You! (and you and you)

A few weeks ago, I took my kids to home school swim at our local aquatic center. I was sitting in the zero depth area trying to hide my very pale legs under the water while I played with the baby.

A woman came running over to me from across the pool. I wondered if she was bringing urgent news that she had an extra bottle of self-tanning cream in her bag.

“Aren’t you the blog lady?!” she asked. (She really did sound excited when she asked, so I’m not exaggerating with the exclamation point.)

“Yes!” I answered. “I mean… maybe.” Was it my imagination or did she just call me “the blog lady?” My mind was racing to try to answer.

“I don’t know…,” I stammered. “I do have a blog.”

“I read your blog all the time,” she said. (Well, she did say something to that effect. Perhaps she said, “I used to read your blog all the time” or “I read your blog a few times.”)

She went on to tell me that I had even convinced her to watch Lost. After reading my Lost posts, she told her husband they had to get in on the series before the show ended, and they actually watched all six seasons in less than a year.

“WHAT?” I was thinking. (No, actually, I think I said, “WHAT?!” very loudly, but you know how noisy it can be at an indoor pool, so I can’t be sure if I said it out loud or just thought it very loudly in my mind.) Anyway, I couldn’t believe that not only did I have a reader I barely knew, but I had influenced her life in some weird, time-consuming, meaningless way.

I had met this woman more than a year ago at a park. It was the day I met my real life imaginary friend, Holly. We were discussing how we got to know each other through our blogs. This woman seemed interested, but I had no idea she had actually gone to the trouble to track down my blog address and had been reading.

She also couldn’t have known how she had made my day.

Blogging can be a tricky hobby. Anyone who blogs will understand what I mean. I write because I need to write. It makes me feel better. I don’t write so people will read. And yet, I want people to read. And when they don’t, or when I think they don’t, then I convince myself that my writing is ridiculous. “Why do I do this?” I ask myself. “Why do I feel I need to write in such a vulnerable, public way, when no one reads but me?”

And at just the moment I have convinced myself that not a single solitary soul on the planet reads my blog and I should delete the whole darned thing off the face of the blogosphere, some woman I barely know runs up to me at the pool and asks me if I am “the blog lady” as if I’m actually a real, bonafide blogger who has real, bonafide readers.

OK. So I know I have a handful of people who read my blog on a semi-irregular, halfway inconsistent basis. And I’ve even influenced a few others to waste a perfectly good year of their lives watching six seasons of Lost all at once.

But it’s so easy to get caught up in comparing myself to the woman who boasts she grew to 1,000 readers in one year or the blah blah blah blogger who gets 562 comments every day. Comparing myself in any area of life always leads me to trouble. I’m trying to stop. Really! I am!

So today I just wanted to say “Thank you” to The Pool Lady. And to the people who now strike up conversations with me about Ugg boots. And the friend who texted me a covert photo of someone wearing Uggs with shorts at the grocery store. And the people who have e-mailed me with the grammatical errors that annoy them most. Those things really mean a lot to me.

So, today, I have a question. I would love to learn more about anyone who might be reading today.

Would you leave me a comment with your name, your blog address (if you have one) and the answer to this question: “Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?”

I don’t have any reason for asking this question other than the fact that I love to know these things about people. Do you find that you are energized by being around people or by being alone? (Just for fun, you also can tell me if you find yourself comparing yourself to others in any ridiculous, unhealthy ways. =] )

If you haven’t left a comment before, just look for the little radio button that says “Name/URL.” You can fill in your first name and leave your comment. You don’t need to have a Blogger account or web site. Thanks!

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11 Responses

  1. Hi Emily… I would say that most times I am an extrovert however in some situations I panic & become introverted… weird I know but…and yes I do compare myself to others in ridiculous ways and make myself completely crazy… then I finally remind myself that God created us all unique & beautiful & there will be nobody else exactly like me so I should be happy with who I am right now.And just so you know, I look forward to reading your blog & am happy that you have gone back to 'blogging' more frequently!!Have a great day!Laurel

  2. I read your blog EVERY TIME you write on it. So there. And yes, I do have YOU to thank for Lost and the Co-op, two of the biggest unexpected blessings I had in 2010.I'm an extrovert, BTW.

  3. Emily,Did you see my equal but opposite post from yesterday? I had someone (cyberly) run up to me and tell me how much they DON'T like my blog?I am an introvert, which is why we had to be imaginary friends before branching into real life! But I am a very loud, attention seeking introvert. It's a schizophrenic life, but someone has to lead it. And it pairs well with my quiet husband who is actually an extrovert, at least according to Meier Briggs.Oh, and thanks for the shout out! Always appreciated–esp. after my cyber slap down from my frenemy.Blessings, Holly

  4. I'm an introvert,I have you to blame for spending 1 year of my life getting caught up with LOST,I love reading your posts,I hate it when you take time off from blogging,I compare myself to absolutely every other female I see.

  5. Oh, I'm an introvert. I used to get really panicky every time I published a post because I was afraid people would read it and judge me. I think that's one thing I can thank blogging for anyway — making me a little less uber sensitive.And I love your blog! It's one of the few I actually keep up with. 🙂 You're awesome! And I still miss our Lost-fests

  6. Laurel, you are so right. We are all created to be unique and beautiful in our own way. I'm thankful to have you as a regular reader! I always look forward to hearing from you!Sarah, awwww…. seriously? Thanks for reading!Holly, I loved your post! I had this one on my mind for a while, but you inspired me to finally type it up. Don't let the frenemy get you down. You are awesome!My uber talented sister, you are an inspiration to so many people. I really, truly would not have guessed that you are an introvert! However, now that I think about it, I can totally see it!Sarah Eliza, Hey! Great to see you again! Yes… I do miss the weekly Lost chats! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  7. Greetings! I would say I'm an introvert, which may be why blogging appealed to me. I started a blog at the urging of my sister, who already had an awesome blog. I recently passed my 100th post. Who knew I'd still be keeping up with it almost a year after I started? I believe that writing is good for the soul, and if someone who reads what you write and is inspired or moved by it, great. If not, blogging is simply another forum for sharing whatever pops into your head with other talented, creative people who are blogging for the same reason. Yes, it's great to get feedback once in a while, but blogging isn't supposed to be about seeking praise or validation. So who knows how long I will blog…for now, it's just so much fun. Keep on blogging! 🙂

  8. Really informative blog post here my friend. I just wanted to comment & say keep up the quality work. I’ve bookmarked your blog just now and I’ll be back to read more in the future my friend! Also well-chosen colors on the theme it goes well with the blog in my modest opinion :).

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