My room at the back of the shop

Image: Alexander Shustov

What does blogging mean to me?

This is a question I’m having to look at more closely these days, the more I get into helping others with their blogs and putting on writing workshops and whatnot. As stressful as this has been for me to dive into, it’s also been rather revealing.

When I first started looking into this more closely, I wasn’t really sure. Blogging is something I just… do. And I’ve been doing it for a long time now. But the more I think of it, the more clearly I see the deeper meaning that blogging holds for me.

A couple years ago, I came across a quote from Montaigne (yes, that sounds totally snoody and highbrow, which is exactly why I’m not going to delete it — tee hee), in an essay of his titled On Solitude that set my blogging on its current direction.

Here’s the passage…

We should set aside a room, just for ourselves, at the back of the shop, keeping it entirely free and establishing there our true liberty, our principle solitude, and asylum. Within it our normal conversation should be of ourselves, with ourselves…

He goes on to say…

We have a soul able to turn in on herself; she can keep herself company; she has the wherewithal to attack, to defend, to receive, and to give.

This is what blogging is for me. A place for my soul to turn in on itself and to give myself a reason to reflect on my life. I needed a damn good reason, every day, to do this work.

So much of life is devoted to others. We grow up trying to please our parents. We go to school to please our teachers. We get shitty jobs to meet the expectations of our parents and often work for soul-sucking people who profit off of our time. We nurture relationships, have kids, care for dying relatives, and the list goes on.

I’m 37. Pushing 38. It’s an interesting age. I’ve lived my young life focused towards others. It’s time to take up something for me. Something that feeds my soul. Something that forces me to study this human experience I’ve found myself in before it goes away.

Not only is this good for me, it’s good for my loved ones as well. Self reflection has caused me to show up more strongly in life and to be more mindful of my experience.

Blogging is my asylum.

Blogging came to me when I was in desperate need of a private room at the back of the shop.

And so, here I sit. Looking at myself in the page and hoping you see yourself too.

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