It’s been a crappy couple of days. Maybe longer, it’s hard to tell. Most crap doesn’t come neatly wrapped in a box (at least mine doesn’t), so after a while it’s difficult to discern where/when it began (let alone when it will end).
For a while, I let the crap dampen my enthusiasm for this blog – this barely out of the womb website that’s way too young to judge as harshly as I do. It didn’t take long to convince myself to stop writing. After all, this kind of navel-gazing is appropriate for a journal (if you’re 14), but not a blog (well, not my blog).
Then, in the most unremarkable of moments – at the end of a PTA meeting, waiting to talk with someone, saying a brief hello to someone else – it happened. At the risk of sounding full of myself (did you catch my previously mentioned aversion to navel-gazing?) God did what God does all too often for me: gave me the gift of knowing that something I did/said mattered.
Another parent – someone I’ve chatted with at classroom parties and exchanged a handful of emails with – stopped me to say “I’ve been meaning to tell you, you made me cry. Your post about Autism, on your blog … I was going to email you.” It wasn’t a good time to talk, with so many other people around. When we parted, I said something superficial, like “I’ll buy you a caffeinated beverage and we can catch up!” (oh, I hate when that Leah takes the reins) but inside I was thinking “Oh, my gosh, someone other than my mother read my blog.”
On my way to my car, her words sank in: what I wrote resonated with her. A post that was intended to be purely cathartic for me, struck a chord with someone else – in the same way that she struck a chord in me, with her perfectly timed reference to the fledgling project I was ready to cast aside. There is no paycheck, no award, no recognition or praise of any kind that can compare with the feeling of being or doing what someone else needed in the moment they most needed it.
I’m convinced this is my calling, although I have yet to figure out how to (succinctly) articulate it, let alone get paid for it. Throughout my life, I have been blessed (or spoiled?) with opportunities to be a vessel or conduit for others who are wrestling with how to get from here to there. It’s all very Wizard of Oz, really, since most people already have what they need or know where they want to be, but find me helpful in motivating, clarifying, or simply walking alongside them.
So the blog that’s all about me, maybe isn’t all about me.
Oh, I hope that’s true!