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what’s my story?

May 12, 2013

When I meet new people, and we go around the room introducing ourselves by “the things we do” (which for most people are their jobs), and I say, “I’m a poet and a blogger”, people are slightly interested, until it becomes clear that I’m not “making a living at blogging”, or indeed, making any money at it. In fact, when I say I do it (simply) because I enjoy it, people look puzzled, sometimes pitying. They change the subject as quickly as possible.

Every time this happens, I’m confused, and then confounded.

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Despite feeling certain since circa 2005 that I wanted to be a writer, I guess I was waiting for opportunities to fall out of the sky. I didn’t actually do anything.

In 2007, I had an undemanding part-time job that I sort of enjoyed, but was also wondering how I could make it more interesting. Spouse suggested that my employer should have a blog, and I should write the blog posts. I liked the idea of a blog, with caveats. I definitely didn’t want my first experience with a blog to be for a job, for money. I wanted to find out what I wanted to say, on my own terms. But I still didn’t write.

After I got fired from my last job, in 2009, I finally started this blog.

Before I began, I might have guessed that writing mostly about one person’s ordinary life wouldn’t be engaging enough to sustain 4 years’ worth of material. Instead, I have found that I have lots of interesting ideas. And I have interesting things to say about them. And they generate new ideas, that often take me to uncharted places.

I have learned more about myself and about how to function (better) in the world through blogging than I’ve learned from anything else, by orders of magnitude.

Even though I don’t have words for the great big meta-project my life seems to be now, it’s way more challenging intellectually, way more engaging spiritually, and certainly way more aesthetically enjoyable than paid employment ever was.

I can also dimly perceive possibilities that were literally unthinkable before.

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Is there any way to convey any of this to other people who currently dismiss me because I don’t have a job? I don’t know. I haven’t had any luck so far, but trying a different approach couldn’t hurt.

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