Sunday, April 24, 2011


As I spent the past week starting a new position, I found myself smiling and nodding a bunch. I had so many names and faces to learn (which is still in process), as well as tasks, acronyms, and preferences. You never know what people like in their documentation until you work with them for a while.

As my trainer was leaving this week, one of his co-workers told him that he needed to make sure to keep in touch. Mind you, he will still be working with our organization every so often, just in a different capacity. He made friendships while he was there. One of the women came over and told him that he needed to keep in touch. He said that he would, and also offered to give this woman a link to his family blog.

Since she is one of the older people on the floor, she took the time to ask a question: "What is a blog anyway? I just don't get it."

We tried to explain to her that it was a web log, but that many people were using them as personal journals these days. It offered you an opportunity to be a part of someone's life vicariously.

She seemed pleased with that answer, but it got me thinking why I blog. So here is part of my answer.

When I was in college, I had the opportunity to take a creative non fiction course. I had to write all about myself, and even though it was really hard for me to do at first, I really enjoyed it. I didn't mind the writing part of it, but I didn't really care for complete strangers reading these frank internal dialogues that I was penning down. They didn't expose any deep dark secrets, but I felt quite exposed telling people some of the inner workings of my mind.

One of our last assignments was to write an outline for a memoir, should we ever write one. She wanted us to consider using some of the work we had already created during the semester as some of the chapters for this work. We just had to create an outline with a rough sketch of what would be in the chapter to get us thinking about how easy it would be to write a book and hopefully encourage us to do so.

I did find it easy, although I didn't bother typing any of my plan out after that class. While I was doing it though, I thought how cool it would be to have a book from people I admire that was kind of a daily journal that would parallel my life. For example, how fun would it be to have a book written by my dad or father-in-law explaining their struggles when they were relatively new fathers trying to establish themselves in a career. I would welcome their insights and want to learn more about what they went through.

Often times when we meet people, we meet an end product. We know them as they are today, but not the story behind how they got there. If you ask that question, memory fuzzes that quite a bit. The nebula that is our brain is bright in some spots, and pretty dark in other spots. Even the most well-intentioned answer is clouded by years of time that sometimes cannot be brought into focus. And other times, we don't want to relive the answer.

In a world where teens think their parents are too old to understand, or where young parents are struggling with the responsibilities that come with adulthood, don't you think it would be nice to know that those who you look up to have already fought those battles? Instead of seeing just the finished product, you could see the roughly-hewn stone.

And this is why I blog. I want my kids to know that I was not always the curmudgeon that they see as teenagers. I want them to know why I make the choices I make, and I want them to see how I got there. In short, although I enjoy keeping this blog, it really isn't for me.

So Munchkin (et al), you better appreciate it someday, or else...


Lana said...

A very insightful blog! I loved the sentence "Often times when we meet people, we meet an end product." There is so much truth to that because we don't see the process or the whole person. Many times we see people only for their strengths and ignore the other parts. My most recent post "Our Own Histories" is somewhat related to your post here because it discusses how quickly people and events from our own pasts can be lost within our own lifetimes.

As a side note-I'm glad you have a job!!!!!

Johnny said...

I've just been thinking a lot about people lately, and since I am at such a beginning place in my work, people don't really know what I can do yet. I think this is part of the reason why people are so nervous when someone new comes on board—you only see their beginning, and not what they'll become.

As a side note, I'm glad I have a job too!