It’s day 3 of my challenge to post every day of November, and I’ve already had my blog’s first existential crisis.* I mentioned to someone today that I had started writing a blog, and they asked what it was about, and I couldn’t come up with an answer that satisfied me, and then I had A Moment. The kind of moment in which your brain takes a very small thing down a spiraling path of crazy reasoning, and suddenly that small thing represents the very meaning of your existence.
So what am I writing about? For me, the what is inextricably linked with the why. Why am I writing? What is the point?
I began writing this blog for three reasons:
1) I sent a friend an email detailing a ridiculous conversation I’d had with my toddler, and she replied that she would totally read a blog consisting entirely of my conversations with him. That planted the seed.
2) I was beginning to drag myself out of the dark pit of postpartum depression and thought that writing about it would provide some opportunities for reflection, self-examination, and healing.
3) I was filled with longing for the person I used to be. When I was young and full of potential I thought I would be a writer. When I grew up, instead of pursuing creativity I went the route of stability – practical education, defined career path. Terrified of others reading my writing and finding it lacking, I found other things to occupy my time. I suppose I saw this blog as an opportunity to recapture the person I maybe could have been, had I been a bit braver and chosen the path less travelled.
So, how have I done?
1) I’ve written about Bean. He continues to say ridiculous things, and it is so very amusing to record them and share them with you on What-my-kid-said Wednesdays.
2) I’ve been writing about my experience of postpartum depression, though I haven’t shared it yet. It’s still deeply personal; I’ve only shared my struggle with a handful of people in real life, and while in many ways it’s easier to be honest behind the anonymity of a blog, it’s still tough to hit that “publish” button. My palms get a bit sweaty just thinking about it. But it’s coming.
Aside from writing about depression itself, this blog has helped me in a way I hadn’t anticipated. I’d been feeling swallowed up by this maternity leave, consumed by the day-to-day details of babies and toddlers, like I had no identity other than “Mum.” Even though I’m writing about being a mother, the act of writing helps me feel like more than just a mother.
3) I can’t go back to the person I was, and I wouldn’t want to. My life is a good life. But I can search for elements of the old me that bring me happiness. I can flex my creative muscles, weakened from lack of use, and try to live up to some of the potential I once had.
That’s the why. So what is this blog about? What am I even writing about, anyway?
Motherhood. Kids. Life. Self.
Humour. Sadness. Friendship. Depression.
Writing. Reflection. Commentary. Community.
I’m writing for me, so this blog can be whatever I want it to be.
* I Googled existential crisis just for fun, and check it out – there’s a WikiHow page for “How to Deal with an Existential Crisis (with Pictures).” Ha!