And That’s Why I Blog for America
Back in my Teach for America days I was fat with self-righteousness, certain that my life was one With Meaning because TFA told me so. I was the chosen elite; smart enough, brave enough, good enough to save America’s education system!
Now, I don’t really mean to diss TFA. It’s a great organization. It means well and it gets results. But it’s even better at marketing than education. It convinces 22-year-olds, otherwise set to become Contiki tour guides, that they have a greater purpose. I’m thankful for their influence.
But now that the un-glamorous glamor of working in America’s worst performing school district has long past, and I am a sell-out, rich-kid teacher at a private international school, I am more cynical.
Let’s dump this lump onto blogging. I started my little hole in the wall blog because I was a good writer – well had been a good writer in high school and college. And at that point in my life, working as an eco-decking PR lady in a warehouse, I felt on the verge of losing a skill. So I blogged. And I basked in my own Microsoft Word pages, overlooking the multiple typos for sake of having fun. I really liked it.
Then I hit a wall.
The Blogosphere that had seemed so kind and inviting became pathetic. After a few months of consistent 250 word posts that sent me up a few rungs on the Google Search ladder, I became the target of desperate would-be travel writers hoping my silly little WordPress website could launch their careers. My cute little inbox was inundated with emails professing strangers’ love of my blog and hoping I would host them as a guest writer. These emails rarely mentioned the name of my blog. Some of them even forgot to delete the other 100 low-level travel blogs email addresses from their opening line. I was getting generic guest post blog requests when I was barely worthy of being a guest post blogger. The whole thing turned me off. Was my blog just part of the world-owes-me laziness of my generation? Certainly I’ve heard arguments against bloggers, and usually agree with the complaints. A blog is a way to throw your two cents into the suburban-millennial-adored universe without actually having to invite a conversation – or even edit carefully.
My annoyance became self-consciousness, even worry. Was I that girl without realizing it? Was my blog my own lame attempt at finding meaning? My excuse to feel good about myself, even superior, in absence of TFA’s lavish compliments?
My love-hate relationship with blogging the verb, and often even my own blog, the noun, continues. Until just now.
I’m out of the swing of the blog thing; my follower number dwindles and my SEO ranking SEO-stinks. And I don’t care. Tonight I came home alone because torrential rain disrupted my social schedule and JD’s done gone to Africa. I did the only logical thing and played Christmas music while re-reading old blog posts, which I haven’t done in a really long time. It’s sort of like reading an old diary, only the nature of a blog requires a little more tact and a little less whining than a diary. It’s like the way things deserve to be remembered instead of the way things are remembered if you only write after a break up. I am suddenly reminded why I have this little blog on the prairie.
It’s for me.