I have been blogging since I was eighteen years old, away at school for the first time using LiveJournal. The only people who read my blog were a handful of friends I had grown up with, scattered around New York state, mostly, at their chosen colleges. I put the link on my AOL instant messenger profile, or wrote the URL down on scraps of paper.
Now it's 2018, and everything is different. We create a story with what we post, and people spend so much time and effort creating a narrative for themselves, for others to consume. It's a way of telling everyone we know, have known, or may never know, what our worth is. How cool we are, what we are into, and how successful we are, are all conveyed in Instagram and Facebook posts.
I remember a friend asking me in 2003 if I didn't think it was self-aggrandizing to have a blog? Why assume that you are so interesting that people would want to read about you and your life? Now everyone has a little digital space, on so many platforms, where we can learn about them. People follow YouTube vloggers instead of television dramas.
I'm not saying any of this is bad. For the most part, Instagram is a source of inspiration and gratitude. At least, based on who I follow: my friends and artists I admire. I've hear it being described as bragging, vapid, or a poor reflection of one's actual life. And I do agree that people tend to neglect the difficult moments. No one posts a selfie where they are crying over insurmountable bills or loneliness. I am guilty of this. In fact, the main reason I stopped blogging was because I was depressed.
I have dealt with depression for the vast majority of my life. It is something that will always be a part of me. I work toward overcoming depression every day while knowing that like an alcoholic is always an alcoholic, I will always be a depressed person. These days, I am better than ever. I have a stable mood and feel generally happy, grateful, and satisfied with my life. There is a dullness that comes with depression that can make doing "extra" work less appealing. I do not make money from blogging. I have always done it because it's fun. Perhaps I could if I learned about monetizing content, but my knowledge is remedial as of now. I have other writing gigs that pay, so I spent my time and energy developing those projects.
The more distance I put between myself and blogging, the harder it became to write in this format. I would make excuses about having to find more direction or revamping my site first, before anyone saw my writing again. At the same time, I was writing for magazines, newspapers, blogs (other than my own), and clients, so I wasn't ignoring writing entirely. I started a new business where I take care of pets (linked in the PET CARE tab above) that took off more quickly than I could have imagined it would. Health issues have caused me to slow my roll, and spend more time resting. I have never been good at balancing tasks, so I let certain things fall away from my life.
Since my last post in spring 2016, I have gotten to know myself more. I have been sadder and happier. I have been very lonely, and learned to embrace my time alone. I have traveled to amazing places and overworked myself to the point of tears. I have surrounded myself with beautiful people I would do anything for, and learned from toxic relationships, people who took advantage of my optimism and desire to help. Not a week went by in that time that I did not think about blogging, capturing those moments, feelings, and revelations. I love the low-risk nature of writing online and I miss sharing with people. So, I have resolved to blog weekly, posting every Sunday, mostly for myself but I am happy if the content brings others joy, as well. See you next week. -Melissa
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