I've been kind of obsessing over how to write this post today. If you hadn't noticed, I've had a bit of a hard time blogging lately. It's not that I don't have anything to say; to the contrary, I have a ton to say and no clue how to say any of it.
This is fine, usually. I can typically gimp my way to Bethlehem when the time and the internet connection make themselves evident, and you guys always pat my head and tell me I'm not crazy and that you love my shoes and you make me feel 10,000 times better. But this isn't any normal blog post. This blog post is for 10,000 kids. I feel like I have to do it, like, properly.
And I've already started rambling. Sorry, 10,000 kids.
I was invited to join #Blogust, which is a blog relay for/by @ShotAtLife. For 31 days, 31 bloggers post and for every comment left, $20 is donated to get a kid in a developing country life-saving vaccines. If you've ever had the vaccination conversation with me, you know how I feel about them.
I grew up with a kid who had Polio.
My kids will get every freaking vaccine you can shove in their chubby wubby widdle thighs.
And if I can write one blog post to help give some other kids that same protection, well, I better get to it.
Except, yeah. There's that thing about not even knowing where to start. I mean, look at me. I'm posting in sentences. I can't even bring myself to form coherent paragraphs. This thing, this cycle-ending, it's the sucks. It is so hard to process what my family is going through right now enough to type it out into little text editors. It's harder still to throw it on a public space and let a ton of people I don't really know sift through it.
But I do anyway. Because of this.
@mrlady fist bump back. I remember when you first wrote about it, all I kept thinking was, wow..it's not just me. That helped.— I am the Bad Wolf (@gwennyrah) August 11, 2012
...and a gazillion emails, tweets, comments, FB messages, and texts just like it. Somehow, this trainwreck I'm digging myself out of is helping someone, and that's really why I keep writing this. Every time I don't want to write something, I don't want to say something, I don't want to admit something, I think about the blogger who emailed me to tell someone, anyone, that an addict ruined her family financially and they're on welfare now and she just needed to say it to someone. I think about every single person who's emailed privately and just said, "Me, too." I think about all the Gwennyrah's out there who feel as alone as I did, as I do, and I type.
Badly. I'm so sorry.
What we say to each other matters. What we do in this space, lifting each other up, holding each other close and saying yes, my sisters and brothers, we are in this together, that matters. That changes lives.
In my old line of work, I spent a lot of time studying the online community, watching trends, deciphering behaviors. I noticed a very grand thing that I would very much so like to take out a gov't grant to do an anthropological study on...that after a few years of us asking the question, "What can I get from blogging?" we all kind of shifted a little, and now the question seems to predominantly be, "What can I do with my blog?" I imagine this is a natural human process, but it's been remarkable to watch the sudden-evolution in a virtual space.
Some of us get the chance to do very large-scale things, like my fellow Shot @ Lifers and dear friends CC Chapman and Karen Walrond. Some of us get to do more home grow things, like using our blogs as a platform to advocate for kids with disabilities, like my Canadian bestie Tanis. Some of us form non-profits to help give women a voice, like my friend and hero Maggie Dammit. Some of us use what we know and can do to shine lights on social injustice, like my ohmygodshe'smybossnow Lesbian Dad.
And some of us, like me, just type some crap on the internet.
But I think all of us would agree that no matter what we do, we are getting a whole lot more than we could ever possibly give. You guys, each one of you, even you lurkers who think I don't know you're there, you save me, every single day - even the days I'm not here. You are my shot at life. Your support, your understanding, your acceptance of me with all my flaws and imperfections and failures and struggles...you make me feel like it is all going to be okay. You make me not ashamed that I have no money in the bank, and I had no furniture two weeks ago, and that I keep cycling through this same crap over and over again like a karmic rebirth groundhog day.
So really, this is to say thank you. Thank you for your comments, your emails, your DM's and messages. Thank you for your vibes when you don't know what to say, but you're thinking about us. We feel it. Thank you for your kindness, your gentleness. Thank you for your ear. Thank you for listening. Thank you for holding us up.
Okay, so, every comment left on all 31 of our blogs up gives $20 to vaccinate a kid against measles, pneumonia, diarrhea and polio, up to $200,000. That's 10,000 kids who get a shot at a better life. Yesterday, Suzanne Chan of Mom Confessionals handed the torch to me and now I'm going to hand it to my friend Renee Ross of Cutie Booty Cakes.
You guys are really good at helping me. What do you say we help some kids? Comments are below; you know what to do.
Thank, yous guyses.