21 July 2010

What we share

I noticed today that I follow and read a lot of blogs written by people who do not live where they were born; I am fascinated by the ex-pat, it would seem. One of my very favorites is written by a French woman who lives in the United States. And though I have a feeling that her blog would be just as beautiful if she were living in her native France, I wonder if she would have ever come to write it.

It seems to me that blogs often serve as a kind of travel log, and for many they have turned life into a journey, or allowed it to redeem itself back into one. I do love a good food blog, but the ones I enjoy most involve narrative, discovery, and the delight--on the part of the writer--of finding something new.

Longing to get away, be away, run away, is a symptom of burnout, or the result of it, or both. When we feel down, stuck, or aren't feeling at all, our minds (very naturally) turn to wondering what is the trouble.

Do I need to find a new job? I really, do, actually, dislike my house/city/car/partner. Something needs to change! But what is it? If I could only figure it out...

This effort to "figure out" what's wrong is the hallmark of being stuck in our minds. When we are trying to use the very thing that has us stuck to figure out how to get unstuck, we are truly in the labyrinth. And not the good kind.

Rather than trying to figure something out, writing about life, whether in a blog, letter, or journal entry, can be very therapeutic. It brings to life perspective, helps us see what is happening from a different vantage point, and encourages us to highlight the positive. Which is what therapists try to get their clients to do every day!

The bloggers I really enjoy write about the celebrations of life, post pictures of what they're most proud of, focus on what feels good and true in their life. I have to remember as I read them, though, that these folks are just folks, and that what I am seeing is not them, but the things about their life and self that they love most. It is so easy to get caught up in making someone you admire a super-human when they are not. No one is!

So the next time you are reading a blog and perhaps simultaneously enjoying it and muttering under your breath about how 'of course it's great to live in beautiful french village' remember that a blog is not a whole person, it is what they are choosing to share. And chances are, it is a way in which they are enriching and dealing with their own life. Which is a human life, full of folly and foibles, pain, disappointment, and the days where things just don't go right. Just like the rest of us!
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