If one experience or life change results from you writing your blog, what would you like it to be?
I know I’m a day late. Hopefully I’m not a dollar short. The experience I hoped to gain from blogging was an increase in friendship and a boost in confidence.
I am by nature a shy person. My Mother was so reserved she couldn’t wait to get married so she could quit working and stay home and not have to face people on a daily basis. There were times when she was almost agoraphobic. She just didn’t like people and social situations. She was my role model.
When I began kindergarten, I remember the room was bordered on two sides by windows. I can remember watching my Mother walking away. I ran all the way around the room, following the windows, crying and yelling, “Wait! Come back!” Because I had not been socialized much as a child (I only saw my cousins for play dates), the first day of school was devastating. I spent the day with a soggy Kleenex in hand. The teacher let me be first in line, and I got to open the doors for everyone else and then the class waited until I caught up and could take the lead position again.
It didn’t get better in school for a few years. In second grade, I was going to the nurse sick every morning and again crying and saying I had to go home. I remember telling them, “My Mother needs me.” Unfortunately for me, the nurse broke me of that habit one morning by sending me back to class before I had a chance to compose myself. I walked into the room, still sniveling and crying. Of course all the kids stared at me. That was worse than missing my Mom so I got my act together after that.
A favorite teacher in High School told me, “You are not shy. You are reserved.” She made me feel better about my lack of confidence and dislike of social situations. She was also trying hard to prepare me for the working world.
My first long-term job was at a computer services company. I remember the office manager there telling me how much fun it was watching me come out of my shell. As I gained experience in the working world, my confidence and social skills improved.
Some of the biggest confidence gains I have made have been related to my return to college. As most of you who have read my blog know, I went back to school late in life to get my college degree. I have very much enjoyed it, and even I can see the changes in my confidence and personality.
As for the blog, when my hubby began his career as an over the road trucker, I missed him dreadfully. We had been together day in/day out for over 20 years. To suddenly go from being together every day to just seeing him for 34 hours on the weekends was a hard blow. I was depressed and cried a lot. A very wise friend of mine suggested blogging. She told me I needed something just for me. I started out with Blogger because it seemed the easiest platform to figure out. I enjoyed writing, but there was no feedback as to whether what I wrote was any good or not.
In my degree program, we began to learn about content management systems such as Joomla!, WordPress and Drupal. After the school experience with CMS, I decided to export my Blogger site to WordPress. What a difference. I have been so impressed with WordPress, and at last I found the friendship and feedback piece I had been seeking. The community at WordPress is the best part of the entire site. I still enjoy writing, but I love reading what others write and following their blogs. The discussion back and forth and the support of others have meant the world to me. I think it has made me a better writer.
So, yes, I believe that even though I’ve only been blogging for a year this August, and I’ve only been part of WordPress since May, I have already accomplished what I set out to do. I have gained a lot in terms of confidence, and I am making friends on a daily basis. Bloggers are cool people. I hope this never ends.