Sunday, August 12, 2007

Joining the conversation

A few years ago I stumbled on my first blog. A friend had told me about dooce (yes, the ubiquitous dooce. Is she the gateway drug for many perhaps?) and I popped by. It turned out that somehow in my internet travels, I had stumbled on her before, but this time I stuck around awhile.

The I read Knocked Up. In very typical fashion (as I'm a true geek, and acknowledge this level of geekiness) I googled her. I found her blog, and added this to my list of places to pop by when avoiding work. Periodically I worked my way down her list of links, eventually finding Her Bad Mother (and her swaddling woes), and then eventually a great many more of the awesome Canadian blogging mamas who are out there. This was where the smart, intelligent Canadian women were hanging. People with children with different viewpoints, sharing their stories - some funny, some sad, discussing, debating, offering support in time of need. Talking, always talking. I was hooked.

However, despite all my faithful reading, I rarely commented.

Actually. I never commented.

At first it was because I was nervous. Really, what did I have to say that could be pertinent to the conversation? I had a case of the high school nerves. But then my reasoning shifted. How could I take part in the conversation with these other people, when I wasn't sharing? What right did I have to discuss, to comment on others events and happenings, on their children or the debates, or the bloggy world at large when I wasn't sharing? It just didn't feel right somehow.

So I kept quiet. I lurked. Even when there were calls to de-lurk, I'd stay hidden in the shadows, wanting desperately to join in, to add my voice, to discuss and converse and share my thoughts with all the amazing people whose posts and comments I was reading. At the same time, it also felt so very wrong to keep lurking, to be a voyeuristic, passive reader.

After I had the Peanut, I began, tentatively, to add my voice occasionally to the discussion, either anonymously or under a different name than I now have. And then I found out that I already knew one of the people I had been reading. Finally, after many months of debating with myself (and dealing with the incredible sleep deprivation), I finally did it and joined the conversation. I staked my claim, put myself out there and added my voice the chorus of many.

What did I find? I found that, with most fears, I had been foolish, silly and scared of nothing. Those years of lurking quietly had been for naught. As anyone reading this undoubtedly knows, the blogging mamas (and daddies) out there are amazingly supportive and welcoming batch of ladies. Amazingly, within a day people had stopped by to say hello and welcome my shiny-new blog.

So, thank you! Thank you to you all for being so welcoming on my crazy voyage into the blogging world, for being so warm and generous, for leaving your comments and including me in the greater conversation. I'm so glad to be here!

To those of you who are lurking quietly, here perhaps or elsewhere, that's ok. If you feel like joining in, your voice will be a welcome addition to the conversation. And if you decide to take the plunge and stake your own claim, I'll be (one of many) to stop by and welcome you.


metro mama said...

You're welcome! Thank-you.

Her Bad Mother said...

Even when those fears seem silly, after the fact, it doesn't mean that they didn't come from an honest place. The chatter can be deafening out here in the sphere. And more than a little intimidating.

But I'm glad that you jumped in. Welcome!

bubandpie said...

I feel quite kindly toward my lurkers. But of course it's even more fun when they join in!

kittenpie said...

This is exactly what pushed me to even start my own blog - wanting to join the conversation, and noticing the real antipathy towards the anonymous. So I started blathering a bit, not really sure where I wanted to go or what I wanted to say, and eventually fell into a rhythm of no rhythm, really. At times I've told stories that have meant a lot to me, at times it's fluff, but I always love the sharing. I've made some real friends here. It's a nice place, a good place - good for you for coming into the light!

nomotherearth said...


My journey was much like yours - I started with Ninepounddictator at work, and found so many others. I realized that you don't have to be a bonafide author to author a blog. You just have to share.

scarbie doll said...

Dude, I still lurk. All the time. Never feel like you have to comment "Just 'cause" -- I don't operate that way. But I'm super jazzed that we inspired you to write down your own story. (Though now I have one more blog to read! Gah!)


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