what’s my story?
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.
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.
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.