When I first discovered blogs and blogging I was all alone. I didn't know a lot of moms in real life, and I was sure I didn't know anyone who felt like I did. And then suddenly I did.
I read these blogs - mid level blogs, I guess you'd call them, not tiny like me but I never once read Dooce or the Blogesss - and I fell in love. I wanted to read all their words, leave them meaningful comments, join their lively conversations on twitter.
I wanted to be their friends.
The Internet is a strange place. It makes you think you know people when you really don't.
Some of them were extremely sweet and patiently answered my emails and tweets. But not all of them. And even the ones who did, I quickly realized, were being polite and didn't really care that much what I had to say.
I was crushed. I was humiliated. I was angry. I was heart broken that they didn't like me as much as I liked them. I thought for sure it was because I wasn't good enough, wasn't big enough, was a crazy annoying stalker, didn't deserve their friendship.
But I see now that isn't what it was at all.
You never really know what's going on with someone. You don't know how busy or overwhelmed she is, how much pain she is, what her limitations are when it comes to socializing and communicating.
And people flock to who and what they know, especially when they're struggling. You can't fault a person for talking to her best friend instead of to a stranger.
And over time I built up my own community on twitter. People who I consider some of my best friends in the world. And I still follow and read and admire some of those bigger bloggers. But they aren't the first place I look anymore.
But I worry. I still remember that feeling, of just wanting a place to belong. I see people who think I'm "big," who leave me comments and tweets because there's something they're looking for too. And I wonder how it is that I come across, whether I make anyone feel more alone than when they started.
I dont' want to let everyone down. I want to spread kindness to everyone. And I'm trying, even when I'm struggling, even when I'm overwhelmed.
But the Internet, it really is a tricky thing, isn't it?