I have been doing a lot of thinking about this blog lately, and about what it is that makes me love it so much. And you know what? It's so many things.
It's the complete and total freedom. Here, I am entirely myself, with no mask to cover how I really feel. When I am sad, I express that. When I am afraid, I admit it. When I am happy, I smile, and you all smile with me. I don't have to worry about seeming strong or mature or prepared. I can be honest here when I cannot be anywhere else. It's such a relief sometimes. There are days when all I want to do is lock myself in my room and just scream at the top of my lungs because of the strain from all the pretending. Those are the days when I come here with an open heart and let however I'm feeling pour into this little composition box. When I am worried or terrified or overwhelmed I can tell you, and you don't look at me like I'm weak or judge me because I have a complaint. I don't have to look at the pity in your eyes, because it isn't there. Instead I find acceptance and comfort in your words, and that is an exquisit thing for which I cannot thank you enough.
It's about the connections, too. I have found so many people here, people I couldn't have met otherwise. People who write beautifully and eloquently. People who have been through the same kind of separations. People who have taught me to try and live in the present rather than spend so much time looking ahead. People who have given me more comfort than my friends ever could, because they can understand exactly how I feel. People with whom I have so much in common. People that could have been my best friends had we grown up nearer to one another. Here, the world doesn't seem so very large. It is amazing to have bridged such gaps with technology.
There is also a sense of total control here that I love. So much of my life is dictated by school and work and the Army. So much of it is out of my hands, taken only on faith and hope. It is quite the comfort to have this one place where I get to call the shots. I decide what I want to talk about. I decide that this blog is an honest place. I decide that I want to do something worthwhile to me, and I act on my decision. I can't tell you how sweet a satisfaction that is on days when I'm feeling stuck. Sometimes trying to balance my life and Kyle's makes me feel like I'm involved in an elaborate circus act: juggling the different and opposing rules by which we live. Here though, I lay those fears and problems bare, and instead of my issues being up in the air they're spread out on a table before me where I can work them out at my leisure...and usually with some good advice from my readers.
However, this blog is also the one thing I have that is truly mine. It serves as the place I go to talk about things that have absolutely nothing to do with my impending marriage and move. Here is where you get to know me. Here is where I can discuss things like recipes and books and my friends and my opinions and reactions to things happening around me. Here is where I take my stand against what I consider the problems of the world. Here is where I talk about the things I want, but know I may never have, or at least have to wait to get...the sacrifices I make for what is more important. It helps to talk about those things. Here is where my voice is heard not only as a daughter, sister, friend, fiancee, or student, but as a person: a human being in my own right. Sure, it is evident that parts of me belong to those I love, but I like to think that you can also find the sacred parts of me that belong only to myself.
Here I find love and compassion on a monumental scale. This blog, all of you people, you restore my hope when it is failing. In a world like ours it is easy to lose faith, but here I can remember that having faith is a part of who I am. I do believe in the essential inner goodness of mankind. I do believe that every piece of life has its purpose. On certain dark days I owe my continued inner-optimism not only to my friends, family, and Kyle. Sometimes I owe it entirely to you readers.
So thank you. Thank you for opening your arms and taking me in when I needed a shelter. Thank you for building me up and teaching me that it is okay to use my voice. Thank you for simply being yourselves. You guys will never really know how much you mean to me. I wish more than anything that there was a way for me to meet you all face to face and give you the hug that you deserve so very much, especially those of you that have been with me since the beginning.
To get to the heart of things, I think that the true intrigue of the blog world is that it can be the polar opposite of networking sites like MySpace or facebook. There is no need to photoshop your photos to make yourself look more attractive. You don't have the pressure to spruce up your hobbies or interests lists to be "cool." You're not trying to fit a mold. Instead, here you can just let your real self shine, and eventually people with truly similar hearts stumble along and find you. "Friend requests" here aren't just a button click away. They're carefully generated bonds that began as just a few random comments. And the way we are all brought together, the way we help each other...
That is absolutely beautiful.