Sunday, January 22, 2012

Are you there Blog? It's Me, Amanda

I've tried to make a concerted effort this year to be "real" on this blog.  Not that I was fake before, but I did worry -- like I do in real life -- that people wouldn't like me, or they would be bored, or I would just come off as a weirdo.  While I'll still try to maintain a sense of decorum -- i.e. I've been quite good about not bitching too much or too specifically about work -- I've written about things I wouldn't have written about in the past.

You wouldn't think it would be a big deal, but I was nervous about posting my collection development policy.  Why I was nervous is any one's guess (maybe it wasn't thought out enough, or had silly gaps, or was just a brazen display of unabashed ocd nerdiness), but I had so many comments from other bookish folks about their collections and bookish plans.  It made me so glad. I was piss-my-pants terrified of writing about my issues with binge eating but the response to my binge-eating post had me in happy, warm-fuzzy land.  Knowing that others - fat or thin -- struggle with the same food issues has given me so much courage to Keep Calm and Carry On.  It is the camaraderie of blogging that I love. 

This got me thinking about when and why I started blogging.  It was fall of 2004.  I had graduated from college the year prior and all of my friends moved away after graduation.  Off they went, back to other home cities and states or off to graduate programs and I was left in my little Georgia town.  I was flat broke -- no car, very little money, and extremely isolated.  I didn't know a single soul in G-ville, Georgia who loved reading like I loved reading.  No one wanted to talk Jeanette Winterson essays.  Or Mists of Avalon.  Or Angela Carter short stories.  Added to that I was a single mother and at the time I was dating an absolute moron.  Total isolation.  I went to the local coffee shop with large books in hand, but I just read.  I didn't interact with a soul.  A socially-awkward introvert, I didn't know how to walk up to someone and jump in a conversation... especially with when I tried to open conversations with "have you read A.S. Byatt?"

At this point in time my library where I worked was... for lack of a better word... a joke.  We had no director and just before my arrival several people had quit or "left" and things were a mess.  I was a copy cataloger and, alas, the system was nearly always down leaving me sitting at a desk and playing minesweeper for hours on end.

To combat extreme loneliness and boredom I decided to become a bit more active on some Yahoo book groups.  There I met this lady and this lady.  I don't remember which one of them started blogging first, but once the idea popped into my head, inspired by Andi and Heather, and once I realized "slap my ass and call me Sally there are other book nerds out there!" I was hooked.  I've blogged ever since with one hiatus of four months when I deleted my first blog (The Blog Jar) and decided to take out the trash (moronic boyfriend).

Blogging has led me to make new friendships, discover new things, and I've truly grown as a person -- and no I'm not just talking about my waistline.  I feel accepted and it is quite lovely to know that I can type out my frustrations and happy things and someone out there in the blog-o-sphere understands.

I hadn't intended on writing all of this, but I decided I might as well.  I just wanted to thank everyone who leaves comments and the lurkers.  And thanks for writing such great material out there for me to read.  The great thing about blogging is that it isn't one-sided!

Okay, now it is time to hope off of my Oscar-speech box and head to bed.  Atticus has pinkeye so I'll be home from work tomorrow and chasing a rambunctious little one through the house from 5am on.  G'night!


Jillian said...

I'm a lurker! Sending good thoughts to you, Amanda. I feel the same about blogging. :)

Susan in TX said...

Thank you for continual inspiration!

Amanda said...

I have been more lurker than commenter until recently. :) Either way, though, I'm glad to know you.

Andi said...

YAY! for blogging camaraderie! I was just thinking on the way to work this morning that I need to send you a good ole fashion letter like we use to exchange. I *heart* you and Heather!

Amanda said...

Thanks, Jillian!

Andi! We need to ramp back up the penpalness! Seriously, send me your address!

Rebecca Reid said...

I can relate to your story! Thanks for blogging and sharing your story, and we hope you stick around.