Message in a Blog

A Message in a Bottle

Some blogs have messages for the masses, which are embraced, shared, and circulated. Campaigns for cancer awareness, mental health, and peace come to mind. Who doesn’t want to be swept up in positive momentum of doing something worthwhile?

Other messages are like cries in the dark, like the suicide note I intercepted. Yes, this did happen to me. Unfortunately, there is not a happy ending to this story. In this case, the virtual realm met reality with tragic results. However, the saga continues. One courageous individual, perhaps, has met his destiny and offers hope and a new life for the two children left behind. This story deserves its own post.

In other cases, we as bloggers may want our messages to stay in our blogs. They may live in the hearts and minds of those who read them, but may not overlap with your functioning, daily life or involve further discussion past the comments section of your blog . You may, incidentally, mention a post to a loved one or a friend, who probably doesn’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

A few of my family members read my blog and occasionally I will have a friend say, “Oh, I read your blog.” Or, he or she might say, “I love your blog.” I love it when I hear that. For the most part, however, I feel that my blog is insulated in the WordPress environment, so while it is public, there’s this feeling of containment, and no intersection with my actual life.

I have come to adore my community of bloggers and, to some extent, may even write knowing you are my audience, hoping you’ll stop by once again. I do not take your visits for granted. I feel assured that if you’re reading my blog it is because it is a choice. You want to be here to listen.

As bloggers, listening is one thing we do well. If we want to share a memory, story, or a song, we can put that in our blog. A problem, a confession, a revelation, why not put that in our blog? Happiness, successes, insecurities, and failures, all of it, you can leave it for your blog. As readers, we’re here, we’re ready, we accept.

If you’ll bear with me, I have a message I want to leave in my blog today. About a month ago, my mom mentioned to me that she was printing hard copies of my blog, nothing I would ever consider doing. Bless her! She had left my printed blog, quite a sizeable stack now, on her countertop before leaving for errands.

My brother happened to be there and asked, “What’s that?”

“It’s Amy’s blog.”

So, when my mom left on errands, he started reading my blog, and when she returned he was still reading my blog. He never knew I had such a thing.

“I can’t put it down,” he told her.

This touched me immeasurably. When I heard this, I was positively glowing inside, and felt acceptance, and maybe a possibility to reconnect. Our family gatherings with so many people are often too chaotic for deep conversation. I’m sure in some family situations where you see your family once or twice a year, you may have a that period of familiarizing yourself with their lives.

Lately, with my brother, we all know it’s not going well. We don’t need to ask, “How are things really?” I have always wanted to take a walk around the block with him to ask, “How we can we make it better? How can we fix things?”

So, I hope he reads this, and that soon we take that walk. I’m here to listen.

P.S. I’m available to write your book. Count me in.

photo credit: Tom Gill. via photopin cc

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90 thoughts on “Message in a Blog

  1. Amy, this is beautiful. You have stumbled exactly onto what I love most about blogging; that sense of saying exactly what is on your mind, untempered by “real life”. What a gift your mother gave you in printing everything off; validation, and hopefully an opportunity to really connect to your brother.

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    1. Thanks, Jen. It’s kind of odd when my blog and my real life cross over. In the meantime, there is a sense of freedom in blogging, of saying something exactly as you feel. I almost wanted to cry when my mom told me about my brother reading my blog. I hope it opens up some dialogue, too. Thank you.

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  2. Great post. 🙂 My sister reads my blog. She comments occasionally under the name “anonymous”. LOL…it is a wonderful feeling to have your family like what you write…and to say so.

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    1. Thanks, Paula. I appreciate that. That is amusing that your sister must be “anonymous.” She wouldn’t want to caught reading your blog, now would she? Thanks, it is validating to have the support and approval of your family. Thanks for your nice comments.

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  3. Amy,
    This is a great post. Definitely I agree and cherish the sense of insulation (and warmth) the WordPress walls offer. I too am surprised when a friend mentions that they have read my blog – it seems so odd to be sharing myself with someone I know in that way.
    I’m glad your mom printed off your blog and that it gave you an opportunity to offer support for your brother. I hope things work out.

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    1. Thanks, Tania. Oh, you’re so right. I should add “warmth” to this post. That’s another positive. I’m always a little startled when someone from the “outside” I see personally, face-to-face, reads my blog. It’s a kind of intimacy that only bloggers understand, I think. It feels a little strange. Thanks for the positive thoughts.

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  4. My family, well my mother knows I blog. But I doubt she knows what a blog is. The rest of my family? I doubt they would read it if they could. As for my friends, they know I have a blog also, have they read it? I doubt it very much. So I guess I do ‘live’ within my blog and the blogging world, but it’s a nice welcoming place to dwell. You posted a great one today Amy. I too hope your brother takes that walk with you.

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    1. Thanks, Jackie. Like you, I feel surprised when someone from the “outside” reads my blog. It seems strange, but then why not? I’ve always felt that my blog is my special place I guess and hadn’t been concerned if others read it or not. So, I was a little shocked how good it felt that my family reads it, and my brother, and that they appreciate it. I hope so, too, Jackie. Thank you.

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  5. I know exactly what you mean when you say you feel insulated within WordPress; I’ve thought the same thing several times but never expressed it so well. But knowing that a family member reads your blog and truly enjoys it is one of the best gifts there is. My aunt who I’m really close with never leaves comments on the site but always texts me when she reads something that she loves and tells me how funny I am. It’s the best.

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    1. At first, I thought of my blog as my own separate part of my life. It definitely feels good when people in your life, and especially family, read it and enjoy it. I thought maybe I was the only one who felt insulated. Part of that is probably my doing. I guess it feels a bit more safe. I was really moved that my brother liked it. I’m happy your aunt gives you that boost! Good for you, Em. And, you are definitely funny!

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  6. My sister recently discovered my blog because I “liked” a comment on Emily’s Facebook page.. ugh. I am not so sure what do to with it to be honest. It has stifled me a bit. But your post has touched me and made me think a little differently– maybe. So thank you for sharing this. You are lucky to have a Mom that is “in” your life and cares. Cherish that– deeply.
    Audra

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    1. Audra, it sounds like an interesting development for you. Maybe if your sister reads your blog, she’ll have a deeper understanding of who you are. One can hope. My experience is that people from our real lives surprise in this way. It may be an opening for sharing something that is important in your life. I do appreciate my mom and her printing out my blog. It makes me laugh, but then look where it led. Thanks, I do cherish her. – Amy

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  7. I can relate, Amy! Sometimes what I post I never would have come up with if it wasn’t for this format… it’s such a creative environment… there’s always so much inspiration here. And it’s pretty awesome there are so many people out there who are so kind and supportive (from all over the world)! Although sometimes I’ll find myself wondering if a certain post / image / topic might be ‘too much’, for some readers… and yet I don’t want things to feel stale (or worse yet) fake. It’s a balance, I guess. Maybe someday I’ll even find one!
    I’m very, very happy to hear that your blog has helped to make a connection with your brother, too. I can see how it might be easier to ‘start’ here… lay a groundwork with things that aren’t always so easy to communicate in other ways. It sounds to me like you are absolutely moving in a positive direction, and getting closer to that walk all the time!
    🙂

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    1. Robert, I agree the format has a lot to do with how I present something, knowing I have an audience that has a voice and provides feedback, or how they might feel about something I’ve written. It’s great exchange, and like you, I appreciate and am inspired by other bloggers all the time, including you. I always like to push my limits a little bit, but often think if I didn’t have my audience I might take more chances. Like you said, it’s all about some happy medium, finding what you feel good to let go of, to express, and to create for yourself and your audience.
      You said it well here, too, about my brother. It’s a good starting place, maybe a chance to be reacquainted with me. Next time I see him, we will walk and talk together! Thanks.

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  8. My kids (the Things) read some of my posts and want to contribute (but not the 50 Shades ones!). Thing Two informed me that she had written a post for me and she would read it to me while I typed it in. It didn’t happen to make any sense except in her 8 year old brain, but I found it funny that she was going to “dictate”. My husband knows I blog, but doesn’t really get it. I showed blog posts to my parents. They read them. And didn’t laugh. Didn’t even smile. I think something is wrong with these people. I wanted to yell, “HEY, people on WP say I’m funny!” Oh, well. Glad to hear your mom was so proud and that this might be a breakthrough with your brother. I’m not sure the whole situation – perhaps it is in posts I missed? Either way, good luck to you.

    I LOVE that anyone reads my blog. It is the best feeling ever. 😀

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    1. Alice, you always make me laugh. My 10-year-old dictates to me all the time. Who does he think I am anyway? My husband reads my posts, but often doesn’t tell me he read them or reads well after they’re posted. I think all of the women in my family read my blog, and now, of course, my brother. My dad and other brother don’t, although my dad often says he will read it. I experience something similar with my family. Sometimes, I try to describe something about my blog, and you’re right, they kind of don’t get it. Well, I’ll tell you now, like I’ve told you before, you’re one of the funniest bloggers I read! For realz.
      No, you haven’t missed anything in posts…I’ve never talked about my brothers so much. To be honest, I’m sure what’s really wrong. I only know bits. I, too, LOVE it. It’s a special thing for someone to hear your voice.

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  9. Amy,
    I so agree with everything you’ve said here. I think that sometimes we do feel insulated as bloggers in the WordPress world. We have our WordPress friends (who I love and consider real friends) and then we have our “real world” friends. It means a lot to me that my only sister reads my blog as do several of my “real world” friends, but the truth is, that many of my friends don’t even know that I blog. And if I tell some of my bodywork clients, somehow they seem surprised. I’m so glad that your Mom prints out your blog and that your brother read your posts. I think we share things about ourselves here, that even our “real world” friends don’t know about us. Maybe we should tell more people…
    Great post, Amy.
    Hugs,
    Cathy

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    1. Cathy,
      Exactly. You state is so well. We have our real blogging friends and our real world friends. A lot of times I wonder if my real world friends would care about my blog, but maybe they would if I told them. On the other hand, my blog is also a kind of safe haven for my thoughts to be shared with my trusted blogging friends. I think we do share many intimate things here that may be hard to do in the “real world” setting. I guess that’s the power of social media. We share these things here I think because we trust our audience. I’ve had some of my real world friends read my comments and they remarked how they’re surprised how open people are here. I happy my brother has read my posts, and I hope it opens up some conversation. Thanks for all your insightful comments! I appreciate them. Hugs,
      Amy

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  10. I think in some ways I’d be uncomfortable having my family read my blog . . . since it is, to me, self-contained in the WordPress sphere. But it’s like that with lots of things I write, really, though occasionally I’ll let my brother read one of my stories, and he seems to think they’re decent . . .

    Yet it would be nice to know they read and approved of it. That sounds really special. I hope things continue in that direction.

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    1. Thanks. I still post what I like, and don’t give much thought to my outside readers, family included. So far, they’re quite accepting. It has been positive for me to share with them and take a chance. Thanks for your kind thoughts and your insightful comments.

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  11. I don’t tell people in the real world I blog. There’s a blonde haired girl from Tyrell, Texas who has half a dozen of the very best love poems I could ever write that’ll never know they are there to read them. I’m like the Ghostbusters, I don’t like to cross the streams!

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    1. Oh, Seb, that’s so sweet. Perhaps the blond haired girl would like to read them some day. Is this a possibility? Or, perhaps she’s your inspiration. You can expose a lot of self in your blog, so I can understand your hesitation. Thanks for sharing that with me.

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  12. Truly wonderful post. There are several people from my real world who read my blog, and while it’s lovely when they compliment it, there are times when I wish I could be freer to reveal more on my blog, which I could only do if I were anonymous. But overall it’s great to have the mix of real world and blogging world followers. When I first started blogging, I hadn’t realised that most followers would end up being other bloggers. The blogging world is full of surprises!

    Hope you and your bro figure things out, families are complicated.

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    1. Thanks, Vanessa! I know it’s kind of a fine line, wanting to be put yourself out there, but then needing your own private space to be create as you would like, freely without any limitations or judgment. I think when we bring family into it, we might assume that they would be judgmental or view us in a certain way, because they have a perspective of us that our blogging friends do not have. And, then we reveal things to our blogging friends that we might not reveal to our real world friends. It is a strange, complex mix.

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Now, I must meet with my brother.

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  13. Sometimes it’s weird knowing that people I actually know are reading what I write. heck, some day my daughter may read what I write, and I wonder what she’ll think.

    But it’s nice that your brother enjoyed it, and I hope he gets through whatever it is that he’s going through.

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    1. I think about my kids reading my blog some day, too. What would they think? Then, I think maybe that will never happen because everything in social media seems to be so immediate. Then again, my brother read a hard copy of my blog. I guess you never know. In the end, I think the blog should be for the individual. What’s nice is no one is ever forcing you to read someone’s blog. Thanks so much for reading mine and your kind thoughts.

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  14. This is such a fabulous post. I just posted on someone else’s blog b/c I wanted to write something intimate that I was afraid would offend a person I know in real life.

    I love that your mom is printing your posts – and that your brother was reading them…and knowing that he knows you’re there for him when he’s ready to walk around the block.

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    1. Thank you so much, Denise. I guess that is always an option. You can be hidden in the blogosphere this way. Oh, so clever of you. There definitely are the separate worlds that often times do not cross. I think it’s fascinating.

      I hope my brother reads this one. Hopefully, my mom will print it out for him. Thanks.

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      1. True. I think if I were completely anonymous, my blog might be different…or maybe not! That’s cool your mom reads your blog. My mom is pretty open so I’m never too worried about my topic, yet!

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  15. I often forget that there’s a world of readers outside wordpress who see my blog. It always shocks me when someone (Like my mom) says they’ve read something. It makes me shy, in fact. I’m happier not knowing because it does make me self censor. Oh well. A good lesson in making brave choices and risks. Gotta keep it honest.

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    1. Sara, I usually don’t pay much attention to my readers outside WordPress either, forgetting they exist altogether. Of course, when they approve and are supportive, it’s a nice boost. It’s strange to think there’s an “outside.” I still try to write what I want. Like you said, keep it honest.

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  16. Tears in my eyes, now. Maybe, since your brother knows another side of you through reading your blog, he will be more forthcoming with his feelings. You are so right about our blogging friends. You guys know more about me from the inside than my family and acquaintances.

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    1. Thank you, Ly. That’s so sweet of you. I do feel like I show another side of myself, here, that may not be known to my real world friends, except for those that are really close, but even then…right? Writing shows a whole other dimension of someone.

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  17. A wonderful message. You know, I try to maintain my privacy even while I pour my heart out. That’s the way I see the artist’s job (to the extent that I’m an artist). A couple of my family members visited my blog and were not particulary moved or interested. They did like my first book about the Bronx very much, but the response to the second novel was lukewarm at best. I still think the second novel is the better one. I know my family well enough not to value their criticism too much (and they know me well enough not to value mine).
    Again, Amy, this was a fine piece. All the best!

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    1. I guess there’s a fine line in pouring your heart out and maintaining your privacy. That’s tricky. While, generally speaking, one would think your family would understand you best, I think it’s hardly the case. I found that to true when I danced. No one in my family quite got it, but of course, they still accepted and supported me.
      Stephen, thanks for your kind words. I appreciate that.

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      1. There’s a saying in Hebrew that a prophet is considered special and smart – except in his home town. I’d say more, but it’s too private. All the best as always Bumble.

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  18. Very few members of my family or my friends actually read my blog. I use to send it to them but then I figured if they wanted to read it they would subscribe. They don’t. It is wonderful that your Mother is so proud of you that she took the time to print it out. The added bonus of your brother’s
    reaction is really exciting. I know that walk is coming soon.

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    1. I wonder if when you are not a blogger, if reading someone’s blog makes you feel like a bit of an outsider. Blogging is a unique thing and not for everyone. Most people tell me they don’t have time, and it’ true that most of us seem to be short on that. I am happy my mom has taken an interest, and turned it on to my brother. I probably would have never even told my brother about my blog, thinking he wouldn’t be interested. So, I am thankful! Thanks, Michelle. I hope so, too.

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  19. Hi Amy, I’ve been taking some time away, but couldn’t help but comment when I saw your post in my email.

    I know how much you love your brother, and I know how proud you are of him. I hope he knows this too. Take that walk. The first step of any journey is always the hardest.

    Really really loved this post.

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      1. I won’t lie, It’s been a tough couple of weeks on the family front, but I’m hanging in there. I appreciate you asking. I miss everyone here on WordPress, but know I’m reading and thinking of you all.

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  20. Amy,
    I always love reading your blog, perhaps because you put so much of yourself into it.
    I really like it when people I know read my blog, when my father mentions a story he really liked, or my aunt makes comments on it. It’s nice to know there’s crossover between the blog world and the real world. 🙂

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  21. TBF,
    It’s a warm feeling when a sibling suddenly starts reading a part of your life (and enjoying it).
    The post is both touching and something that encapsulates much of what is done here is all about.
    …Or it’s a bit weird having a printed stack of this creation that can sometimes get silly.
    A.

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    1. Adam,
      It was a touching to have my brother like my stuff. Somehow it feels validating, I guess because he knows me in another light, apart from any writing I do or have done in the past. I agree this creation sometimes gets silly, and probably more so because it doesn’t feel permanent and it’s interactive. But, silly isn’t always bad. Thanks for your nice comments.
      Amy

      Like

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