a long post about beanie babies, hanson, blogging, and more (too much more)
as i was driving home on this super, super grey day i was thinking about blogging. i've been thinking about it a lot lately - why do i do it? what's my motivation? what's my goal? what are the means to reach that goal? and ultimately, is it worth it.
because, for those of you who do blog - and blog with intention, you understand it is as much enjoyment as it is job. like any freelance work, it's always floating above you like a dark cloud. and this cloud often settles right around you and all you see is perceived through the fog.
"Should I take pictures of this to blog about?"
"How can I take these thoughts, this book, that song and interpret and express it?"
"Oh no, it's been a week and I should update."
And, sometimes I get this overwhelming feeling that I'm cheapening this whole experience. Taking something that was once just an avenue to write, collect beautiful images, share my life - into a JOB. A job that carries some of the same emotions as hitting the alarm for your 9-5 and encountering rush hour traffic on the way home.
Have I ruined it?
To start off I want to give a little history into my relationship with the internet and self-expression. These two things, at the end of the day, are blogging. It's the great collision of art and communication dished out to the fingertips of the entirety of planet earth. The amount of visibility and reach small business owners, authors, musicians, and more have longed for in the past is here. HERE. this is insane.
My dad was always techy. Always. I remember at a very young age dancing around to the beach boys and the eagles on a pretty elaborate sound system for the early 90's. Fast forward to grade school and I was one of the first in my class (probably in the mid-west) to have a decent computer with windows and the internet.
THE INTERNET. I don't know why, but my dad set up our first computer in my bedroom. I had a pretty large desk in there, and so it made some sense. I used it for a Crayola Art program and some other games, but I have the clearest memory of my father explaining to me THE INTERNET. I remember the dial tones, the beeps, and then the great connection to... the world. I don't know... to everyone. All i understood is that i could sit at my computer and (if i wanted to, which i never did) communicate to someone in china. that was awesome.
i started with an email address and did some googling (though back then it wasn't google - what was it? linda vista? ask jeeves? yahoo?) for my favorite thing in the ENTIRE WORLD. beanie babies. BEANIE BABIES. And I joined what would be the beginnings of the blogging world - email newsletters. I didn't care too much about receiving them, but decided to create my very own beanie baby newsletter. i can't tell you for the life of me what on earth i talked about. i'm sure i included various colored typefaces along with some sweet action clip art. i don't even know how i found people to be on my list or if they even read it.
fast forward to the next love of my life - HANSON. by this time there were thousands and thousands of fan pages with images and gossip and expressions of love. I remember most clearly spending any time on the internet reading fan made stories that involved the three members of the badn. I always loved reading and I loved Hanson - so it was perfect. These were probably considered blog formats also, as they were just normal people (if you consider star-struck 5th graders normal) writing stories.
i started my own hanson page on expage (does anyone remember that?) and eventually switched over to angelfire and taught myself HTML. by junior high i was less obsessed with hanson and more obsessed with myself. ;) so i changed my website to be about my life and my friends.
[side note] i just googled it and actually FOUND IT. IT STILL EXISTS. you can see my former and latter versions.
in the midst of this i spent lots of nights chatting on AIM with my friends and by high school we discovered xanga. this, i believe, was my real introduction to blogging.
I LOVED XANGA. I loved it. I loved sharing stories about my life and my heart. You can find my most recent xanga here. I had a previous one but after a pretty bad breakup, I deleted it and started a fresh one. Though it is now strewn with broken linked images and messy advertisements - those pages are some of my most heartfelt journal entries of that season of my life. some of my most raw writings were produced in the fire of that time-period. of singleness and maturity.
you can also see my precious husband's xanga, which was posted on before we had officially met. some of his simple posts, as i reread them even now, minister to my heart so deeply. some of my favorite of his entries are here, here, here, here, and here.
after xanga was dying out, i did most of my writings on facebook notes. when i moved to California and was engaged to ricky i discovered blogger (what i use now) - via google. it had the simplicity of xanga with more control and customization. and so my first, true blog was born.
and now we are at today: see the skyline. a blog brought with the original intent of writing about my relationship and journey with ricky - the byline being, "the buildings and the sun fell in love." as ricky represents the stable, the grounded, the geometric - and then i, the clouds, the ethereal, the floating arounddddd....
and together these create the beauty of the skyline.
overtime my blogged has evolved. i'm now a mother, and i don't have hours to write while sipping on lattes and listening to music. i read less, in these days, and so there is a new shallowness to my writing. i know this. it's more facts, less interpretations. i'm confident this won't be forever - it's just the season i find myself in. one of homemaking, meal-planning, block-tower buildings, and snuggles before the couple of minutes i catch for myself. more logistics than abstract thoughts (though they are there, thanks to a ever-growing husband and thought-provoking friendship... and of course the Holy Spirit.)
Why do I blog? Why, in my busyness, do I come back time and again to forums such as these? I think the main answer is self-expression - but one unto sharing. I can journal (and I do) but ultimately, I love sharing. especially my heart and this path of finding joy and beauty in each new step and season. I love to capture the moment when Amos is away in thought, reading about giant whales or jungle explorations. I love freezing moments with Ricky - ones we will look back upon in 30 years. I love being forced to document, being forced to articulate, and being forced to put it all together. I love that my life is only a click away for my mother, and also for the one I shared a short season of connection with - friends from yesterday and today.
I love that I live in the tension of framing my life. Framing shots. Taking moments and making them a post. Hey, I know I'm not that good at it yet... but I'm learning. Bottom line, even though it becomes a task on my to-do, I really do enjoy it. It's one the best job I've had thus far (along the list of mother, graphic designer, and teacher.)
And to be honest with my readers, I really have a desire to turn this into something that is profitable. Not to be a sell-out, but because I love it so much. I love it so much, and want to put the work in. I want to create content that is thought provoking and original. I want to bring depth and the light-hardheartedness of weekdays with a 15 month old. I want to explore marriage, year after year, and the hardship and joys that come. I want my life to be a some-what open book, and I want to share it with you. And ultimately, I would love to one day make a profit through sponsorship - mostly, so that I can continue to stay home and continue to document and continue to express.
To those who know me personally, you know I step into vulnerability pretty easily. For the most part, that which is brewing within is accessible. The good, the bad, the ugly. I want to do this even more within this space. Yes, I love a good DIY - and I'm even more open to some outfit posts (because honestly, those are the blogs I creep on the most)... but I think more than anything I have to offer the day to day of where the Lord has placed me. I hope it can give some gauge to wives and mothers to be, and some serious laughs for the veterans.
If you've read this you deserve a million gold stars. if you've read it and actually followed what i was trying to say and understand it - you deserve a universe filled with gold stars because that was some SERIOUS randomness unto rambling.
from us to you - we love you and thanks for sharing our journey. i'm grateful to share with you my days.