Friday, August 08, 2008

As I was saying......

Well, hello there. anyone? anyone?

I took some time off, trying to decide if I really am a blogger, or a blogger wanna-be. I mean, there are blogs that I read because merely because they are well written and invariably entertaining. There are other blogs I read that go beyond this, they are written by people I feel a connection to and I want to keep up with what's going on in their lives. These are the blogs where I feel drawn to comment and these are the ones that inspired me to write my own blog, so I could share something of myself and my experiences beyond the smidgen of space allowed in a comment.

Blogging had given me a way to join what I saw were interlocking circles of friends. People whom not only commented on each others blogs but exchanged emails, IM's, or even phone calls on the side. A very few even visited each other. For a while I experienced this myself, and felt I really had made a some new friends. And then - I hadn't. There were a few people that faded out of that circle, that moved on leaving me behind. These were people that I had regular contact with outside of the realm of blogging, one of which I had actually met. I thought I had made some real friends and it turned out I hadn't.

As you can imagine, this was really disappointing. It made me really wonder about myself. Had I mistaken the depth of the connection? Had I done or said something that drove them away? I mean, I realize that things can go great until a certain point is reached and then something stops clicking or something becomes apparent that causes the other person to decide to back away. But what? In some ways I felt like a teenager again - unsure of anything or anyone. So I took some time off to see if I could figure it out.

I didn't reach any conclusions with regard to my lost friendships, but I did come to a few other realizations.

I missed you guys. I shouldn't abandon this community just because I was disappointed. And - I DO have some friends out there that don't deserve my abandoning them. So, I slowly started back. At first I used my reader to lurk here and there. Then I started posting an occasional comment where I couldn't not. And recently I found myself reading all of you again - but it wasn't the same. Because I wasn't participating.

So - I'm going to stop lurking, start commenting, and maybe even start writing a post here and there. Not that I'm a great writer, or have a burning within me to impart some important message. But I am a part of this and want to share it with you. I hope that there are a few of you that still care enough to read, but if not - well, it's my own damned fault and I can live with that.

26 deeply creased, dogeared comment(s):

Franki said...

Well, I for one, am glad you're back and was happy to see your comment today.

Jonah K. Haslap said...

Just speaking for myself, even if I don't respond quickly -- or ever -- every comment I find on my blog is worth, well, if I had to put a monetary value on it, I'd say about $1,000. In other words, I'd rather have a comment from you than $1,000. Now, if you offer me $1,001, I'd have some serious thinking to do.

Welcome back.

Mignon said...

I went through something like that as well, but I've been both the fade-away party and the opposite of that. I had to reenter the blog-world somewhat detached from the real-life relationships I'd developed. I'm not completely comfortable with how things have turned out, but like you, I couldn't quit just because of my unease. I think the voyeur and exhibitionist in me are too strong.

I'm glad you started up again.

Glamourpuss said...

I'm glad you're back. And that was a most eloquent exposition of this peculiar thing called blogging. Over the years, I've come to realise that people come and go, but when they do go, it's usually because of something that's happened in their lives rather than because of any online issues. The wonder of blogging is the ability to connect with like-minded individuals across this wee planet of ours.

Puss

Bob said...

franki - I was happy to see you post too. don't let the asshole ex drive you away from us.

jonah - I don't have 1000, but I do have a penny. no? well, I guess I'd better comment then.

mignon - I find that I am somewhat a voyeur too. I'm curious about people. I hope you find time to post more often, I've always enjoyed them.

puss - thank you. whatever the reason, they've moved on and I am becoming ok with that. I agree with you - as I'd never had met you outside of blogging.

meno said...

Bob? Bob, is that you?

Nice to hear from you.

I take a few days off and THAT'S when you decide to post.

How's the shoulder?

Moogie said...

I'm so glad your are back. I've missed seeing you around the water cooler.

Bob said...

meno - yeah, it's me. shocking, I know. my shoulder is still healing. slow going, that.

moogie - thanks.

Maggie said...

Bob! I was so excited to see your blog lit up in my reader. I've missed you here. I'm glad that this didn't get completely ruined for you. :)

Bob said...

maggie - that is sweet of you to say.

Gwen said...

I'm still waiting to be the person who can leave blogging for real. For all the weirdness of it and the ways it's messed up, there's still something very compelling about the community you can enter, however small or big it may be.

I hope that you find, this time, what you need.

Bob said...

it IS compelling. I am returning with an abbreviated amount of expectations.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I'm so glad you're back, Bob. I've been taking some time off, too, but I was very sad to think that we had lost you forever.

And if a friend is someone who cares about you and enjoys what you share here and in comments, then please count me among them.

Bob said...

hearts - you're making me blush. I am honored to call you a friend.

thailandchani said...

I'm really glad to see you back as well. That fading in and out is something that has made it a bit difficult for me, too. I'm not accustomed to that type of socializing.

Still, if we find even a few "real friends", then it's somehow worth it, eh? :)

~*

Bob said...

chani - thanks, and yes - if we find even one new "real friend", it is worth it.

Susanne said...

I'm really glad to see you back, too. This question of how close we can become through blogging and commenting is something I'm really not sure about but then I find that that's a problem with my "real life" friends as well. So I take my sense of community and friendship wherever I can...

Bob said...

susanne - as you can see, I'm reassessing my ability to create/maintain relationships via blogging. I like your attitude, though - get it where you can.

Kat said...

Hi Bob, I haven't read your blog in a while. But then you haven't been posting in a while!

I think that blogging has become somewhat of a popularity contest thing, which is disappointing. When I first started blogging less than a year ago, I was thrilled to have found this place to write and express myself in a way I hadn't done in years. Then I found other people's blogs that I loved, and I really enjoy the interaction with other people who blog and their comments on my blog as well.

As time's gone by it seems to me (and this is just MY opinion, please nobody take offense) that blogging is a LOT about popularity. Perfect Post Awards, "Memes", linky love, etc. All that stuff is ok but it distracts from the real purpose of blogging in my opinion. To me, we should blog for ourselves, not for the comments, not for the linky love or the popularity.

I've seen some real high-schoolish stuff on other people's blogs, comments bashing other bloggers, especially since the BlogHer conference. It irritates me, if you don't find something valuable in someone's blog then just move on. No need to bash another blogger. But if a popular blogger starts some nonsense, you can trust that there will dozens of "You rock and I don't know what anyone sees in so and so's blog", it's pretty childish from where I sit.

Anyway, all this to say that I hope you keep blogging and that you get something out of it just for the fact of doing it. That's what I keep focused on.

Kat said...

and P.S. - I just added you to my blogroll, so you have no choice but to carry on posting.

Bob said...

kat - yes, it HAS been a while since you've been around, but I'm glad you did.

I started blogging 'cause I had some things I wanted to share and I wandered away from that and eventually lost sight of it and got disappointed.

I'm trying to find my way back.

Mother of Invention said...

Blogging can be a cyclical thing...we drift in and out as real life time allows or dictates. It is interesting to see what people you know a lot about are up to.

Bob said...

MoI - this is something I know you well understand. Happy to see you 'round here again.

Sober Briquette said...

bob, I've been lurking and seen a lot of comments coming from you, so I decided to check...

you know, what you write here is part of my problem...I wonder why I'm never (ok, not never, but seldom) invited into the next circle...the personal emails, the phone calls. I've been dissed a time or two, for certain.

Of blogging, I missed the way things were a couple years ago when a bunch of us found each other. I don't know if it's true, my feeling that the freshness of it is gone...

Bob said...

De - I've seen you comment a time or two - and here you are! I am glad that you're still around.

I understand entirely. You're right - it isn't like it was when we coalesced into our little group. Unfortunately things rarely stay the same, I guess they're right - the only constant in life is change. But it is what it is and I find that I miss it - whatever it is nowadays - when I step away.

I miss you too! I feel better knowing you're lurking around here & there.

Daisy said...

Hey! You're back!


(Yeah, so, it takes me awhile to catch on....)