A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world.
This is the one-year anniversary of my blog, which begs the question, “Why blog?” Why do people publicly journal? I do not know exactly, except that the number of blogs is up from 35 million in 2006 to over 200 million in 2012.
During a life space where I have interaction with zero to a handful of adults on any given day, a blog becomes something of a security blanket, an echo chamber, and a confidant all rolled into one. At the very least, I get an echo from reading what I post, and at very most I can process some thoughts by putting them in a place that can be shared or ignored by a minuscule audience on any given day. Whether you have thousands or a single follower of a blog, you can be certain something you express will resonate with at least a single person – yourself.
Nature never said to me: Do not be poor. Still less did she say: Be rich. Her cry to me was always: Be independent.
~ Nicolas de Chamfort, writer (1741-1794)
This quote has been jingling around in my mind. Even as I earn a living with technology (far from the latest and greatest – don’t own an i-Anything) while wishing I could live in nature more than a few hours each week, finding this quote allowed me to recognize why I have been able to do the work I do. Independence.
To me, the most noble endeavor of any soul on Earth is to help others while here in the physical realm. I have a vision of what I want to do to serve others (Healing Outdoors), but have not found a viable way there yet. Instead, each day 8-10 hours a day during much of the past 18 years of my life, I have done an invisible job that can be stifling. I believe it is of service in one sense – accurately capturing hundreds of thousands of people’s medical traumas that hopefully helps with medical care – and that is what makes it palatable.
I can go an entire week without talking to a single other person than my child. I can complain about my job’s low pay and forced sedentarism. But my job has allowed me to avoid the cost of a commute, and I have been able to avoid the cost of childcare for most of my one-person income decade. That’s independence in an age where a majority of single mothers live in poverty.
I voluntarily left my second job 2 months ago and with that some independence. I need to ask for help to meet basic needs and rely on others again. Someday I will get to where I want to be, serving others in a way that feels more meaningful and provides all basic needs, but for now, I bow in gratitude to the independence I have experienced.
A blog and a job both can be places for independence in action. Just like my weekly 7-mile solo hike in the natural world where I feel less alone than any other time.