… but I haven’t had much to say around here of late. And when that happens, I just can’t bring myself to post lots of pictures and uninteresting captions. (And this is … another bird. And a flower.) Also, that’s a lot of work and not really interesting for anyone. So the blog has been a little … dormant.
Part of the reason, i think, is that it’s now my job to *think* and *write* at work. I write a lot. I’ve never actually had to do that for a job before (despite the fact that it’s what I studied to do and probably what I’m best at). And my job is GREAT — I love getting paid to think, and feeling like I’m actually good at it.
But it does kind of leave me without much to say outside of work. If you want a nicely reasoned, concise analysis of Ecuador’s political situation (in no more than 10 paragraphs!), I’m totally your girl. But then to come home and come up with witty observations about life in Ecuador (with no political commentary, thoughts about my job, or anything else that might endanger me or my blog) … is apparently too much. There’s just nothing there.
(I am, apparently, still pretty good with the parentheticals. That’s something.)
The other part of the reason, I think, is that I forgot what this blog was about. Let’s have a story, shall we? A long long time ago, I studied abroad in Chile. It was my first time abroad and everything was NEW. And exciting and interesting. I wrote long emails with my stories and sent them out to friends and family (to mixed reviews — my father read them out loud to his colleagues; my brother called them spam. really.). I wrote whatever I wanted, trying to capture the characters and the stories and the experience.
A few years later, I again went abroad to study, this time for grad school. A friend there taught me what a blog was and helped me start one to replace the old mass-email system. That was 2006 (happy 5 year birthday, blog!).
So when I started my blog, it was primarily to update my friends and family back home about what I was seeing and doing and thinking about while living overseas. For a long time, I’m pretty sure my only reader was my mom. And I wrote whatever I wanted. I didn’t post any pictures at all — heresy, by today’s blog standards. But without pictures, you actually have to think and write things! Which kind of made it much more interesting.
Like I said, that was 5 years ago. The blog followed me to Cyprus, Ohio, Washington, Bangladesh, and now Ecuador (with stops in Argentina and a bunch of other countries). And somewhere along the line, people started reading. Not a lot, but enough to become intimidating. And I started worrying about what I wrote.
When you’ve got readers in other countries — when you’re living as a guest in another country — you start to become super cautious about what you post. Because you think it MIGHT offend someone. And you wouldn’t want to POSSIBLY insult anyone. And pretty soon, you’ve thought yourself into a corner where you don’t want to say anything at all, unless it is GREAT. And really, it’s not possible for everything to be GREAT all the time. And if you only post the GREAT it gets pretty bland and impersonal and uninteresting.
If you want a third and final reason this blog has sucked? Blog intimidation. When I started reading other blogs, I read about people posting daily and growing their audience and monetizing and search engine optimizing. And of course I started to compare my humble little blog to these super-ambitious, semi-professional blogs, and I got overwhelmed. It’s silly, but I felt, well, inadequate. For a while I tried to post regularly and be more interactive and to grow my readership … it wasn’t good. I felt like the blog was trying to be too many things to too many people, and in the process had lost whatever personality it ever had.
That’s where I feel like we are right now.
All that to say, I’m not real sure where this blog will go. I’ve thought of abandoning it entirely or of starting fresh or of just writing for myself and not posting it online. But it kind of seems like a shame to just walk away from my little space. So? We might go back to how this blog started — just me sharing stories and thoughts on life.
If I ever have any. I guess we’ll have to see.