Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanks and an explanation

Thank you so much to everyone who commented on my last post (after I admittedly badgered you into it). I know I have 40-60 people visiting my blog each day, but I have no idea WHO those people are, and sometimes it makes me a little crazy. So, thank you to those of you who revealed yourselves!

I think there might be a misconception about why comments are so important to me, so I'd like to try to explain myself.

Although I do revel in the thought of strangers reading and enjoying my blog, and it gives me a certain sense of (satisfaction? accomplishment? ego?) seeing increased traffic to my site, that's really not why I write. I certainly have no commerical aspirations; if I did, I'd have to make this blog a lot more concise/interesting/relevant. So, people who don't know me are more than welcome and I love to read their comments as well, but high readership is not my real objective.

I write for two primary reasons. The first is to create a journaled account of a time and space in my life. I'm traditionally a very bad journaler, so having this flexible place dedicated to documenting whatever it is I think might be interesting to me to read in 10, 20, 30 years is great, especially since I can type it out. I'm a much faster typer and as my family and close friends will attest, my handwriting is interesting but often illegible, even to me.

Okay, here's an ugly confession. I'm a very practical person and to keep myself from being sad about not seeing the people I love, I focus on what's present. It might sound harsh, but 95% of the time I don't think about what's outside my current life and location. I do the same when I'm in Seattle, Philadelphia, Buenos Aires, you name it. It's a defense mechanism and it works really well. If it didn't, I couldn't maintain this transient lifestyle. It's not all magic and puppies when you constantly uproot yourself; among the priviledges of experiencing another life and culture are sacrifices and really lonely days. So why do I do it, you might ask? Man, I hate that question! I just don't have a good answer for it. I do it because I am compelled to.

All of this brings us to the second reason I write, which is to maintain a sort of lifeline with the people I care about. I can't belive how cheesy that sounds and I tried to rewrite it several times to make it a little less so but it's the truth.

I try to stay in contact with people individually but there's always the blog to come to if someone is missing me or wanting to know what's going on. At least, I tell myself that people use it that way, and that unto itself is a comfort.

But when a week goes by, two weeks, three weeks, with no comments and not that many people reaching out in other ways, well... it makes me sad, sometimes, because I know as much as I'm willfully trying not to think about people at home to avoid depression, people at home are not thinking about me simply because I'm not present. I'm a very reliable person but the life I've had for the past several years has made me a very unreliable friend in terms of geography. I can't blame people for thinking of me that way, but it does make me insecure. I mean, obviously! There are probably (hopefully??) people reading this right now saying, "can she really be thinking that?" I've had people tell me that they don't reach out since they assume I'm having an amazing time and that there's no way our friendship/relationship could ever be put in jeopardy by a little space, but being so isolated it's hard to remember that sometimes.

So, that's it. My big, dark secret is that yes, I get lonely, yes, I miss everyone, and yes, I crave contact from people in whatever form. Even if you aren't the commenting type, please do know that the smallest gesture, no matter what the form, means a lot.


Robyn said...

well i miss you a ton and think about you all the time. most important of all i dont think this post is pathetic at all (not my words, yours)....i like it.

WTU said...

Hey there!
Got you, girl! And hug you from the distance and being close to you!

You're loved for so many people -including me!, even if sometimes, plans change.. I know you know what I mean!

Never it's pathetic to say show me that you care. Sometimes people just get lost in the way!

Amy said...

First of all, I went and bought one of those Raid plug-ins, and DIOS MIO it's the best thing ever! No more late-night flip-flip wielding for me, SCORE. Second, I completely agree with the comments thing. I know there are people out there reading my blog, and I would love for them to make themselves heard (including my friends and family, who are stubbornly silent most of the time!) For me, it's a kind of validation that what I'm doing is meaningful as well as a way to reach out to people I miss. Also, I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I don't like to fail at things, so a lack of comments tends to get me down :( But I shall keep writing, and you should too, because I for one really enjoy your blog! You are a great writer with an interesting perspective, so keep it coming, comments or no!

Momma Archer said...

I love your blogs. I am experiencing other cultures through you. Keep sharing. You have way more readers than you think. I love You!

Sara said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
AmberAnda said...

I miss you too! And as a traveling blogger type myself, totally understand the craving to connect with readers even from afar. I loved the line, "It's not all magic and puppies when you constantly uproot yourself." Big big hugs!