I've been thinking of why I blog. What I aim to get out of pouring my heart and soul into my created space on the interwebs. And why can I never "choose a side" (ok, this is probably better left for a brand new post, as this pertains to a whole lifetime full of indecisiveness. Or empathy? Both?)?
To address the first two thoughts, I've created a list of why I blog. The items are listed numerically in order of importance (1=most important to me).
- To provide an outlet for me. A way to cope with this bitch that is infertility and loss. Writing about what Buster and I have gone through is therapeutic. And free! (Take that, expensive psychiatrist!)
- I am kind of obsessed with helping people. I usually cannot say no to requests, and it brings me much joy to help people in any way that I can. I love seeing what people google to find my site. It brings me happiness to know that they probably found some pertinent information on my blog (minus all those people googling "duck boobies" and "unicorn pee". Sorry to disappoint.). If I can even help one person, at all... well, that's just amazing. This journey to parenthood is so difficult for a select few (million) of us. If I can shed some light on something, or give a stranger peace of mind, I'm more than happy to do so. This reason is very close to #1 in terms of importance to me.
- Connecting with women going down the same or similar path as me. Just like real-life, there are people that you click with in the blogosphere. And sometimes when you find that person, AND they are down a similar path to you... well it's like a match made in heaven. I love finding new blogs that I feel a connection with, regardless of where they are in their journey to parenthood.
- For support. I know many bloggers might put the support aspect of blogging first. For me, however, I do have a good bit of support in my day-to-day life. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE comments, and I love that people care about my story. But, that's not the driving force that brings me to blog. But it's nice to know that in the times when I REALLY needed support, my bloggy friends (and strangers!) were there for me. And I can't thank you enough.
So there you have it. And now here are some reasons that don't compel me to blog, but I view more as icing on the proverbial cake:
- To gain more readers/followers. Yes, it's nice to be followed and read. It makes me feel loved, and I would never turn that down!
- To make some extra money. Yes, I have joined the BlogHer Advertising network. That's why there is an ad on my page. But this doesn't make me much money at all (we're talking double digits here). I joined more for the sake of being associated with BlogHer in an attempt to reach out to more women. To help others going down this path. To make women battling infertility know that they are not alone in their journey, in their feelings, in their path.
Next on my list of things I'd like to address:
Un-following blogs when the bloggess becomes pregnant.
I've done this. Is it a bitchy move? Well, yes. But sometimes you have to protect #1. And to be fair, the only times I've done that is when I didn't really feel much of a connection with the blogger anyway. Not sure if that makes it a little better or not...?
I know I've mentioned this recently, but I'm happy to say (once again) that I think I've really outgrown my bitter feelings that IF sends bubbling to the surface. I don't fault anyone who is bitter, though, because I understand. That was me. I own that, and I'm not embarrassed.
Bitterness is expected on this road. For me, it was several exits back. I've passed it, and I'm currently on the Hope Fraught With Sadness Highway. On the horizon, I see the All of Your Dreams Will Come True city skyline, and it is beautiful.
I had a wonky test one time that I thought might be the start of my BFP. Directly after that post, I lost a follower. I assume it was because they thought I was pregnant. At the time I was hurt by it, honestly. Mostly because, as it turns out, I was definitely NOT pregnant.
But now, I get it. I understand why someone would protect themselves. Because sometimes that's what you have to do. I see all sides to this, and I can see how it is so easy for someone to feel hurt.
Currently, there are some days/hours/moments when I can't emotionally stomach reading a pregnancy blog post. Or a baby post. And often times, I truly adore these bloggers. Many of which I have followed since I figured out there was even such a thing as a community for people like me, and they follow me too And cheer me on. But there are just times when I can't do it. And that's ok. I don't feel guilty about it anymore. I just skip the post and then come back when I am in a better place.
Next on my agenda:
Pregnant infertiles not wanting to post because it may hurt feelings.
I've seen lots of talk about this over my stint in blogland. Recently I've read a lot about this because of the PAIL situation. I know everyone has to do what feels right and comfortable for them, but my opinion is this:
If it is your blog, you should write about whatever you want.
I like knowing what could possibly be for me. I like being prepared. So reading about the things that my pregnant blogger friends are dealing with is some tremendous insight for me.
And because I like being open and honest on my blog, I will say that when I see people say that they don't want to post because they don't want to upset those of us still in the trenches, it's almost more of a sting than if they would just post. Does that make any sense? I know I'm only one person, and I do not embody all of the women "still in the trenches", but I can take it! If I'm not up to reading your post, I will come back at a later date when I can handle it. Your blog is your story, and your story does NOT stop when you have a little person growing in you!
With all that being said, my feelings are not hurt at all about anything. So if you happen to fall in the pregnant infertile category, I'm not mad or upset. I just want you to feel comfortable being you. And I want to read about YOU. I don't want to read some stripped down, half-assed blog post that skates around real issues.
Because when/if I am ever really pregnant, I'm going to continue to blog here. I may lose readers. I may anger people. I don't know. But this is my place, and I don't think it would be same with just half of my story documented.
My thoughts on the PAIL situation.
I understand all sides. I don't think PAIL was started to be malicious, inclusive, divisive, or any of that. But I also can see Mel's point of view (quoted from this post):
"People also pointed out that many smaller blogrolls and projects exist, and no other one is described as divisive, and perhaps that is because membership to those is based on situation vs. what you achieve."
I couldn't agree more with that.
But I don't fault anyone for joining PAIL. I will continue to read all the blogs I adore, regardless of what blogroll they are on.
I think communication is key here, and the lack of communication made a mess of this. Is it fixable? I think so, and hope so.
(On the PAIL-related note, I also agreed with pretty much everything SIF said in her PAIL post. I even briefly entertained the thought of plagiarizing her whole post. Ok, not really, but it's a damn good post.)