June 28, 2016

 

So it’s my birthday, which let’s face it, at this point (47) is pretty much like every other day, minus the guilt when I walk past a laundry basket that isn’t going to empty itself, or bury myself in front of my computer while my kids play Minecraft, or suggest, Soup for dinner again? Here’s the opener!

What I’m much more interested in celebrating is the one year birthday of my website, which was a coming out of sorts regarding my writing and my fertility struggle. I looked back on the email I sent to friends and family one year ago and, well, I laughed.

With a handful of exceptions, my friends and family haven’t been the slightest bit interested in anything I write. Which I admit, surprised me at first, but doesn’t bother me. In fact, I kind of like it. I mean, I love when we do connect on any of it, but I’ve been so private for so long, it’s still much more comfortable for me this way.

Looking back on my blog, I can see I’ve come a long way in a year. For one thing, my Diary of A Social Media Moron posts are much less frequent (Yay! Point: Me!). In fact, I have come to embrace social media, primarily Facebook, which has connected me to truly amazing writing and fertility communities. I have learned a TON about writing and publishing, and been nothing short of BLOWN AWAY by the passion I feel in and about fertility and reproductive issues. These things alone have made this one of the fullest and most exciting years of my life.

Of course, in other ways, Oy! I remain further away from publishing—self or otherwise—than I’d hoped to be by now. I know it’s because everything I’ve learned tells me not to publish until I know every aspect of my work is the absolute best quality it can be, so it’s not a bad thing in and of itself, just painstakingly slow when I’m squeezing it all in, as so many writers do, between a day job and young children and everything else.

The maintenance of my website has been disappointing as well. After initially feeling gangbusters with my web designer, he completely blew me off regarding any questions and maintenance, even when I assured him I fully expected an invoice for his services, or asked him for a referral if my questions were outside of what a web designer wants to deal with. So I’ve neglected things I should be paying attention to, like Google Analytics and implementing an email list and newsletters etc. I’ve consoled myself with just enjoying the process of what I am doing and knowing I’m in for the long haul, so I’ll get there. But happily, I’ve also recently connected with a friend who is a web designer, and she has been brilliant in getting me squared away (thank you, Melissa!).

As far as social media beyond Facebook, I love, but am way under-utilizing, Good Reads; I am still woefully both overwhelmed and underwhelmed by Twitter; I am thinking about branching out onto Instagram (whoa, crazy, huh?); and still largely in the dark about the rest of it.

All in all, I feel pretty much where I want to be one year in, or at least on a good, if sometimes difficult, sometimes frustrating, path. I am reading, writing, raving, and reproduction supporting and advocating. I made a firm decision early on to avoid online/platform crap that feels like crap, and to focus on that which feels authentic and meaningful, and that’s been the best decision of all.

That first email contained two quotes I used to propel myself a year ago, and they continue to serve me now:

From writer Paulo Coelho, “Writing is a socially acceptable way of being naked in public.”

And from Miles to Joel in Risky Business, “Sometimes you just gotta say, What the fuck.”

I might now add my first—and it turns out, one of my very few—tweets, a Mahatma Gandhi quote, that sums up how I feel most days: “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”

I very much want to connect and have a positive impact on other people, and admittedly, women in particular. But this new journey is also feeding my own soul, and for all of it, hell, just for being at the tippy top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I am so grateful.  

LP