I do not remember exactly when I first encountered Jamie's kick ass blog: Grumbles & Grunts. I think we started talking on Twitter. I related to Jamie as a work outside the home mother with a toddler. I really admire her honesty and style of writing PLUS she has the cutest dog ever. Her son Jude is also unbelievably cute and his personality leaps through the computer screen right at you. I love that. Jamie and I once had a conversation on Facebook on what it is like to not "fit in" anywhere in the blogosphere. Sure we are both moms and we both blog, and what is more common than a mom who blogs these days, but sometimes it feels like we are on the outside looking in. Life can be that way sometimes. Jamie sums it up much more eloquently.
Here she is:
Every once in a while I lift my head up from the pile of life that I'm busy trying to wade through, writing and working and mom-ing, and I stop to look at what's going on around me in the blogging universe. Mostly I'm content to keep plugging away doing what feels good but every so often I get the itch to pause and check out the state of things outside the happy world that is my reader.
Reality can be harsh out there in the bloggo-whosi-whatsi-sphere and jealousy abounds. There are always people better, faster and smarter. When I compare what I'm doing to, you know... them, I'm not quite sure where I fit in. I don't seem to fit into a handy topical niche, I don't have a circle of forever-blogging besties, I don't have a massive following or an interest in PR relationships, and yet I do a whole lot more than your brother's second cousin's wife who journals with clipart in her spare time. I look around and I don't seem to fit in with any of these people! Where do I belong in this crazy mixed up world?! Gallardo on fire! GALLARDO. ON. FIRE.
Welcome to misfit island my friends. My name is Jamie and I am a cowboy riding an ostrich.
(Well, I guess you could be cowboy riding the ostrich. As long as I don't have to be the jelly-shooting water gun. Not that. Never that.)
see i think this is the most hilarious picture ever. and this is why i live alone.The first time I realized I had washed up on the shore of an empty blogging beach by myself I looked around for signs of humanity. Where, where were my people? Who is like me? Is what I'm doing so very weird? I felt sad, definitely a little lonely. I saw other people on islands off in the distance in their well coiffed groups and I envied them. It made me wonder if I should try to be different. I could have easily given up on what I was doing and hopped a quick plane over to the mainland. But when I sat down on that beach by myself it felt right so I stayed. As I made myself comfortable I discovered life on my own little island to be uniquely rewarding.
I may not be able to summarize my blog in two sentences but my blog summarizes me. It's me, deep down in my soul, full in the face and balls to the wall. I may not have 30,000 devoted fans but I've met 30 friends who get me inside and out. I'm not on top of a single 'best of' list but what I'm doing is the very best of me. It's not that I don't sometimes envy what other bloggers are doing, but I've genuinely found that following my gut brings me the greatest peace. So I do it. And sometimes that means I feel like I'm on the outside looking in.
It took a while before I realized that my misfit island wasn't all that secluded. Over time I found other people who seemed to be similarly floating in space and got to know them. Opening myself up allowed me to build bridges to other islands. They let me dabble in all sorts of topics and social circles with a lovely sort of freedom because I always got to go home to my own space. Often when I'd take a chance and travel over to someone else's beautifully composed Martha Stewart island I'd find that they too thought they were all alone. Things aren't always what they seem from the sidelines.
Being on misfit island isn't always comfortable, or great for networking, but I get to be true to my (sometimes very weird) self. Every time someone reads SALTINES LAUNDRY SOCKS and says FUCK YESH HIGH FIVE it's like our souls are dancing, there's nothing like it. Each connection made is another person vacationing on my island. The breeze is nice and the sunset is perfect and friends are good. I feel good about what I put out there. And well, also sometimes I don't. But at least it's honest.
If you look around one day and find yourself stranded on a strange and lonely shore take heart. You aren't really alone. Sit down on the beach and do what you love. The rest will fall into place.
Have you ever felt this way before? What did you do? Did you keep chugging along until you found your space?
Don't forget to visit Jamie at Grumbles & Grunts. You won't be disappointed.