Friday, July 4, 2008

And Let Freedom Ring . . .

The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions. ~Adlai Stevenson, speech, New York City, 28 August 1952

I remember how quiet it was in the very early morning hours. J was only a couple months old. I was awake with him nestled in my lap, his head lying on my thigh, one hand gripping my shirt. It was 1 a.m. Maybe 3 a.m. I'm not sure I ever knew what time it was in those early days.

The only light came from the glow of the monitor. I moved the mouse around as I searched. For what, I was never really sure. . .

Until the early morning hours when I stumbled upon a site written by her. I scrolled down the page. And then another. And another. There were stories of her children. There were pictures of them laughing. She discussed PPD. She told funny anecdotes about her past. She put herself out there and shared her life . . . the good and the not so good. Although I am certain there were challenges along the way, she struck a balance between being mom, wife, and woman. I admired that.

I had no blog at the time. I barely knew what it was. So, I visited her blog on a regular basis. Never leaving a comment, but thinking genius replies in my head. After doing what I later learned was called "blog hopping," I decided it might be time . . .

In the early morning hours, cradling my newborn in my lap, I realized that blogging appeared to be something more than the words and pictures on a screen. It was freedom. It was a chance to connect across cities, states, countries. It was an opportunity to learn from others and share with others. It was a place where I could . . . just be. The possibilities were endless.

So . . .

I started a blog of my own. I found more blogs. I connected with more people. I was laughing, crying, ranting, and praying with and for these people. I would venture to say that I have even started some real, honest to goodness friendships. And, this former English teacher even gets to indulge in her passion for writing every so often. Of course, let's not forget my inspiration . . . the chubby bald (becoming fuzzier by the day) kid with a crooked tooth and a smile to die for.

My blog is forever a work in progress. I'm not always sure as to what my ultimate purpose is, but I do know that for me it represents far more than words or pictures on a screen. For me, it is a freedom. To connect. To express. To engage. A freedom to be me.

So I ask you, who set you free? Who inspired you (whether they know it or not) to start a blog? What is your ultimate goal when writing your blog? What have been your biggest challenges? And finally, how has writing your blog set you free?

Please take moment and share your responses in the comment section. I'm eager to see how you got started in the blogging world.

*I'm certain there was a meme similar to this floating around. If you did it, leave a comment with the link to that post (if you can find it!) OR if you decide to dedicate a post of your own to this, be sure to let me know so I can read it.


I wish you all a wonderful weekend.

Let freedom ring!

A very big THANK YOU to all those men and women who work to preserve our freedoms every single day.

32 comments:

Mr Lady said...

You know what's awesome? Adding someone to your reader, and managing to be the 1st, not the 60th, commenter.

One: Thank you. That YOU were inspired by silly old ME is an honor that I am pretty sure I don't deserve. I am humbled.

Two: Once upon a time, there was a boy. That boy met me ONCE and called his mother to tell her that he'd met The One. We became best friends. He arranged, without me knowing it, to get me to a family bbq of his. I went, and loved them all instantly. And then he realized I was married. That boy is now my kids godfather, and his mother is frequently mentioned on my blog; we call her Gigi. She is my very best friend in the universe.

She used to have a blog called A School Yard Blog. She was a former math teacher and blogged about education. It was the first blog I'd ever read. I didn't even know what a blog was at the time. I started reading more and more edu and poli blogs, and thought, Hey, I could do this, too, but write about my kids and the PTA.

And that's how I started. About 2 years later, I figured out that someone else had the same idea as me. About one billion someone else's, in fact.

And that's how I fell into the world of mommy-bloggin'.

Three: Longest Comment Ever. Apologies!

Danielle said...

Great pst! My husband was my inspiration to start a blog. I never read one blog until I started my own blog. I had never even heard the word blog before my husband muttered it to me as a way to not feel so lonely while home with a newborn. It has been about 6 months and now I am a addict! My goal for my blog is always changing. What I want it to be is an outlet for my thoughts and a medium for sharing with other women. Happy 4th!

noble pig said...

My inspiration was to be able to ducument my journey of buying vineyard property (done), planting it, building a new home and winery while I cook and raise my kids.

Yes I have been set free!

Rachel H. said...

My sister introduced me to blogging--about a year and a half ago. I had no idea before that what it really even was.

I started out posting 2-3 times per month. But after the first couple months, I suddenly was on a blogging streak and wrote every other day or so. I realized how much of an outlet it gave me...a place where I was actually acknowledged--my thoughts, feelings, ideas--being at home with kids all day is WONDERFUL, but hard at the same time. And it felt so good to know that I could still have communication with "the outside world" AND be at home.

I now blog every day--I hate if I miss a day because I have so much to catch up on. It has given me inspiration to take pictures, to remember funny things the kids are saying or doing, and to sometimes vent about things that are going on in my life...

I say blogging is definitely a form of freedom I enjoy...

But I never really thought of it that way before. Thanks for sharing your great post!

Laura said...

Funny how it takes one blog to spark the attention and interest.

I really enjoy your blog...thanks for sharing. Let Freedom Ring...

Happy July 4th

Veggie Mom said...

The Blogosphere is a pretty amazing thing, isn't it? I love sharing, and the blog is helping me to chronicle not only the present, but the past (today's post is a great example!). Hope you and yours have an amazing 4th of July weekend. Thanks for sharing!

Tracey said...

Hmmm. I don't know that it was another blog or what. In fact, I can't remember when I was truly introduced to it... I may have to meditate and read over my first posts to truly remember.

ANYway. I have always kept journals. When I saw that there was a place to keep good journals online with EASE, I jumped right on board.

Had I known how important a title would have been, I might have rethought it... :)

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

The first blog I read was Samantha at Little Dragon Fruit (on my blogroll). Then I moved on to RubySoho, which is now called thematically fickle (also on my blog roll). From thematically fickle, I found Mrs. G. at Derfwad Manor, and she opened the front door wide open. I didn't realize so many women were blogging and what a supportive group of "neighbors" were out there until I started reading Derfwad.

Great post today, really great!

Happy 4th.

Eve Grey said...

The link didn't work for me... I started blogging very anonymously with no photos or anything but it was too confessional and I was worried it would be discovered so then I started my new blog just as a way to connect with others and document a bit of my life.
Happy 4th~!

Kami said...

I started shortly after friends of ours went on a 6 month trip around the world. The blogged the trip and it suddenly occurred to me that I could start one of my own to share stories and picture of the kids.

Then I met Dutchblitz (Angella), at a work function and was introduced to this commmunity of people and I have been hooked since.

Great post, I love the analogy to freedom. Happy 4th of July my American friend!

Karen said...

Etsy actually started me blogging. So many Etsyians had them to promote their crafts that I joined the bandwagon. Soon I found that blogging about making things was boring for me and mind-numbing for my readers. Now I blog about the family. It truly is a freedom and release, and I use it more as a diary of our family to look back on than to entertain the masses. Although that's a good thing, too.

Colleen said...

Reading and keeping up with Amalah...she's in the DC area and her little Noah is about 15 months younger than Gavin. What she wrote was often what I was thinking, or what I wanted to do, or what I recently went through. You could see her vulnerability in her writing...it was so real. And I branched out from there and eventually talked Justin into helping me start a blog because I had lots of stupid things in my head to share. And I was so incredibly tickled to see that others don't mind reading the bologna I put out there because I certainly am not a writer (depsite the millions of papers I had to write in college for my major). I never thought I'd make and cultivate friends...such a wonderful "side affect". :)

Pregnantly Plump said...

I started blogging for a not so free reason -- work. I used to work in online communities and was told I needed to get involved in them to understand what I was attempting to program. Since I left that job, my writing has become a lot more free, I suppose.
But I'm writing my blog for my son. It may be wishful thinking, but I would love for him to have access to all of this when he is older.
What a great post!

Karen MEG said...

Great meme hidden in a post LOL! I love the way you linked it all together. Blogging is about freedom for me in a way too.

My inspiration to blog was indeed my kids as well. What started as an online journal to capture the little moments and thoughts about being a SAHM of two after working a busy career for 16 years (that didn't allow any real creativity in writing - but they don't tell you how isolating it can be at home with young children at first)... morphed once I found other moms that I knew who had blogs ... and then I ventured out a bit further to find others, moms and non-moms, just people that I DIDN'T know IRL. People that I really enjoyed reading about; and feeling connected to.

I am constantly astounded by the talent and the people who are blogging. It's an amazing place.

Tranny Head said...

For me? It was "Notes from the Trenches." I actually googled "ear deformed ipod headset" or something like that one day . . . because i noticed I have a problem with my right year. Not the left one. The right one - the stupid ipod headset earbud keeps falling out. Anyway, that blog had a whole post on it and after I finished laughing, I read through EVERY ONE of her back posts and then decided I should jump on the bandwagon.

Manager Mom said...

I wish I could say I had a noble or heartwarming experience like yours.. but I started my blog because I wasn't happy at work and needed a creative outlet. Then I found out about dooce and how she got fired, so I'm more or less afraid to write anything of real substance about the work stuff anyway... Oh well, happy 4th to you!

Mandi said...

Fantastic Post!!!

I was inspired by Jennifer H (my sister in law), I stalked around for a while, then took the plunge.

I write mostly at work during my lucnh hour.

I makes me feel connected to others like me and it makes me feel like I have people around me who appreciate me.

I am not very good at bloging but getting better.

Always try to leave some message when I read a blog.

Thank you - happy 4th july!!

Kathryn said...

We are all so lucky that you decided to start blogging! You are a treasure! :)

A friend of mine started a blog right after she moved away. She wanted her friends and family to be able to see pics of her kids on a regular basis. After visiting her site I thought, Huh!, this is a great idea! I really had no idea what blogging was when I started.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

The long answer is here:
http://jugglinglife.typepad.com/juggling_life/2008/02/i-blog-therefor.html

Now I shall read the rest of the comments.

Kareer Woman said...

GREAT POST!!!

Nap Warden said...

I was searching for some kind of Mom group...I felt so isolated being at home with two napping babies. I found Blonde Mom Blog and started reading it...soon after, I started my own blog.
I don't consider myself a writer, there are so many great writers out there. I think of myself as more of a chronicler...

Wendi said...

Fabulous post!
I love YOUR story.
My story?
I started a blog simply to keep my family connected.
Just to post photos of the kids and maybe tell a funny story about them every now and then.
The goals for my blog are much different now.
Sure my kids are still my main focus.
They are still the reason I want to document the good, the bad, and the ugly.
But along the way I have met some incredible women.
Some incredible writers.
Some incredible mothers.
I feel a connection to them.
I look forward to hearing about their day.
Blogging has set me free in ways I can not describe.
Not long ago... my husband would come home and I would be sitting in the middle of my kitchen floor sobbing.
Crying over all the things that went wrong and didn't get done.
Thanks to my blog...I just write about it.
It has helped me feel a void and be creative.
Heck, it may have saved my life.
Or my sanity!
Happy Fourth!!!

Jennifer said...

Fantastic blog! Kudos to you! I was set free by my sister, Candace (this little light of mine) who taught me about blogging. I had heard about it on myspace, but I just couldn't put myself out there. After finding blogger and watching what she wrote, I knew I needed to add my 2 cents. Also, finding Blurb, I decided that it was THE BEST way to chonicle our lives and make an easy "scrapbook." I guess I'll have to blog about Blurb real soon!

Aunt Becky said...

I started blogging to tell stories, and I found that I liked it. I outgrew my first blog and wound up with my new one. I find it helps me to connect with other people, which is of huge importance. I don't have a ton of friends with kids, so I navigated these waters without a guide. That is, until I met people just like me. It was awesome.

SWC said...

My friend Mary was my inspiration. If you visit my page I am linked to her (Just my Thoughts...). Anyway, she is very real and very cool and told me that the way she let's go of things and works out "stuff" in her life is through blogging. So, I tried it a few years ago and it stuck. I did Yahoo 360, which is now basically defunct and you cannot start a new one. I lost my whole blog last year after I dropped by SBC account. It was very depressing because my life was written in there. I'm over it now but I still wish I had all of it.

Stacie said...

good post...
I started my blog out of peer pressure, but after reading other blogs...I felt like, hmmm, I can do this. BESIDES, I really use it as my journal about my feelings, about my kids, about EVERYTHING AND anything my heart desires. I don't know if there is REAL purpose other than reliving my brain from circling around in my head and driving me crazy. It just feels good to get it out! I do share about my kids and hope that one day we can all look back and see just how far we all have come!

Elaine A. said...

My friend Lisa from church choir inspired me to start a blog but I had absolutely NO idea what a community it was until about 9 months ago.

My ultimate goals are to document our lives and to entertain whoever reads, in some form or fashion.

My biggest challenge so far has been walking away from the computer! HA!

I believe it's set me free by giving me an outlet for creativity, photography, writing and just life stuff. I feel free just letting it out sometimes.

Thanks for asking and thanks for a great post!

Sandy C. said...

What an amazing post. Seriously, you are awesome :)

I love MrLady as well.

I can relate to your post so well. I too was inspired by another blogger. Someone whom I admired greatly for her writing, talent and just ability to seemingly do it all with grace. It was Kerflop. Sadly, her blog no longer exists :(

Kristi said...

I never thought I would hvae a blog. that was for OTHER PEOPLE. Then my friend Deb sent me an email one day asking everybody to visit her blog. When I did, I noticed that she had been doing it for a very long time and a person who I had known for over 12 years had a whole other life. I spent hours reading her blog and being scared to comment because I was afraid of invading her personal space. I found things about myself and my family...stories a I hadn't remembered in years and actually found myself crying a few times.

She helped me start one of my own this past January. I use it for several purposes. I love to share with my family pictures and events of our family. I love to keep in touch with friends. I have loved meeting so many amazing people.

But the thing I have found the most comforting is discovering just how much I enjoy writing. When I write about an experience, big or small, good or bad, it helps me to sort through it in my mind. It has brought me closure to hurtful experiences.

I have become an addict and had to work hard to sort through priorities and know when it is an dis not appropriate to sit down at the computer. It has been a leaning curve all the way. i can't imagine letting my blogging go at this time in my life.

Thanks for letting me share. Have a great day.

Confessions of A Mississippi Mom said...

Great inspirational blog, I love to blog. It is great way to relate to others parents.

By the way I love your's *wink*

happy 4th!!

Steph said...

I knew what blogs were and I read them on all sorts of topics at websites but I never really thought I could write one. Then one day I felt the urge to vent my feelings but not to those who know me, so I started my blog then someone commented and made me feel better like I was not alone and that is where it all began!

Lindsey said...

I like the whole community thing. My bloggy friends. I really needed it since I'm staying at home. I do miss adult interaction and this helps.

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