As part of my writing class, I’m part of a private Facebook group that has been asked about our ideal reader. What does our ideal reader or our audience look like, etc.? I’ll be honest, I don’t have a particular type of person in mind. I’m just grateful that someone out there is reading this, and that some have taken the time to leave comments.
When I blogged previously, I had a runner’s blog. At first, I thought it was such an original idea. No, really… I did… I was going to stay accountable and keep my family completely up to date on what was going on in my life. So, you can imagine my surprise when most of my family members didn’t read it, either frequently or at all. Instead, complete strangers did. I met a lot of really wonderful people in the online world, and I still talk with some of them, 5 years later! I have even met some of them! In person! Imagine!!
Over time, I built up my daily hits and if that had been my only concern about blogging, I would have kept up with it. Instead, life got in the way. I got divorced and, not surprisingly, was diagnosed as being clinically depressed. It’s been three years since that low point in my life, and I have really fought my way up out of that dark cave. I remember tweeting that day that it was going to be the longest day of my life. It was. And if you are wondering, yes, I also quit Twitter. I needed to crawl into myself, that is the best way I can describe what I needed. Blogging just didn’t hold that allure for me anymore.
Today, I am not ashamed to admit that I still take anti-depressants. When I first acknowledged it on my old blog, my mother told my sister she was concerned that I was so open about it. She worried that it didn’t “look right” and that any future employers would find that post and not want to hire me because of it. I no longer care about things like that. With the medicine, support of some great friends and loving siblings, and an amazing clinical social worker, I don’t find myself crying on a daily basis and constantly hating myself.
I no longer feel the need to completely pack full all of my non-working hours with projects and events just so I could be in a state of constant motion. In fact, I now relish the quiet and free time to just sit and think, read, study for my CES exam, hang out with my animals, blog, and watch YouTube videos on tiny houses or simple living. In fact, I no longer even own a TV.
I’m no longer afraid to be with myself. I’m comfortable in my own skin. I am learning to slow down and notice the beauty of the outside world, the multiple colors in the sky just as dawn is breaking. Or the clouds in the sky at sunset, like in the picture above. As I ride along the bike paths lining the Charles River on my way home from work, I sometimes let myself slow down, stop, and then just hang out and watch some of the crew teams go powering by. (I’ve always been memorized by how the 8 (wo)man boat can move along so quickly, and seemingly so effortlessly.)
I have heard from some friends that reading my blog helps and inspires them. So, I guess, when I think of my ideal reader or audience, it’s someone who gets inspired by my words. Or, someone who has dreams and is trying to figure out how to accomplish them, which steps to take to constantly keep moving forward. (I guess the motto of my old blog still holds true, I’m still “moving forward with optimism.”) It is someone who is trying to break through his/her fears, realizing that as long as those fears still hang around, there is no room for dreams to walk through the door. It is someone who realizes or is learning that you don’t always have to choose the safest path in life.
It’s the person who has read this entire blog post. Thank you, whoever you are.