I’ve reworked a post that originally appeared back in March of 2008 on my old blog. I started to say a lot of things then that I want to say again.
I’ve lived in a bubble for most of my life. I was raised Southern Baptist by awesome parents. I did go to public schools, but I was somewhat naive when it came to other people. I think I assumed that most people’s families were similar to mine. I went to a Christian college where my bubble continued to envelope me. I got married right out of college and settled down to have kids. The bubble was ever present. Life in the bubble was comfortable. Easy. I did teach school for awhile and met a few people who lived life outside that bubble. I didn’t understand them, and they scared me. My world-view was small and safe.
In 2002 we moved overseas. I tried to carry my bubble with me. There were many, many people who were different than me, but I did find a rather large group of people who fit quite nicely into my bubble. But then something happened. I got tired of life completely in the bubble. I was meeting people outside of the bubble naturally, and I found myself challenged by our differences. They didn’t scare me. I wanted to understand them.
This same philosophy has carried over to my blogging buddies. The first blog I had was originally private. Only people I gave the blog address to could see it. In November of 2007 I made the big change from private blog to public blog. I stepped out of that bubble. After that many people I didn’t know read my blog. Some even came back for a second or third visit. In January of 2008 I joined twitter. I wasn’t sure what it was or how it would benefit me, but it seemed like the next big thing. I started to converse with some of my blogger friends and talked to new people in real time. It was amazing! Despite our political, religious, cultural, and sexual orientation differences we became friends, and that didn’t scare me.
Fast forward to today. I don’t have that real life safety bubble anymore. I spent so much time outside of it that I no longer fit in it. I still see some of my friends from those days. We still talk on occasion. Many of them are facebook friends, and we exchange pleasantries online but not much more. I don’t think most of them would understand some of the changes I’ve made in my life in the last 2 years. Sometimes it seems easier not to burden them with the choice of whether to accept me or reject me. Better to gradually grow apart than face the rejection some of them are sure to offer. I guess I do that to protect myself.
Since that time I have also had some major blog changes. That original blog where I shared family stories and life in general is still there, but it has seen it’s last post. For a couple of years I also kept an anonymous blog as a way to deal with all that I was going through. It’s still out there as well, but it’s locked down…available only for me to read and reflect on. I started this blog a year ago in an attempt to mesh the ideas behind the other two blogs. I needed a place where I felt comfortable sharing my life with people. Some of the friends I met at my original blog have followed me here. Many have not. That’s mostly my fault I think. I haven’t been good at keeping up with many of them as I’ve dealt with the major life changes at my place. I’ve invited a few of the readers I had at the anonymous blog to read here as well. I think they’re doing that.
And I’m making new friends. People don’t scare me anymore. Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has an experience I can learn from. I may not always agree with those I meet. My beliefs may be completely different from theirs. I may not always understand where they are coming from. But I can listen to them. I can love them. I can be their friend. And the great thing is I want to. I want to live a life full of compassion and love…for everyone I meet.