friendships I've made? They're worth everything. (I hope this didn't come across all about me, don't want to be like the first commenter--just wanted to share that you are not alone!).

    I know we don't talk much (and didn't start until recently, really) but I think you are such a sweet person and I love fangirling about books with you! I hope we continue to talk more, and I truly hope you find those people you just click with. <3

  13. Ah, Jess. First of all, you know how much I love you, right? I am so thankful we met at BEA and have grown into such good friends. I look forward to talking with you every day. I can't wait to see you in June!

    I know how hard it is to put yourself out there on your blog. It's an incredibly vulnerable position, but I'm so glad you did. I just want to shower you with love! Because, man, life is HARD. I have the same fears as you do, the same feelings of loneliness... if it weren't for this community I honestly don't know where I'd be. But I hope this year that the both of us can put ourselves out there more. We deserve to have fun and to be loved and to love.

    Thank you for your friendship. It means the world to me!

  14. I can't even imagine what losing everything would feel like. I know they say materials things don't really matter (as much as family and health and all that good stuff) but even though those other things are more important, I think they totally matter! You worked hard for your apartment and everything in it!
    I'm turning 29 next week and I'm definitely not where I thought I would be at this age, but I'm really happy with what I have. When I lost my job almost 2 years, I was devastated. But it gave me that push to do what I really wanted to do, be a stay at home mom. As much as I love fashion and wish I still had my job, I'm just rolling with whatever life throws at me.
    It's never to late to go after what you want and 30 is a great age to take a risk. I wish you nothing but good things in your future!


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