Virtual Friends

I read a lot of blogs… like, seriously a lot. I’m currently subscribed (via Google Reader… the best thing ever, btw) to 123 blogs and at this moment I have 70 unread entries. Eek. (I’ll share the blogs with you at the bottom of this post because I think I’ll get that request at least a few times. And it will be nice to look back and see what I was reading regularly at this stage in my life!)

Okay… so why am I writing this? There are a lot of talented writers out there and there’s no reason that we shouldn’t be sharing each others’ writings around. Two people in the blogging world stand out to me in an incredible, punch-you-in-the-face kind of way.

I stumbled across an amazing blog post today and felt that I needed to share it. In reading one of my math sites, Ms. Cookie of Math Teacher Mambo, was talking about other blogs she reads outside educational resources. She was specifically talking about the perception of perfection and how shallow and untrue it is when we try to present ourselves that way. She said that she loves “other non-math blogs and check[s] them either daily, or frequently. On one such blog, I came across a link that AGAIN added to my pile of thoughts on this topic. From browsing her other posts, she’s an author and teacher and I picture her as seeming to have a ton going for her. Then you scrape a little deeper and see that she’s going through this gut-wrenching continuous heartache.”

The specific blog that she linked to and mentioned is called Finding Your Voice by Jennifer Lawler. The post is linked here. Warning – you will cry. Seriously. I know I’m pregnant and dealing with crazy hormones, but it will make you cry. And you’ll need to hug your healthy child immediately.

The second post you must absolutely read asap (with the warning that it, too, will make you cry!) is from one of my favorite blogs – Enjoying the Small Things by Kelle Hampton. Kelle is an amazing photographer whose favorite subjects are her two beautiful daughters. She and her husband were expecting their second child earlier this year and received a surprise when Nella was born. Read her story here and be sure to have some tissues ready.

Why do I love these two posts? Well, both these moms started writing these specific entries to deal with their own personal trauma and to process their thoughts on the surprises life has thrown them. They sent the blogs out with the expectation that some friends would read it, understand their struggles more, and gain some insight into their challenging stories. And what they found is astonishing.

Both wrote follow-up posts with their shock at how the blogging community (yes, we’re a community!) responded wholeheartedly. Jennifer was shocked when her blog received twenty-two thousand hits in one day. ONE DAY. Seriously, think about that. Imagine the outpouring of love she recieved – she blogs about her surprise in a follow-up post but make sure you’ve read the first one to get the full story.

Kelle shared her thanks in a sweet post where she discussed the “focus on life” perspective she’s using (she also talks about her camera, if you’re interested). Weeks later she would be featured in a story on CNN where she took reader questions.

I’m just floored that this weird internet thing could serve as a beacon of hope to so many people who think they’re alone in their struggles. I’m fascinated by the way people reach out to love each other (like the response Jennifer got about carnations for her daughter). Bronce doesn’t really understand the silly blogs I read – and many of them are just silly – but this world is moving along at a fast, virtual pace, and I like keeping up with it and reading about other women… amazing women… people who encourage me to keep writing and documenting and sharing the things that seem silly and personal but can be life-changing to others.

So… to those of you who have a blog. Keep writing! If you don’t… start! It’s so cathartic to put pen to paper fingers to keypad and pour it all out. Embrace the world wide web.

(I’ll put my listing of blogs in another post.)

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