Monday, July 30, 2007

Why Journal Online... One year ago today

This blog is having a birthday! It's "one" today. My baby's growing up. *sniff* When I first started this I didn't know if I'd have much to say. Maybe now I have found I have too much to say. But over the year I've done some ponderin' as to why we read these things, and why we write them.

I started this with the hopes of passing on the good that had been given to me by a stranger, by pure accident; I hope in some ways I've managed that, and will continue to, but it has become more than that. It's a tool of connection to people you would never meet otherwise. It's a place you find out that we are all really very much the same deep down - no matter how different we seem. The blogs are mini-windows on the psyche, people reveal what they might not in other arenas and we learn and we laugh and we discover kindred spirits.

I'm a reader. I think most bloggers are. The connection between reading and writing is, naturally, a strong one. Finding a blog you identify with or that amuses or inspires you is like finding a terrific novel that you can't put down and ruin your eyes reading all night long into the dawn and when you finish you are sad to have to leave the world of that novel and you are left to wonder how the character's lives turn out after the story ends. Blogs are like being with those beloved characters on a daily basis. You are doled out portions of their unfolding lives and can never guess the twists and turns the plot will take. It's an addictive, neverending story. Unless the blogger you like gets bored and wraps the whole shebang up or simply disappears.

It's also a sort of voyeurism. You are peeking into people's personal day-to-day in a way you could never do unless you were a REALLY good stalker because you not only hear what they are up to, but how they feel about it and what it means to them. It's upsetting when someone posts bad news, it's exhilarating when they share the good. Bloggers are the characters in the novel that is the internet. It's a reader's paradise.

At least that's my take on the whole thing.

After a year of this I hope my posts are more entertaining than those first few straggling months when I tried to work out the rhythm of the thing. I hope I may have shown someone that they are not alone, that it is possible to come out of the pit of depression and walk blissfully away from thoughts of suicide to embrace the goofy, beautiful and yes, sometimes horrible that makes life so worth living. And I hope I show here that despite mental illness (which is JUST like any other illness and should NOT be stigmatized!) you can heal, and you can experience wonder every single day. You never know what's just around the corner. It may be scary, but it can also be blindingly beautiful. Only by living can we find how wonderful the world can be.

Thank you for reading along with my nonsense. I hope you'll come back. I hope you'll find the stories that touch you out there in the blogosphere and maybe share your own for someone else to discover. We're all in this together. Remember that.


Bella said...

Happy Birthday! I have loved your blog since I accidentally came across it last August. I'm so glad that you continue to write such beautiful, meaningful entries.

My friends who read my blog say that they feel like characters in a novel every time they read an entry that they're the "star" of. It's pretty cool, really.

Joy said...

Bella, you were my first 'comment' from a stranger and I am so glad we are no longer strangers! I still the "Walking My Dog" song you sent me on I'm my Ipod along with Wrong Way Up because both songs symbolize the power that a 'stranger' can have to influence your life for the better. Thanks again - and keep walking lady, you're doing great!! ;)

Salty Miss Jill said...

Hooray for Joy!!!!!!

Junk Thief said...

Happy birthday! Wow, we started at about the same time. It's been an odd evolution, and the friends I've made through this cyber universe are an odd mix. I've had one meet up and hope to have more. There's no rhyme or reason or geographic continuity, but I seem to have more blog friends in the East than West, and very few in the great middle.

I've really enjoyed yours the past couple of months and plan to keep dropping in. Although I've been in various writing groups, the spontaneous, random nature of blogging is irresistable. And what an unlikely community it allows us to weave.

Blog on. Share the love.

Joy said...

JT - know what's funny? The bulk of my favorite blogs all started around the same time I did! Thanks for reading. Sharing the love!