It’s been such a long time since I last felt inspired to blog – mostly, I think because I found myself left in the dust while the rest of the blogging world grew up around me, embracing all the new technology and practices that are now common, while I struggled to move with the times.
There, I said it.
But I’ve had a long, long time to observe the scene from inside my little corner and to explore my own thoughts and considerations on the subject of blogging as a whole.
When I started my first LiveJournal blog in 2004, it was supposed to be a place where I could pour out the things I couldn’t possibly say to the people in my life, and get it all off my chest without giving them cause to get seriously worried about me. And because I was far, far away in a place where no-one knew me, it afforded me a level of anonymity – not because I didn’t put my own name to what I put out there, but because, in the Great Big World, who was I, after all?
It wasn’t long, though, before I stumbled upon the Blogger platform, which was fast becoming the platform for real bloggers. And it was there that I would grow my little virtual rant room into something with a modest following of other young moms who didn’t mind sharing their personal trials and triumphs on the internet. It was via Blogger that I met most of the people I would go on to meet in person when my family and I returned from our 3-year stint in the UAE. It was where I received my first comment from an actual, organically-grown follower, with whom I am still in contact today. It was where I belonged, and no-one had the right or the inclination to question that fact.
It was here that I was first introduced to Facebook, and later also to Twitter, where I would forge even more new connections, feeling like I’d made the cut and was finally allowed to sit with the popular kids.
But it was also where I would find myself hiding so that I wouldn’t have to confront my life. It was where I made some questionable choices in terms of what I put out into the world, irrevocably. It was where I began to notice that I was being left behind while those who had the drive began migrating to WordPress, and crafting professional blogs. And it was where I told myself I could keep on being “authentically me”, even as I felt myself shrink and fade out of the scene while the new kids on the blogs arrived, trails blazing and stats soaring.
Meanwhile, I faced increasing opposition at home, as concerns grew around the security of my family, and I tended to spend more and more time on Facebook and Twitter, trying to hold onto the connection I craved and was all but losing my grasp on.
It got so bad that I had to remove myself from the internet altogether at one point, and I deleted my Blogger blog – but not before saving it as an export file for the sake of posterity.
After a year offline, though, a combination of curiosity and FOMO got the better of me, and I finally set up a WordPress site, which has limped along in obscurity for the past three years while I continued to struggle with myself over boundaries and censorship and asking myself, “Who’s reading it anyway?”.
But the truth is, whether I’m writing or not, or whether anyone even knows I’m here or not, I need this little space to call my own, where I can be myself and feel at home.
Welcome to Casa MeeA.