Watching a recent episode of Battlestar Galactica called “Dirty Hands”, I was struck by the wonderful portrayal of a class society, one ruled by hierarchy and tradition rather than by freedom and passion.
I have many friends raised within countries which still play by these rules, where you are and do what your father or mother did, and maybe your grandparents before you, not what you want to do. Where apprenticeship programs are the only way into a trade. Where you are tested and found competent for a specific job, not because your heart leads the way.
While many get preoccupied with how to make money blogging, we forget that online journaling and blogging began as a way to share our lives with others. To teach. To share as we learn. But most of all, to share our passions through our words, images, and sounds.
Over the years, I’ve been honored to meet a car mechanic who loved knitting and decided to share his passion for knitting through an online journal, allowing his passion to overcome the naysayers, which became a blog, then became his life. I’ve met artists who felt isolated and alone with their art, disconnected from the world, find friends and compatriots through their blogs. Others felt isolated by geographical location, stuck in towns and villages where they felt different and alone, unable to connect with those around them.
Through their blogs, they not only found friends, but they found their voice and the strength to keep going, turning their thoughts around to embrace their community rather than run from it.
In online friendships, race, culture, color, religion – none of it mattered as they found new mentors and supportive networks to help them find a place in the world through virtual relationships.
When a friend turned 80, she announced that she was going to buy her first computer. I asked her what she was going to do with it. She didn’t know. “Everyone was talking about it, so I thought I should get one to see what all the fuss is about. Now that I have one…” I could see her mind grinding away at the possibilities as she confronted this more-than-a-television thing.
A week later she told me that she was going to scan all of the photographs of her family’s history and write up the stories to go with the photographs and make books for her family. Two weeks later, she called me and told me that she was going to convert her videos into digital media so she could also share those. A week later, she bought a digital video camera and was reading her stories and recording herself with the new video camera on her computer. Two weeks later, she came to me and asked, “What’s all this blogging thing I’m hearing about?” A few days later, she had a blog, and all of those images and recordings found a home.
In the last three years of her life, she recorded tons of stories and brought her life and family to her blog, leaving a record and memorial to treasure. Her family asked me not to share the blog, as much of it is very personal and private, but they told me how happy she was during these precious years, expressing herself without limits.
Her great granddaughter said, “She spent so many years sad and unhappy with her life. The last three years she came alive and lived her passion fully.” A woman who once traveled by horse and buggy and lived the first 10 years of her life without electricity wasn’t going to let anything stop her now, not even the learning curve of new technology.
What about you? Are you stuck in your life? Are you blogging what someone told you to blog? Is your blog a way out?
More importantly, are you blogging your passion?
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network
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