First and last sentences (and paragraphs?) are my least favorite part. “They” say they’re the most important–grab the reader’s attention right away, and leave them with something to think about. Me, I’d rather skip them all together. I can write middles for days, but beginnings and endings–ugh, do I have to? (Actually, I’m the same way conversationally. I love talking with people! But I’m terrible at beginning or ending the conversation.)
Now that I’m awkwardly in my second paragraph, welcome to my “new thing” of 2016! In 2015, I had one resolution, and one “new thing.” The resolution was an utter failure, but the new thing stuck around and keeps making me all kinds of happy. Back in 2013, I learned that I actually am capable of keeping a resolution, if there’s public accountability. So in 2016, I’m starting a “new thing” with public accountability, which feels like a formula for success.
I never write anymore, and I miss it immensely. Without writing things down, my thoughts just bounce around haphazardly in my head and grow into unrecognizable globs of mush. Friends have been telling me for ages that I should start a blog. While it’s flattering that they believe my words are worth sharing, and I’m a sucker for flattery, two things have been holding me back…
One, I don’t know if I can keep this going consistently. (Guess we’re going to find out!)
Two, I feel like it takes some degree of narcissism to start a blog… I recognize how ridiculous that feeling is, because I don’t see narcissism in any of my favorite bloggers. I love glimpsing into the lives and thoughts of “just people.” People are fascinating.
But what makes me think that anyone would care what I have to say? Do I even have anything to say? What makes my voice unique? Those questions kept bringing me back to my three most obvious identifiers…
- Wheelchair user
- Middle school teacher (ESL)
- Mormon (and a mostly liberal Mormon to boot)
None of those things are particularly unique by themselves. But together? How many people do you know that fit all three categories? I don’t think I’ve met any… (I’m not even sure whether I’d want to. Might hurt my special snowflake delusions.) So maybe that’s reason enough to add my voice to the internet.
Full disclosure, this isn’t really my first time at the blogging rodeo. I’m more of a born-again blogging virgin. I did the LiveJournal thing when it was cool. I did Blogger or Blogspot or whatever when everybody else did. (Never had a MySpace or a Xanga. I was a shy little blog-stalker in those days.) Those were all “friends only” ventures, though, visible exclusively to those I’d included on a private friends list, and it’s been a long time since then. This is my first time writing openly for the world to see.
It’s an odd mix of confidence (narcissism?) and vulnerability that we find in this bloggy space, isn’t it?
One thing that I remember from my days of secret blogging, is the oddly uneven ground it created for my friendships. People read my blog, had some idea what was happening in my life, and felt like they were keeping in touch with me. But I never heard from them! To those friends who know me in real life, I welcome you to this space, and I ask you, please, not to let this substitute for our friendship. Readers are awesome, but I need friends more than I need readers. Call me, beep me, if you wanna reach me!
The only thing I hate more than writing first and last sentences, is writing titles. I spent ages trying to come up with a blog name, and got nowhere. Any words or phrases that I tried to play with, felt like putting myself in a box. Yes, I’m inevitably going to write about disability, and teaching, and religion… But I’m not going to write about any of those personal identifiers all the time. I didn’t want a title that tied me to any one theme or tone. So, I finally broke it down to the only thing that I can count on remaining constant through the ups and downs and evolution of my blog and my person…
My name is Kristine.