I was pretty overwhelmed by the response to our last post. It never ceases to amaze me which of my posts tend to really strike a chord with people. They are almost never the ones about us traveling in beautiful locations or sailing to exotic places (i.e. much of this blog). Instead, they are the missives that I usually think of as rather mundane when I sit down to write them (or, of course, the ones that are the most dramatic). The posts where I find myself working out a particular conundrum or writing out the bones of a skeleton hiding in my closet. I certainly never sit down to write something and think, "Now *this* is really going to get 'em!" Nope. These days in particular (since down time is such a precious rarity), I write when I am moved to write and I write from the heart. I don't blog for numbers and I don't blog to make a buck (though I probably should start monetizing a bit more). Sometimes my anecdotes are funny, sometimes somber, sometimes reflective - but the posts that seem to resonate the most are the ones where I am totally candid and shed light on the inner workings and struggles of a real honest-to-goodness human being.
When I say it like that I guess I really shouldn't be surprised after all.
If there is one thing that connects us as people it's the fact that - when it's all said and done - we all want the same few things. Safety, belonging and mattering. In a world that, on the surface, seems more connected than ever, we grow more and more distant from one another. We share only our best pictures, put forth our happiest faces and create the illusions that our lives are much more interesting and satisfying than they really are. I think all of us do this at some level. I know I do. It's almost impossible not to. But it is imperitive to our health to stop perpetuating the fallacy of perfection, or at the very least, find a little place in this world where we don't feel like we have to.
So when we as humans share our struggles, pain, and weakness as I did the other week, people seem to enjoy it. They find it refreshing. Not because they revel in another's hardship, but because they realize they are not the only ones who struggle with fill in the blank. And if there is one feeling most humans do not enjoy, it's the feeling of being alone in this world (note: this is different from "alone time" which. Is. Awesome.)
It's easy to read a blog like ours and imagine our lives as perfect, when the truth is very far from that. Yes, we are blessed. Yes, we are thankful. Yes, our life has taken some interesting twists and turns that put us a little to the left of "normal". But "perfect" we are not. In the vast majority of this blog I have aimed to focus on the positive, which on one level resonated with people. But now I think I will strive to focus more on being real and honest. Obviously this is not easy, as it makes me vulnerable. But I believe I am a better writer and a better person when I can speak freely and truly (even though for the sake of my dad I will always try to swear as little as possible on the blog, despite the fact that I swear like a sailor in real life).
All this is my very roundabout (and verbose *wince*) way of saying thank you to all of you. I honestly have the best readers in the whole blogosphere as far as I am concerned. After my "limbo" post so many of you reached out to say, "Yes!! Me too!! Thank you!!" and I so appreciate that. I certainly did not see it coming. I know I am a terrible blogger who breaks the cardinal rule of blogging in that I do not respond to most comments (between email, Facebook messages and blog comments I am way behind) - but I am so thankful to have here a community of readers who are fellow human beings who (for the most part) recognize when another of their own is struggling (no matter how big or small that struggle may be) and who reach out to say: "you are not alone."
Thank you for connecting. Thank you for keeping it real. And thank you for allowing me to do the same.