It's been several years since first discovering the blogging world; or more like, discovering how varied and vast the blogging universe actually had become. I'm sure I was reading plenty of blog posts under the assumption that they were journalistic accounts written by someone earning a regular paycheck from a newspaper or magazine publishing house. At that point, the internet was providing as much of the news as I was getting from television, and I had pretty much abandoned print magazines, for snazzy, ever-changing, mobile online content.
Years before, I arrived early to the world wide web party. I bought my first computer with the intention of self publishing children's storybooks. (I have a very interesting story about that for another post.) That time coincided with my being determined disabled. (That story is a huge blur peppered with memories of unbearable pain and sorrow... an unimaginable reality.) Anyway, my only real comfort was my little family. I had decided - since it was becoming more and more evident that I was in no condition to keep a job - something that I could do was teach my little ones at home. So, with my husband's encouragement and my mom's support, I got on my new computer and researched "homeschooling." Most night's would just pass right into early morning while I explored the wealth of information (and rubbish) at my fingertips. Now that I think about it, I'm certain that there were countless times that I was visiting blogs specific to early education.
The other thing that was keeping me "logged on" was shopping. Catalogs which were filling up baskets around the house were now filling up the internet. How convenient, my condition was worsening and my symptoms unstable, yet there it was... online shopping. During times when I had little to no energy, or was barely able to move, much less trek out to a mall with three small children, I now had the internet for shoe & clothes shopping for them. Good thing most days my fingers could handle typing away for long stretches of time. I was getting pretty good with this computer business; I had a printer, a scanner... a whole slew of hardware extras and software. Remember floppy disks? No... oh never mind.
So I was learning, teaching, shopping, and biggest surprise of all... I was creating! And loving it! There were lesson handouts, newsletters, greeting cards, calendars, brochures, my little book. Clip Art; Photoshop, I believe the software was called. The name Broderbund also comes to mind. It was so much fun. I though, how great it would be to have a job doing all that stuff and be paid to do it. I had no idea there was such a thing as a graphic artist. Back then, if someone said, "You should try blogging." I'd probably give them a blank stare.
Well, I know what blogging is now... I think. It's like a book, or magazine, or newspaper, but without paper. Today, if someone asked which blog I last visited, I would not be able to say. But back during a very lonely and difficult period, when the only thing I had to help me cope was my sense of humor, a sudden burst of relief came in the form of blogs. They made me "feel" again. Happy, sad, mad; soothed, awakened, spirited - I felt it all. This was good. It was very good.
In no particular order, these are the authors, bloggers and posts that have provided inspiration and introspection, and invoked most heartfelt emotions. And thank goodness, LAUGHTER. I am grateful for them all, and yes, these are the ones which come to mind at the moment. (Click highlighted, bold items below to link to corresponding blogs.)
People I Want To Punch In The Throat
An Inch of Gray
Hello Giggles (One of my posts was even featured during this blogs first weeks!)
Thoughts From Paris
Heather Christena Schmidt
Good Men Project
So many more blogs have joined this list since things took a turn for the better. I've even become a huge fan of a crazy mix of YouTube creators. Time doesn't allow for regular reading or viewing, but I'm still enjoying blogs, vlogs, and late-night talk shows as much as ever. If I could possess even a tiny sliver of what the creators listed here have, that would be conviction. They have a story, a story worth telling, if for only that one person who is going to laugh, cry, guffaw, or re-examine and re-evaluate their beliefs. And, sometimes, call bullsh*t. Thanks for that too bloggers.