The Reason to Keep Blogging

Confession: I was taking my recent blogging break not just because I needed to spend more time with my kids and because I needed to figure out the blog framework. Those reasons are both true, but I’ve managed to cover them during the past few years while still writing.

No, I think the real reason I was headed offline was because I felt disillusioned and disenchanted with so much within the online blogging communities. Specifically within the Down syndrome blogging community and this huge disconnect that exists between parents of kids with disabilities (or, as they like to say, “special needs”) and people like me: actual people with disabilities. It’s often exhausting. And yeah, dispiriting.

I started to feel kind of alone in the room.

Not really sure if I wanted to be there, or if I even should.

I was also sick of stuff like blog stats, number checking, seeing how my stories here are being read (- or not), and by whom, and where. I felt like everything was rolling up into some little monster and biting me in some tender spot with sharp teeth that leave infections.

And so I did what made sense to me: I stepped outside for a break.

Then I got this message, rather out of the blue. It was from Marcia, who blogs at De Uma America a Outra (- their fb fan page is here). Marcia, her husband Andre and daughter Olivia are Brazilians who have been living in Toronto – and have been planning for some time to travel the Pan American Highway. Just like us. Only we are not Brazilian, worse luck.

So I got this email and she said they were in California – and how about getting together, hanging out?

Now I don’t know about you guys but there is something kind of thrilling and terrifying about meeting online friends in real life. I’ve had a ton of near-meets with bloggers in the Down syndrome community, but have never actually met anyone. I’ve only actually met bloggers from the travel blogging community – the Life Remotely people – and we all really liked them. At the same gathering with Life Remotely were  the ‘we-have-so-much-in-common-its-scary’ couple from Carpe Viam, Chloe and Toby – and we really liked them too. Like, all of us: Mikey, me, and all 3 kids – we all liked all of them.

Since our experience was so positive with the travel folk, we were really open to meeting Marcia and her family – eager, even.

We arranged to meet them at Fort Point in San Francisco. A good place to be.

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Mikey picked up a bunch of Vietnamese sandwiches (oh yum – lemongrass pork!), we hung out and waited while we watched the America’s Cup sailing around the Golden Gate Bridge.

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Then they came and it was like, KA-BAM!

This sweet instant connection of all of us really liking one another. I mean, really liking one another.

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Marcia had been reading this blog for quite a while and she knew everything – I mean, Moxie, my deaf stuff, what we want to do, everything.

And it struck me:

This is the reason to blog.

This. Is. The. Reason. To. Blog.

The friendship. The connection.

Screw everything else: the heart of blogging is connection.

It’s us being friends.

It’s sharing our stories and making these types of spiritual bonds with each other.

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It’s meeting people that you would not likely meet if it were not for this amazing and powerful tool, the internet, a host and a theme.

Feeling a sense of kinship with people who really are not strangers. They are just friends you haven’t met in real life yet.

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We spent the next few days with our friends. They are aborting their trip down the Pan Am because of a family medical emergency in Brazil – they are going back to help.

And can you imagine that? To prepare for this adventure for well over a year, sell everything, leave. Then call it off. Because their family back home needs them.

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We love them. We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to meet them. And to remember one of the biggest reasons for keeping this here blog:

it’s about the friendship.

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Meriah
is a deaf blogger, global nomad, tech-junkie, cat-lover, Trekkie, Celto-Teutonic-peasant-handed mom of 3 (one with Down syndrome and one gifted 2E).
She likes her coffee black and hot.
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16 Comments

  • I often feel the same and my blog isn’t even public. I think it’s mostly therapeutic for me. It’s the only place that I feel safe talking about my feelings as a parent with a disability who happens to also have a daughter with multiple disabilities. It seems easier for people to accept that my daughter has the same disability as me, but not that she also has a developmental disability – that seems to stump ’em. I haven’t found anyone, besides you, who has similar or the same values and beliefs in being disabled and a parenting a child with a disability. Recently, I’ve noticed that many people within our own community seem confused or bothered when I explain that my daughter has….It’s weird. I never expected those types reactions. Anyhow, blogging is a safe place, especially when you’re selective (like me) on who can read your stuff. You, Meriah, are an amazing writer and I’ve learned so much from you. At this point we’re only online friends, but I do look forward to running into you one day.

  • I’m glad you’re sticking around. I think you have an important voice and a valuable perspective. Even when you’re not tackling big disability issues, I like reading about your eclectic interests and seeing pictures of your beautiful brood!

  • Yeah!!! I love this post! I met once with another mommie from the Baby Center group and I wsa so scared. I’ve never set up any meeting with a total “stanger” it turned out to be great! we had so much in common it was almost weird but possible!
    I can’t wait to come to SF and if we can meet in RL would be great! Too bad I’m not with Manolo 🙁

  • Meriah, I am glad that you are staying as I really enjoy your posts and your insight! I know of the disconnect you are talking about and it is uncomfortable to say the least. I am happy that you got to meet a fellow blogger. It looks like Micah really got along with Marcia’s little girl! I am sad to hear that after all that planning they are not able to take their trip. Hugs and loves, Meriah. Keep writing!

  • Everything you wrote is so true. This blogging is addictive! It can be overwhelming and all-consuming. Yet when you connect, it feels so darn good. When you share something that someone else says helps or says that they have the same joys, concerns, frustrations–you don’t feel so alone. Thanks for returning. Love you pictures. I did find this post on Love That Max (my post was #49 this week). I’m so glad you are back. Let’s hope our paths cross some day. That can only be a good thing, huh?

  • I’m glad you decided to continue blogging, I enjoy reading your posts. I found once I pulled out of all the blogging groups, and forums, and boards I felt much better. Blogging became fun again. I value the friendships and connections I have made on here and just blog for me now. Great pictures on here too by the way, you have a beautiful family Meriah!

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