I have been blogging since May of 2005. Not an early adopter, by any means, but right in the middle of the wave. For my profession, however, I was on the vanguard.
I had just turned 50! My life was very different than I thought it would be. My marriage had ended three years previously, after almost twenty-five years. I had been a college professor for ten years, but the same year as my divorce, I “left town ahead of an angry mob.” Such is academic life. And during it all, 2001-2004, I was engaged in the most profound experience of my life: the training program to become a teacher of the Feldenkrais Method.
I had moved to a new town and was trying to make my way in private practice. I was just beginning to get some traction. A year after graduation, I was beginning to have a sustaining practice, when some of my colleagues who had been practicing for years seemed to be struggling. I started blogging because I wanted to share. I wanted to share my perspective, and I wanted to share my work with a larger audience — with my clients, and with those who might someday be clients — of someone. I also wanted to share my way of being, and being in practice, and of thinking and speaking about the Method, with my colleagues. We Feldenkrais teachers tend to be a bit verbose, and more than a little arcane at times. Upon encountering a thirsty one, we proceed to drown him, when only a cupful would save his life. In sharp contrast, I like to give people “one potato chip:” just enough to make them want more. I have used this ability to create a small but loyal readership for my blog, and to reach out to others. Social media, and Twitter particularly, with its 140-keystroke constraint, is a delightful challenge, and my medium of choice. Less is more.
I tend to do everything in fits and starts. The blogging thing, the eblasts, all ebb and flow with my attention and enthusiasm. However, after several years of experimentation, I think I have finally discovered a work flow that works for me. I have also noticed some shifts in my self-image.
Moshe Feldenkrais said, “We act in accordance with our self-image.” This powerful sentence can be interpreted at many levels. I have only recently begun to perceive myself, and embrace myself, as a writer. In the past six weeks, I have been acting like a writer. I see myself as a writer. I behave like a writer: I now write every single day. As I have stopped telling myself, “You’re not REALLY a writer,” as I have stopped discounting my creations as “That’s not REALLY writing,” I have lowered my standards enough that I actually enjoy the process of writing and creating. I believe in the story I have to tell, the information I have to share, the perspective I have to offer. It is not the only thing I do, but it is and has become an important part of my self-expression.
In no regard does my self-image as a writer “crowd out” or negate the other things I am: a Feldenkrais teacher, a musician, a mother of adult children; a partner, a WordPress aficionado, a friend, an advisor, a connector. The web I weave is one that supports me, and those I care about. How much human potential is wasted in the mistaken notion that we can only be, or do, one thing?
And so — my original purpose in blogging has remained true, and has continued to resonate, even after five years — which is a long time on “the internets.” I hope I continue to grow and adapt, and the blog with me. I seem to be made for self-expression, and to help others to more fully express themselves. Might as well ride the horse the direction it’s going!