I've found a blessing in blogging. An honest to goodness blessing, a re-awakening of the senses, a newfound appreciation of the great and the horrible that surround me, a conscience regained, a faith renewed.
I started blogging about three months ago in the hopes of re-discovering myself. I was hoping that somehow the writing would help me come to grips with the inexplicable invisible cloud that had woven its way into my heart. I was desperate to get to the bottom of whatever disease of the soul was ailing me.
I started writing all about me, all about me in the ME, trying to find out what was wrong with me. But somewhere along, quite quickly in fact, my take on 'me' began to change. Three months in I obviously still write about me (that's more than obvious in every single post title), but my take on 'me', my approach to 'me' is rapidly changing.
I'm not looking inward so much for inspiration these days. More and more, my inspiration, my energy and my motivation for writing are coming from what is happening around me, from what influences me and from the influence I can have on what happens around me.
It started with re-reading my posts (yes, I admit, I do re-read my posts occasionally; not only to boost my viewing stats, but also to try to gain a greater understanding of what I was feeling 'then' and what, if anything, has changed 'now').
I've realized that I don't like much of what I write. I've realized that if I wasn't me, I really wouldn't want to read about me in the ME. I've realized that I have become a bellybutton gazer, focused so much on my own navel that I've lost touch with what is really important: living and breathing. I've realized that my writing is a reflection of what I've become.
And I don't like it.
Reading 'me' has led to a disinterest in all that is purely 'me'. It has propelled me to read others who have a more meaningful, appreciative, humorous or positive tale to tell. It's pushed me to slowly emerge from this cocoon I've woven around me, to seek out old friends and invite them over for a coffee, a glass of wine, a whine or a belly laugh. It's made me to look at my Soldier and my kiddo with new appreciation, made me want to protect them from the frustration and desperation I see oozing out into this fibre optic page. It's made me want to get back to the old 'me'.
I find myself making a concerted effort to seek out blog-worthy tales. I find myself reflecting more on my day and what's happened around me, not TO me, that has made me smile or made me rage. I find myself listening a lot more closely to what other people have to say. I find myself rediscovering that others have much more worthy, interesting, tragic and funny tales than me. I find myself appreciating tiny little moments that seemed meaningless just a few short months ago. Some days these moments may be reflected in my blog, but on days where I can't find the time to commit them all to this screen, I hope these moments are simply reflected in me.
It's nothing short of miraculous to me. It's not so much what is landing on the page that is changing. It's more what is going into the page that is changing. It's not so much that I'm not thinking about me. It's more that I'm thinking about the me I want to rediscover. It's not so much that my writing has changed. It's that my perspective is changing, my priorities are changing, my interests are expanding, my dreams are re-igniting, my hope is resurfacing, my faith is renewed.
I'm regaining insight, I'm regaining an appreciation for what I have, and an appreciation for what many around me don't.
Last weekend, I listened as a woman I barely knew told me about her struggles in the ME. About how she wrestled with what she knows to be right in her heart, and what she feels is wrong with the ME. About how her marriage has fallen apart in the ME. About how she's lost her identity in the ME.
And it was just today that I realized that all I did was listen. I didn't compare myself to her, didn't compare my struggles to hers. I didn't try to put myself in her shoes. I didn't try to tell her it would be ok. We both knew it wouldn't. I just listened.
That's the biggest change. That's the biggest blessing. I'm learning how to listen again. Because sometimes listening is truly the best I can do. Because there are so many other tales to be told. Because there are so many other tales that need to be heard. Because it's not all about me.