I hit a million. A million times this blog has been opened up. People read. People cared what I had to say. A benchmark more than a goal- I never thought anyone would read this stuff, but one that I looked at myself and thought, “Whelp, maybe I’ll walk away.”
Blogging. This damn blog has changed everything for me. Everything. Okay, correction: it’s helped me to find people who have helped me to see everything differently. To THINK. It’s taught me to challenge what I supposed to be true- and it turned my world upside-down and SHOOK IT really hard. All of the contents came tumbling out. Who I was, my goals, my view of disability, my religion, EVERYTHING.
It’s been a wild ride, and so many of you have been here before the car even pulled up to the starting line. I remember a friend telling me that to be considered a “real” blogger, you have to get at least 25,000 hits a month. I remember the first month I hit that. I thought things would change for me. I thought when I had “made it” people would appear to give me cash for ads, jobs for real websites for real money, etc. I still live with the very real delusion that money buys happiness… I digress. But what I’ve gotten out of this blog is better than money. Mostly. Backing up, I remember the first time someone ‘shared’ something I wrote on Facebook. It was my cousin Tyson, and it was my post about the pranks my friends and I had been pulling on each other. That high of getting a couple of hundred hits was like any other high- exhilarating. I wanted more.
So I wrote more. I longed to connect to people like me. Until 2011, I had only really known a couple of Down syndrome bloggers that I had met through Babycenter. Gail, who has been here from the start, prodded me to look up Diary of A Mom. One day I did. From there, I found Sunday at Adventures in Extreme Parenthood- where I found the Special Needs Ryan Gosling Meme. I laughed and laughed and laughed. I found what I can now only describe as my tribe; my family. Parents who were going through what I was and had found themselves walking the fine line of sanity. We got through by making each other laugh, and really, crying with each other. It was this group of parents that has carried me through the toughest years of my entire life. It was this group that walked me through being angry at autism to accepting it (mostly). It was this group that stood by me, even when they disagreed, when I was getting hammered by negative comments from trolls, and worse, people I really cared about. It’s this group that I think about when I begin to be okay with walking away from my blog.
This blog has cost me more money than I’ve ever made on it. My get-rich blogging scheme? Yeah. You have to be motivated to make money doing this. I just want to write. That’s all. What I’ve gained from this blog is more than what I’ve paid, times a million. I’ve changed so much. I will readily admit that. I think I’m better now. Stronger. Wiser. More honest.
The honesty continues to get me in trouble. Having more people actually read my stuff lends itself to having more people there to criticize me. More people who put down how I’m feeling and even what I’m going through. People who comment, people who send me messages, people who even go so far as to trash me on their own blogs (I KNOW, RIGHT? Seriously, get a hobby, assholes). Maybe I sound like a big fat baby, but at the end of the day, it SUCKS to put yourself so completely out there- I say things here that I’d have a really tough time saying out loud- and be trashed for it. There are people who come here ONLY to find things to be pissed at me for.
These last couple of months have wrecked me. I toy with shutting this down all together. It’s not just the dickheads. It’s me. I’ve been pissed that some stuff gets shared while others do not. I’m mad when something that took me ten minutes and is a warm fuzzy is loved, and something that I pour my heart and soul into gets glossed over. I’ve become this egomaniac with my blog- I was checking my stats several times a day and I almost stopped writing the truth- the real truth without a glossy spin on it- because those are the times where the negative feedback would be the worst, along with my stats.
It’s so dumb. And I honestly don’t know where to go from here. I want to be myself- but the minute I swear, the minute I say something that doesn’t bode well with one of the various communities I am in or WAS in, I get raked over the coals for it. I’m not as strong against that stuff as I want to be. It still messes with me for too long. It still makes me long to do away with this blog because I feel like I’ve gotten enough out of it. It makes me want to be done.
When I started this blog, I started out sure I had all of the answers. I knew all of the answers to life’s questions, and never even dreamed of questioning anything. Now? I’m gladly sure of nothing. I have become well acquainted with how little I truly “know” and I’m fine with that. I have my days where I want to rage-quit this blog. Burn it down. I have days where I’m sure I want to keep doing this forever. I have days like today where I’m just content to not know.
Because in the end, being sure of nothing means there’s room to grow. Maybe I’ll continue. I’m paid up on the server for a couple more months. Maybe I won’t. I know right now, I’m taking off comments and I’m getting rid of the “like” button. I don’t need to judge myself by what other people like. If this blog was for the ads or for some other purpose than to just tell our story with my insane spin on it, then maybe. But it isn’t. This blog is mine. This blog is me.
If you’re here to tear me apart, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. If you’re here to clutch your pearls and judge me when I swear, or tell a story that crosses the line: LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON THE WAY OUT. I’m done working around the words I want to say. I’m done biting my tongue. If I go on, it’s going to be without you. If you want me to go back to being a fluffy mommy- blogger, well: