Several years ago, when Ryan first suggested I start a blog, I rolled my eyes at him. I’m not a “blogger.” It’s a little lame and self-indulgent, don’t you think? Then, after finding out we were pregnant, I had the urge to start a journal so as to remember all of the special moments of our future child’s life, beginning with Day One (literally). To start, I tried a “one line a day” journal, which turned out to be completely unfulfilling because, well, who EVER thought that a mere one line a day was enough to encapsulate a person’s life? Then I tried a traditional journal, but handwriting my thoughts seemed to take for-ev-er. Plus I’m a total perfectionist and a pen lover, so when I’d mess up a word or rewrite a thought, it was frustrating…
So I started a blog. I never really intended on ever considering myself “a blogger,” but here, a year and 200ish entries later, I’m pretty sure I don’t have a choice in the matter anymore. It’s become my hobby, and I have to admit that I really like doing it. If you don’t blog, I give you permission to roll your eyes and consider me a bit self-indulgent for admitting that. :)
I have a lot of friends who blog, and with the New Year and new life transitions, the idea of blog-re-evalutation seems to be a reoccurring theme amongst my fellow writers. Most of the resolutions seem to include “blog less, live more,” and it’s made me think: Should I be blogging less in order to be living more?
In doing my blog-related soul searching, I called my mom and asked her if she remembers the time, as a child, that I locked myself in my brother Jon’s room. It’s the oldest memory I have that’s both a shared experience and isn’t part of our family’s usual rotation of stories.
I can remember it so clearly: We lived in New York, so I was maybe like two or three. My friend Hillary was over, and we wanted to hold my cat, Boo Boo. We were chasing her around the house and eventually trapped her in my brother’s room. I remember everything so vividly–his orange comforter, the floors, the window…the door I slammed shut in order to corner the cat. We eventually got bored and tried to leave his room, but I had somehow managed to lock the door from the inside. Being so young, I couldn’t figure out how to get out, and so I panicked. My mom and brother were on the other side of that door, trying to instruct a toddler how to unlock it. I remember being scared and confused. The end result? They actually took off the handle in order to rescue us. I have a vivid memory of this harrowing experience perhaps mostly because my mom gave us giant pixie sticks once we were freed, which was thrilling as a kid.
The whole experience, obviously, had an impact on me and has stayed with me my whole life. When I mentioned it to my mom (now 28 years later) she said, “Do I remember you being locked in Jon’s room? Which time?” Huh. NOT the response I was looking for.
So, instead of concluding “yes” or “no” to whether I should “blog less to live more,” my realization is this: Blogging, for me, doesn’t take take me away from living life; it helps me to remember the life that I have already lived.
I blog because time is fleeting and steals our memories from us. I want to remember every little thing about Emma Vance’s life, about my life, and blogging is a way to do that. Looking back even now makes me smile. She’s grown up so much in just these past six months, and our lives have changed so much in the past year. I can’t believe how many memories we’ve formed in such a short time, and how many memories have already begun to fade. Remember Emma Vance’s incessant newborn hiccups? The sound they made and how bad I felt for my sweet, tiny baby? Or how she used to look so content all cozied up in her swaddling blanket, eager for a night’s rest in her bassinet? What about the first time she sat up on her own–how proud she was of herself, and how surprised I was? Those moments are already part of my past, of her past, and they’re becoming harder and harder to recall with each passing day. This space gives those small moments permanence, and if we’re really honest with ourselves, we know deep within us that life is composed mostly of small, quickly passing moments.
I know that I could accomplish this sense of permanence in a traditional journal. And perhaps the thoughts recorded there would be more honest and more telling of who I truly am and what our lives are truly like if it were more private. To me, though, blogging has a greater benefit: Anyone who wants can follow along as well. Friends and family who are scattered around the globe, I’m glad to invite you into our little world. It’s not always pretty, I won’t always share the nitty gritty of the yucky things in life, and sometimes the picture taking WILL be on the obnoxious side, but if you’ve made the effort to actually click through and see what’s up in our lives, then welcome! As an adult, and as a parent, the reality is that my time (and your time) is gobbled up with daily necessities and things that are immediate; however, connecting, sharing, and communicating with people in life is important, and this is an efficient and fun way of doing it. And, yes, I’m reading along with you as well, peering into your lives through your writing and photographs, enjoying your experiences and gaining perspective on my own along the way. So, friends, please keep posting if it suits you, and please know that I am following along, rooting for you and happy for the things God is doing in your lives.
Yesterday, as I was thinking about this post, I pulled this quote out and thought it captured my heart for blogging so well:
carry them in your pocket until they wear a hole.
It is good to do this all of your life.
Truly, friends, I desire to cherish these moments, to carry them with me all of my life, to share them with anyone who enjoys following other sojourners’ travels throughout this time we have here on earth. I hope you do, too. And one day, when Emma Vance is all grown up with children of her own, when she’s in moments of self-doubt, when she’s at a crossroads in her life, when I’m long gone and she misses me, I hope that my words give her hope and remind her of all of the small and faded moments in her life that have made it wonderful.