So it took me years to join Facebook and when I finally did (only because my oldest child signed up for an account and I wanted to keep an eye on him), I was petrified to post anything. What if I made a fool of myself? What if I hurt someone’s feelings? Embarrassed my kids? My husband? Accidentally disclosed too much? This felt so stressful! Wouldn’t you know it, within one week I was duped by what I thought was an email from Facebook, which turned out to be a ploy to get my login information. My account was hacked and random posts starting popping up simultaneously on the walls of all my friends. Oops.
That was a few years ago, and I have grown to enjoy (dare I say love?) Facebook, especially since it keeps me in close contact with my family in Italy. And birthdays on Facebook are amazing. But, I’m not a very good Facebook friend, because I hardly ever post. And that’s because I’m essentially a very private person. And I’m not sure how many people are really interested in my stream of conscious thoughts. (Recently I decided against this post: “should I buy a breadmaker and start making my own bread for the family? Owners of breadmakers, please advise!” In the end, I thought, who really cares that I’m debating this issue in my head? I decided on my own that I would NEVER make bread on a regular basis. I barely find time to shop for bread, let alone bake it myself. And I didn’t have to involve 200 people in several states and three countries on that decision.)
This leads me to the question I’ve been wrestling with since the beginning of this year — why does a person, who is essentially private and guarded, want to start a (public) blog? And write about issues which are personal and sensitive? And hope that others follow the blog and read the posts? Maybe even leave (encouraging) comments?
I tried to get my family to talk me out of it — surely my teenage boys would not want their mother blogging to the world about details of their lives. But they were all supportive and strategizing. “Who’s your audience?” said my oldest, trying to help me figure out exactly how my blog would take shape. And from my younger son, “Mom, what if it really takes off? Are you prepared for something like that?” I should have known that today’s youngers are not intimidated by social media like us olders. And of course my husband encouraged me — he has supported every single one of my endeavors during the past 26 years that we’ve been together.
And so it was that I gathered the courage to create Prayers and Piazzas (as fate would have it, that blog title was available!) and design a site that represents me in both words and pictures. And here I write, today, stealing a few quiet minutes this summer morning with the teenagers still cozy in their beds and little sister occupied with her stufties. I realize that for 25 years I have put writing on hold, because I didn’t have a quiet, inspiring place to write, or the laundry needed doing, or kids required one of their needs met. Now I see that inspiration is everywhere, and the writing must get squeezed in along the way, 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there. My heart fills with gratitude and even peace to finally be walking this path, although my steps are timid and shaky.
Shed the light of Your wisdom into the darkness of my mind…
Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent…
A Prayer for Writers, St. Thomas Aquinas