There have been moments since about 2009 when I have thought, “you know what would be an awesome job? Blogger. That would be amazing. Work from WHERE EVER, WHENEVER. That would be the life.”
But I was always nervous about it. Like, it just feels weird to write personal stuff in a public space. Like, about anxiety and family
problems issues problems. Fears. You know, the big stuff that effects us to the core. So much more than the super cool mug that we got from Etsy that with the word “BAE” on it. To me, it felt inauthentic to have a cheery blog with pretty pictures on it, dealing with heavy shit. But also, I didn’t want to put my heavy shit out there. Because, no one wants to read Debbie Downer’s blog.
AND- there was this other feeling of inauthenticity; what you have to do to have a very “successful” blog- which is stuff I definitely do not want in my life. I do not want to do sponsored posts where I tell all my readers about my favorite wrap that definitely does work, is definitely not hockum. I also never wanted to do some type of post that was me talking into a camera holding some product next to my face.
I am not saying that this possible reality was even a imminent possibility. I am saying that I felt like this was the type of person I was going to have to be. A person who would resort to doing shit like this in order to have a “successful” blog (whatever that means).
And let’s just say, that my blogging mantra was much better suited for 2008 blogging, which is to say, I just wanted to write, throw on the blog some cute pictures of my kid or my dog or my family or some cool shots I took of my recent travels. Interest in learning SEO? NONE. Interest in hustling to make “blogger” friends to do guest posts on each other’s blogs? ZERO. Interest in spending inordinate amounts of time trouble shooting HTML code and other boring tasks? DONT MAKE ME.
And then there was the constant feeling like I needed either do it (blogging- for real) or not. And if I was doing it (blogging for real) what would happen to my personal/family blog? Like, for about the first 7 years of Nico’s life, I kept a pretty regular blog about family life, his milestones, etc. And then I just stopped…
Partially, this was because Facebook and Instagram became a thing. Like a real thing. And so much of what went on with Nico I described and posted about on Facebook and Instagram- because it was easy-like, a couple of taps, done. And all the likes. And all the comments. It felt redundant to also post to the blog- because who even reads blogs anymore? WHO?
Also, I had a little bit of an epiphany in the past 6 months. It started when I listened to Cal Newport’s book, “Deep Work”. Basically, long story short, social media is bad for everyone- but particularly for people whose jobs count on them thinking (spoiler alert: that is me- I have to think with my job. A lot). But even worse, social media is bad for people who need sustained periods of effort and concentration (spoiler: that is also me). So here I was, dialed into Facebook and Instagram, spending way too much time posting there, scrolling, not even reading, but scrolling through posts. Let’s not even mention the feelings of “Holy shit- what?” that I had when all the Cambridge Analytica stuff came out (truth: the Cambridge Analytica stuff didn’t really impact me all that much- its not like I changed my vote from Hillary to Trump over some bullshit fake news I had been reading about HillaryemailsPizzaGateBenghazi, put into my feed by Russian hacker trolls. But I had some unease, because I like the shit out of Facebook quizzes- Like, “What kind of dog would you be? Take this Quiz and Find out!!”. Yes, I will do that).
And that is just dealing with the easy shit. It is easy because you can keep scrolling past the obvious click bait. I mean, you can’t do anything about a racist/homophobic/misogynistic relative, so there is nothing to worry about there- just “unfollow” that noise. And I am blessed because most of my relatives are not on Facebook, so I don’t have to learn more than I want to know about their terrible belief systems.
But what do you do about friends? People you genuinely like, or want to like? How can you still be friends with people who express on Facebook their strong support of Donald Trump and that “all you libtard snowflakes should take your butthurt snowflake asses to Canada?” Maybe it’s just that the nature of friendship has changed. Maybe these attitudes have always existed, but in many cases, it wasn’t the main thing we knew about people. We knew so much more- before we ever got into personal belief systems. We learned that guy from our senior year of high school was a fantastic athlete who got good grades and who liked to party before we recognized that he could be a bit of a prick. Before social media, we’d go most of the rest of our lives not thinking about what a prick that guy was- only remembering that he was a smart jock who liked to party. But now, we don’t see the the rest, but we’re certain that that one thing remains: the guy is a giant prick.
I concede that I am probably a bad person- because I don’t know how to be friends with people who hold the above opinions. Technically, I am “friends” with some (I mean, you know, Facebook friends). I think part of it is that I want to be friends with so few people that I am always a little surprised when a person I want to be friends with turns out to have such diametrically different attitudes on stuff.
Cal Newport has been advocating for something called slow media- basically a return to more deliberate consumption of media on the social internet. This jives really well with what I originally liked about blogging: documenting my life somewhere convenient-ish so that people who care (mom, mother in law, sister, brother *sometimes*) could tune in. Doing this away from Facebook allows me to do without having an existential crisis every time I log into Facebook to see that Donald Trump continues to be a national embarrassment and that for 34 of my friends, his message resonated enough with them that they “like” him. You know what I am saying.
This is all to say, that I am using this space to talk about my life; my projects, my crafts, my goals, my adventures, my misadventures, all of it. This is no longer a foray into being a blogger-blogger, you know the kind with the sponsored posts, holding some type of product next to her face. This blog is about my life. As such, I have merged it with my old Nico blog- so the further back you go, you can see more about the evolution of our family.
Also, I am a listmaker. I make lists, it is what I do. I have a list of stuff I want to do in my life, so I am keeping track of that here. Since I am keeping track of stuff, you’ll see me tracking stuff I read and other things here too. So, if you get a weird vibe, “Like is this a mommy blog or a life style blog or a diary or what, JBR?” that is what is going on here. If you like it, cool. If you don’t, feel free to NEVER come back.
I hope to post more often now that I have my thoughts and intentions sorted out. I also need to go back through my old Nico Blog posts to make sure that I don’t talk an embarrassing amount of shit about anything or anyone. I mean, except for haters. Come at me bro. So, until I do that, I am going to keep this blog private. Its only like 400+blog posts. Won’t take any time at all.
Welcome to my world.