I won’t tell most people about it until they become Facebook friends and only because at that point they have to find out.
Because once you become a Facebook friend, you will indeed find out as I am required to share my Chicago Parent posts on my personal page and then down the rabbit hole you go…
So I make very cautious decisions as to who I let into my inner circle.
I know this sounds all snooty and elitist but I swear it’s not.
It is literally this: I am a little afraid of telling people about this blog.
A very public secret.
When I first started this blog, I didn’t intend to tell anyone outside of my closest family and friends.
In fact, it was started as a lark, a fun little thing to do as a release.
Nothing more, nothing less.
I didn’t intend to make it a career or a business venture, not a writing thing or to try to get a book deal out of it.
I had no motives, I just opened the computer all alone in my basement and started writing words on an empty page.
So as I am now entering my fifth year of doing this, having these amazing opportunities, such as Chicago Parent, Listen to Your Mother and being published in a book this fall, there are times it feels almost too big to me.
Like surreal, when did this happen?
It is amazing and wonderful and cool all wrapped into one.
This neat little tingly feeling I have when I think about the exact moment (and I still remember it) that I sat at that computer when baby Ella was napping and little Anna was playing with her friends in the basement one summer afternoon in June of 2010.
Because it just doesn’t seem like it happened all in just five years.
It seems like a lifetime ago.
The description of “who I am” has changed over my life.
From salesgirl to manager, to mom, wife, single mom, student.
I have had many titles in my life but for the last 15 years, I have been a mom more than any other thing.
I am always a mom first and foremost but I am also a writer and so when people ask me “what I do” in my “professional” life, I say, without hesitation, I am a writer.
To those who are in my writing/blogging world, I am comfortable.
I have no problem talking about my family, friends and writing about our worlds, joking about the baby turds in the bathtub, talking about how we need wine to get through the nine pages of math homework, writing about things like our children’s, prom and first love’s.
We are re-living memories with every word on the computer screen, we are able to get out emotions with each keystroke and we bond with our friends and readers each day in a way that others can’t possibly understand.
But when I become friends with real-life neighbors and friends in the community, if they do any sort of browsing on social media, they will indeed land at some point on my blog, and then they will learn “the secret”.
I am a blogger, I write about my life, my past and my obsession with Bruce Hornsby, tacos, and John Hughes and I am an open book of sorts.
Will they understand my secret?
I, on occasion, write about my family or my children, nothing terribly personal but I do open up my world to, well, the world.
And it is something that most people in my neighborhood, in my children’s school district, in our area, don’t do.
Write about their need to have a John Hughes museum or compare play dates to bonding with Satan.
The best place to get pizza in the suburbs of Chicago or how they struggle with their kids getting older.
Oh sure, maybe they talk about these things but over two or three or ten glasses of wine on a girls night out or at the bonfire in the neighbor’s backyard.
Not in 300 words or less, neatly spaced.
I get that I am not the average mama bear.
This is why there is such a connection between writers and bloggers, even if you have never met them in person before.
It is why we go to writing conferences every other year and talk about them for the two years in between.
These are my people.
They are in on “the secret”.
This blogging/writing journey that I have been on for five years has been so much a part of me that I can’t imagine it going away.
Essentially, I have found my passion.
And I am not even making a lot of money doing it.
So then I know it is my passion.
My blog has been a soft spot for me for five years, my little not so “secret” place, a place for me to go and write when I need to get away.
Turn away from the world, when it isn’t being so nice to me.
My handwriting is terrible, it so is, those closest to me are nodding their heads furiously in agreement.
So when I need a place to get my words out, in order to go back and be able to read them later, this is my place to do that.
My not so “secret” hideaway.
For all of the world to read.
This blog has been my therapist when I couldn’t afford one.
For five years, I have been talking to you while laying on this couch.
This amazing couch talking to you, my therapist.
You have been the cheapest form of therapy ever, by the way.
I feel like I owe you some form of payment.
Don’t send me a bill.
This blog has made me feel funny, legitimate, smart, important.
It has made me new friends, people from all over this planet, I have learned new things, things I would have never known had I never opened up this computer five years ago.
This blog has made me new opportunities, taken me places, given me new ideas, brought me closer to amazing new personalities, given me new perspectives.
This blog has changed the way I look at myself, the world, the people around me, my family, my friends, my relationships, my home, my world, my life, my inner self.
This blog is what I wanted to be when I grew up.
And I didn’t know it until I started doing it.
That is the amazing thing.
I never knew that I wanted to become a writer.
Until I started writing.
And that is the real “secret”.