Blogging: Conversations in happiness and more

I have a confession to make—I blog for me. As obvious as that is, I feel the need to remind myself, and often, because I don’t want it to become a chore. I want it to be natural and enjoyable activity that helps me to relieve my burdens and share my joys in an honest and real way. That has always been the point and I find it works.

But I really considered my reasons for blogging after reading these two posts, Balancing Act by Kristen at Motherese and Riddle Me This by Amy at The Never True Tales.
Where Kristen discussed the issue of balance and how blogging both helps and hinders our sense of stability as busy parents and people, Amy discussed the blogger’s need to document, share and discuss and how it can be very self-indulgent. Both are important and interesting discussions that resonate with me. Because as much as I know what blogging means to me, I still feel somewhat disconnected to the bigger picture and a conception of whether this is real or an illusion.
A couple of months ago, I read an article in The New York Times, Talk Deeply, Be Happy. The author discussed this issue of happiness and how the conversations we have contribute to it. He spoke with psychologist Matthias Mehl who has studied this subject and who proposes that:
“Substantive conversation seem[s] to hold the key to happiness for two main reasons: both because human beings are driven to find and create meaning in their lives, and because we are social animals who want and need to connect with other people.
Finding and creating meaning. Yes.
Connecting with other people. Yes.
This place, my blog and all that goes with it (reading, commenting, discussing), has become this for me: a substantive conversation. And though it has really only taken on an important place in my life in the last seven or eight months, it has in a very big and important way. It doesn’t surprise me, I love what I do here: thinking and sharing and discussing. I don’t know why I didn’t discover it earlier except that it’s probably because I didn’t have the right inspiration.
Earlier this year I blogged about the strength of my convictions and how, as a younger woman (I know, I’m not so old now, but it still seems so long ago), I was a more confident woman. I wrote that my inspiration comes from other bloggers who bring life to issues of the heart, life, society, and the world. I boldly said, “I want to live in a world that I know. I want to feel passionate about things once again.” And I do. I’ve come out of the cocoon of motherhood into a world that supports me, as me. That allows me to explore all the depths of myself, as a mother, woman, wife, friend and more.
And that’s what comes from this place, a renewed desire to discuss issues, to think and write about life, and the things that make me happy and unhappy. Perhaps a luxury, but one I craved. I needed an outlet where I could connect with like-minded women who think and worry about the same things. I can see the future, the places this might take me and it excites me. As long as I stay true to what this is, focus on the writing, the connections and less on the hype. I’m always reminding myself, avoid the hype. (A discussion for another time, I think).
However, I do worry about why I’ve found this here and not in my real world (how I hate that painfully inadequate way of differentiating the two). And I worry that the connections I make here aren’t real. I worry about even saying that and don’t want to offend, because they truly feel real. But I’m not naïve, I’m very aware that they are tenuous. The time we spend with one another is different, enriched and concentrated. We learn things that some of us choose not to share with others in our life. But why? Does it really inspire a lasting connection?
Blogging is without borders, real or figurative. We can choose who to connect with in a different way than perhaps we can in our real lives. It’s easier to surround ourselves with like-minded thinkers because we can simply turn off those that aren’t. And we’re all writers, so we all get what this is about. Do you suppose that’s what makes the difference? And by virtue of our ability to do that, does it make it less real or more real? I’m not sure. I’ll continue think about these things as I write here and read other blogs. And I’ll hope it is real because it matters to me and I don’t want to lose it.

Photo: Writing to reach you via Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

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