Long gone are the days when I would write a daily post, and then go around checking on all my blog “friends”, commenting here and there and interacting along the way.
When I first started blogging back in 2004 or so, it was a whole ‘nuther world. Blogging itself was a relatively new phenom. This was in the days before “Smart Phones” and tablets, social media and “monetizing”.
Before the “Like” button.
Sure, the platforms themselves were pretty rustic compared to all the bells and whistles available today. We had a small handful of options for templates and such. Corporate websites weren’t yet using a blog as a generic marketing tool. “Click bait” would’ve been mistaken for some sort of fishing apparatus. But oh, those were great blog times. I sometimes miss them in the middle of the night.
These days, I “think” about writing here far more often than I actually do. One reason (the main reason) is, I’ve lost the plot. I don’t know what my motivation is….the whole “WHY” of it.
I’m not an “expert” on anything. I haven’t any earth shattering wisdom to impart, a book to promote, or a service or product to sell.
I have no interest in trying to be “someone”, or garner an adoring crowd (well, actually, that part sounds pretty good. haha!)
So why write here? What is it that keeps me coming back (albeit sporadically), year after year, even after weeks and months of being MIA?
It’s simple, really. I long to connect. To reach out and touch someone and maybe, if I’m lucky, have them touch back. To write something and have someone say, “Hey, me, too!” or “I totally get you!”
Being “get” cannot be rated highly enough.
One of the most unexpected developments of having been diagnosed with breast cancer almost 2 years ago was how it would impact my relationships. I’ve written reams about it in my journal, and mentioned it briefly here (I think….) And I suppose much of the changes stem from how the news – and the treatment journey itself – impacted me.
Unless you’ve walked a mile in the shoes of someone who’s been told they have the Big C, it’s hard to understand, even if you are close to someone who has or is going through it. See, you can’t be in their head. You aren’t there in those dark, solitary, sleepless hours in the middle of the night with your thoughts running amuck. Hell, even my own family doesn’t know some of the stuff I had to deal with – emotionally and physically – because I didn’t want to burden them any more than they already had to deal with. I still don’t.
Long story short, and not surprisingly, I’m not the same person I was 2 years ago. For example, I’ve essentially ditched the New Thought/New Age/Alternative spirituality stuff I had been practicing for a decade or so. I found that 97% of it was pretty useless when it came to dealing with the diagnosis. My beliefs were tried by fire. I am, most assuredly, a Jesus person again. NOT a fundamentalist. You can’t “unknow” or “unexperience” certain things. I love and support my gay friends and the LGBT community at large. I still swear up a storm and I don’t go to church (although, if I could find one where I “fit in”, I would go in a heartbeat). I still believe in the Feminine Face of God, and the Mystery of the spiritual realm.
Physically, I’ve changed, too. I don’t have long dyed hair and acrylic nails any more. My face is different….a little more battle-scarred and war-weary. And my wardrobe. Ugh! After being away from the corporate environ for this long, and after going from 2 incomes to 1, well, the word “limited” comes to mind.
Hell, some days I don’t even put makeup on except maybe my eyebrows. They are a MUST HAVE, if I want to avoid looking rather alien. I didn’t have much before and, after chemo, things didn’t improve. At least I got my lashes back. Mostly.
Another big change is how I spend my days. I am, by and large, living the life of a retiree – even with my part-time bookkeeping job (which, as it turns out, is VERY part-time). My days are spent doing mundane “housewife” things like cooking and laundry and cleaning. I actually don’t mind that, interestingly enough. And I have plenty of time (if not money) to do the crafts and classes that I enjoy.
I never did relate to the “cancer survivor” meme, even though – technically – I am one. Never joined a support group and don’t have a single piece of pink-ribboned paraphernalia. Going through breast cancer was more like going through an ugly divorce or a death or some other trauma. I am doing what I can to put “that phase” of my life in the past as much as possible considering it was – well – cancer.
So I didn’t come out of that phase with a tribe of “sisters”, even though I was told I would. In fact, some friends have drifted off into the sunset. Why? I dunno…Changing interests or lifestyles, maybe? Some of that is to be expected, I suppose. In July 2015, when my BFF broke up with me after my 2nd round of chemo (and right after I shaved my head), I had a big wake up call. Another one, I should say. It was the understanding that some people can’t handle the tough times…the really tough times. Times involving a drastic change in availability, or appearance or energy.
Times of facing one’s own mortality.
My friendships have undergone a serious pruning. In spite of that, the relationships I have with myself, the God of my understanding, my husband and my children are all stronger than ever. I’ve made a few new acquaintances and friends along the way, although no one (yet) to fill those BFF shoes. But I appreciate these women when we spend time together. We laugh and have fun as we get to know each other better.
But in my heart I believe there is one special woman out there. One who is also looking for me, wanting the same sort of “sisterfriend” relationship I want. Someone like-minded and enjoys the same things. A woman who makes the best of things and lives life – every day – to the fullest. She’ll be down to earth with a good head on her shoulders and a smartass remark on her lips. And we’ll laugh our asses off, A LOT, even when we’re crying. It’s just a matter of time before we are connected.
Connection. That feeling you get when you know someone is there for you, and you for them, during good times or bad, happy times or sad. When the people involved experience the strength and comfort that comes from doing life together vs. going it alone.
I want more of that in my life. In real-time. Because as wonderful as online friendships are, they aren’t the same as those where you actually DO stuff together, physically, in the same space. Words written on a page (or in a text) are not the same as those spoken face to face, eye to eye.
Maybe even heart to heart, when someone needs a hug……
I may be a terrible blogger, but I give great hugs.
It’s just a matter of time.