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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Making sense of ourselves

Here I am world. Hear me. Sense my presence. Feel my pain. Acknowledge my existence. Relate to my experience. Read my words. Remember me when I'm gone.

I was touched by Anna Quindlen's January 22, Newsweek piece called, "Write for Your Life: Wouldn't all of us love to have a journal, a memoir, a letter, from those we have loved and lost? Shouldn't all of us leave a bit of that behind?" Her essay was about the movie Freedom Writers and how a teacher inspired her students to write not for other people, but for themselves. She wrote that the kids "embraced a concept that has been lost in modern life: writing can make pain tolerable, confusion clearer and the self stronger." I learned this lesson when I was in high school, and it has continued to help me through the good and the bad that I have experienced--although the bad seems to fuel much more expressive prose.

The movie "is about the power of writing in the lives of ordinary people," wrote Quindlen. While I completely agree with the benefits of writing, I think Quindlen failed to recognize the importance of what is happening with blogs. This is why so many of us write. Most of us are just regular people with regular lives trying to figure it all out. We are putting pieces of ourselves out there for others to read, to relate to, to extinguish our own feelings of isolation, to reach out, to connect, to be. Through that desire, we ultimately are writing for ourselves, as therapy, to work out difficult emotions, to get through the pain of our own trials and tribulations, and to show that we are here. And even if no one sees us, there is proof that we existed through our words.

Our medium may not be those black and white composition notebooks or pretty journals. Our medium is the computer, the keyboard, the Internet. Ultimately, regardless of whether or not anyone reads our words--although we like it when people do--it really comes down to us helping ourselves.


  1. So write "right"
    Blogging helped me deal with all of those hello's and goodbye's that being a foster mom brings. I often wonder if I would have lost my sanity if I wouldn't have had my space to vent and rationalize what was going on. Life has lots of hurts and excitments. To look back and read each one of them I can truely reflect on what I have learned,enjoyed and remember some of the mistakes that I have made so I didn't/dont do them again.

  2. Agreed. And blogging takes time and energy. Why do you think it has taken over the internet by storm? People want to be heard. No matter what the medium.

    As always, great post! ;-)