Sanity is overrated. Besides, then what would I blog about?

For years, reading was just escape. The feel of untraveled pages, words pressed intimately into my naked palm, was as exciting as holding a plane ticket. I could hear characters whispering, smell their lingering voices for days. A treasured rendezvous with L.M. Montgomery happened often, sometimes repeating itself over and over during hot summer months. There was a short time that V.C. Andrews and I  shared stolen moments in the dark, hiding under sheets and pen lights, or in quick stints on the bus before and after school so as not to risk my mother breaking us apart. (Although, years later, I found out she knew all along.) However, John Steinbeck‘s East of Eden has found its way into my hands multiple times.  A close second would be F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s The Great Gatsby. I fell in love with the novel in high school, and then again when I stepped foot into the majestic mansions of Newport, Rhode Island a few years ago. Getting a degree in English and being required to attend entire semesters on concentrated works like Shakespeare, Washington Irving or Chaucer was a gift.

Marriage, parenthood, divorce, self-exploration and new beginnings changed my reading habits. My shelves are stocked with self-help books, diet guides, health plans, parenting advice and reference books. Sometimes, I forget what it is like to read for escape, to dream in words and hear the whisper of someone’s imagination. Life has continued to shape and mold the contents of my book shelves.

I read for escape and curiosity.

I read for self-improvement.

I read to create an opinion of myself and to declare my own measure of success.

A little over three years ago I started blogging. I was struggling with making sense of my hormones, entering a much lonelier season of parenting, and facing some big lifestyle decisions and milestones. I got tired of talking to myself, tired of second guessing every decision, and thought putting my thoughts in front of me would make them clearer and more productive. It was like keeping a diary, only better, because occasionally someone would talk back. Someone would relate. And then I started reading other blogs and realized I didn’t need escape. I also realized I didn’t need “self-improvement”. What I needed all along was community and validation. I needed encouragement and the opportunity to encourage others. I needed personal acceptance more than I needed personal transformation. Blogging is as much about writing as it is about having conversations.

Used books are still delivered to my house almost on a weekly basis, especially now that I home school, but the majority of my recreational reading are blogs. I read everything, but finding the voices and stories of other women give me a sense of belonging. I’ve discovered all of my crazy and quirky ways are not unique to me, but completely normal. (Apparently dysfunction and insanity are the new normal, I was just unaware until recently.) I am not alone in my sadness or elation, my fears or my triumphs. I am not weird for being insecure today but confident tomorrow. And it’s okay to be occasionally funny yet chronically reflective. Now I read to feel connected. I read for inspiration and I read to find unity. I read to be encouraged and to be reminded of my blessings.

I write to hopefully give even a small piece of that back to someone else.

visit booksmakeadifference.com

*This post is part of May’s Books Make a Difference sponsored bloghop. Books Make a Difference is a bimonthly, online magazine focusing on readers and writers.

18 thoughts on “Sanity is overrated. Besides, then what would I blog about?

  1. Blogging really does make the mess look normal, doesn’t it? But I still miss reading my books…one day I’ll get to it!

  2. This is an awesome post! I agree! It’s about finding a community, validation, support, and conversations. Blogging has given me the interaction with other mothers that I was so desperately seeking this past year. I’m happier and learning to find myself again.

  3. This is a great post! How perfectly you sum up what reading and writing are for me too: “Now I read to feel connected. I read for inspiration and I read to find unity. I read to be encouraged and to be reminded of my blessings.

    I write to hopefully give even a small piece of that back to someone else.”
    Thank you so much for being a voice I have loved through the years and for your willingness to share it for this celebration of writing moms.

    I appreciate you!

      1. I’m right there too. I have made more friends and great friends through my blog and social connections. I know it has been a “not so great” thing in the world. (I know … In work in media so I see both pros and cons.) But it has brought me many friends and blessings. One never knows where a smile will come from until its shining into our face and Internet smiles count! 🙂
        Smiling your way!

  4. “…finding the voices and stories of other women give me a sense of belonging” – couldn’t agree with you more! Delighted to have found you through this bloghop! Hope to find out what happens when both your flannel pant legs are on 😉

  5. Yes! It IS about community and validation! And it’s nice to know I’m not crazy– or at least that if I am, it’s cool now. BTW, LM Montgomery and Steinbeck’s East of Eden were two of my top life-shaping literary experiences too. Glad to find you through this bloghop! Looking forward to reading more.

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