I sometimes forget how vulnerable blogging can make us feel; I’ve been doing it for so long it’s become a muscle I guess I take for granted. As I watch my current Blogging from the Heart group take flight with their own blogs and sharings, I’m reminded that it can be scary to put our thoughts and feelings into words for others to read. That we get choked up with perfectionism and wonder who we think we are to do something so daring. We want others to like our words and for connections to grow. We’re hungry to be seen just as we’re shy when people see us.
I still get nervous about certain posts. This post I wrote earlier in the year was raw and straight out of my disappointed heart, and it took a lot of courage to leave it online when all i wanted to do was take it down the next morning. I still remember the posts from the past that were turning points in my healing. And there are plenty of others that no longer exist on this blog, deigned not good enough and deleted out of space and time.
I tell my BFTH peeps that a blog is a constant work-in-progress, a space that’s never finished. How often do we get to create a place that’s just for us, an online home we can change and evolve as we ourselves change and evolve. Last week I showed them screengrabs* of older versions of my blog so they could see how it has developed over the years — and, frankly, to reassure them that we all start somewhere. I’ve loved every incarnation of this space, and if i’m honest I sometimes miss the simplicity of my first Blogger blog. Blogging felt simpler back then — I had absolutely no expectations for it. I wrote my feelings out onto my computer and put them online. It was such a release, such a joy to be able to get it out while I was still reeling from my bereavement. And then people came and said hello – the community feel was like it is today but on a much smaller scale. There were no ecourses, no advertising, no Facebook, no Twitter. Flickr was the new kid on the block and figuring out how to upload a new banner onto my blog remains one of my greatest tech achievements :)
So as I looked at my old blog designs last week I felt such tenderness for the beginning blogger I was. The links in the sidebars reminded me of the blogs I used to visit (some of them I still do; others no longer exist) and the people who have come in and out of my online world. But most of all, I remembered what it felt like to be sitting at my desk with a cigarette in my hand and those first blog posts pouring out of me. It feels like a lifetime ago, and yet, as I make my plans to move back to London nearly eight years after I left, it could have been yesterday.
Time doesn’t really have any meaning any more. I think when we write a blog we’re really making a time machine for ourselves.
Ink on my fingers, April 2006 – view full sized here
Ink on my fingers, August 2006 – view full sized here
Ink on my fingers, November 2009 – view full sized here
*hat tip to Kelly Rae for finding this fantastic site