My sister and I discussed my blog last summer and she gave me very good advice. She noted that my writing was “all over the place” – sometimes funny, sometimes serious, sometimes trivial, sometimes emotional, sometimes analytical. I deal with issues in parenting, adoption, houseplants, race, cultural differences, traveling, immigrating, teaching, politics, childhood memories, religion, marriage, pets, and Cheetos. She thought I should try to focus more on “one thing”. Of course, she was right.
And yet, I ignored her and kept on rambling about whatever topic happened to occupy my thoughts on any given day, usually trying to tie it in to some past experience or memory. Today, I was presented with the gift of an answer to this dilemma – a counter-argument, so to speak. I am not chaotic, unfocused and directionless. I am . . .
I looked up the word and it is a fairly fitting description of the chaos that is this blog. I particularly liked the botanical definition. It refers to a part of a plant that is only loosely connected, allowing it to move in all directions and swing freely in the wind.
So . . . thank you so much Hannah for the debate help as well as the recommendation – it’s touching and, to be honest, sort of daunting. Apparently I am now supposed to say seven more things about myself after the 149 posts of the past 11 months, essentially all of which have consisted of me saying stuff about myself. Suddenly I find it hard to come up with seven more. I think I will put that off till later.
I am also supposed to recommend 15 other bloggers – an assignment that sends me directly into the confession booth without passing go or collecting 200 dollars. You see, I have been concentrating more on the writing than the reading and have clicked that “follow” button very few times so far. (I am planning on getting around to that, really, I am.) The second problem is that I am always wary of things that resemble chain-letters, pyramid schemes, or Facebook posts ordering you to “Share this in the next 15 seconds if you love your mom and want lots of money to come your way and don’t want to burn in hell for all eternity”. On the other hand, I have no problem suggesting a few good reads. So . . .
I recommend Hannah’s site back – first because it has the greatest blog name ever (“Love You to the Milkyway”) and second because every post teaches me something new about autism and finding the right attitude toward living with it. I also love reading Nara’s “From zero to zygote” which intersects with my own life in a myriad of ways. Nara has also generously offered to take custody of my Gingerbread Man after I leave this earth. (You thought I was kidding, didn’t you, Nara?) “My Perfect Breakdown” never fails to hurl me back into the harder times of my own past (dealing with loss and the trials of adoption). I am really looking forward to following her blog and vicariously (re-)experiencing the future release and the fulfillment of dreams coming her way. When I need a really good laugh, Blair’s “The Shameful Sheep” is a sure thing. Seriously. Every time. Susanne’s “Bild-des-Tages” is a daily treat for those of you who speak German – a short poetic description of one impression from the day and a great daily reminder about fully experiencing the little moments of life. “The Adventures of Fanny P.” is filled with entertaining episodes in parenting as well as living in a foreign country. (I am saving a little space here for a future edit. Someday, I will go back and type in a recommendation for Boo Hansen’s blog which is due to appear any day now. C’mon, Sis. We had a deal. My ballet clothes are standing by.) And to save the most personally significant for last, I love reading Lyart’s “Floatsome” because it is simply cool to connect daily with your best friend who lives in a different place – not to mention the added benefit of getting an art education in the process. Her blog is also a treasure trove for gardeners. Or so I assume.
And now, all that remains is to write the seven NEW things about myself for Hannah (i.e. potential fodder for future blog posts):
1. I have good friends who voted for a Communist Party candidate. I would have too, if I were allowed to vote here.
2. My Fifth Grade teacher changed my life.
3. My first love dumped me in a particularly spectacular way. At some point in the future, I might write about it and then challenge my readers to outdo my story with an even worse one.
4. I knit and crochet. I enjoy the process. The results are disappointing.
5. I’ve discovered that having an old dog – especially one who has gone blind, deaf, lame, senile and incontinent – can teach a person something about the true nature of love.
6. I am happy with my life. I attribute that fact as much to luck as to my own decisions.
7. My mom is awesome.