Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dear Diary

Throughout my childhood, I kept a diary. As I grew older, for many years, I kept a journal. The difference between the two was moving from just recording my day and life to really reflecting upon it. One year, I chose to keep a gratitude journal and each night I would write at least one thing I was thankful for. Taking the time to pull out a notebook and pen though and hand write my thoughts often got pushed aside for things I felt deserved more of my time.

As such, it was a natural transition for me to move toward blogging. I am able to do something I enjoy, which is to write, but I can do it much quicker. My thoughts are still very much raw and unedited. I will sometimes look over what I write quickly and do a spell check at the end, but for the most part, what I write is in the moment and how I'm feeling at that time. Especially given the topics and subjects for the blogs I have, it just seems the right thing to do. It is real. in print.

It might seem strange to some who don't know me well that I would share so much. I can be reserved in person and difficult to get to know. I'm not shy, I just don't fully show myself to someone I've just met. Writing has always been an outlet for me though and it's easier to express myself in that form.

None of my blogs really meant to be public when I first started out. With Austin's, it was a way for me to capture my emotions that I couldn't share externally. I could get out what I wanted - and needed - to say regardless of how many tears fell. What I found though was that people found comfort and even inspiration in the sadness. Those who didn't know Austin, and some who never even met him, came to learn who he was. At that point, sharing his story and continuing his legacy became my motivation. As hard as some of my posts were, they were true and how I was feeling at the time, and they helped me keep his memory alive.

With this joy blog, it was just something that called out to me to do. I knew that the coming months would be hard, especially as we near the second anniversary of Austin's death. I could focus on the pain and the looming date or I could choose to see the positives of each day. The pain would be there regardless, but in searching for the joy, I at least have something to look forward to. The blog was purely selfish and a means for me to record my thoughts, reflect on each day, and hopefully heal along the way.

When I write, I have no idea who reads the posts or what they think, unless they tell me. The site keeps track of unique visitors so I can see how many and I can tell what posts might be more popular than others but overall I am writing blind. It doesn't bother me, because as I've mentioned, the goal in the beginning was mainly to help myself and the few family members I knew would read. What I've found though is that this blog has brought joy to others and that both surprises and blesses me. It wasn't my intent but I'm glad to spread a little happiness in someone's day. And actually, that knowledge in itself brings me joy. It was unexpected that something I wrote might help or change someone but I'm grateful for the opportunity to share.

In the end, I am thankful God's given me a gift that I can use to show his love. On difficult days, I remind myself that the joy I find in today's sunset may bring sunshine into someone's tomorrow. And so I record and share another day.


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