For a few days now*, I've been ruminating on a recent post from Pru about Infertility blogging: the Halcyon Days Gone By. It made me all wistful and nostalgic and even a little...homesick. It was a time in my life where I had little else to do in the evenings but roam the internets, read blogs, write comments, write my own posts (I used to try to post every other day! Imagine!). The quality of the company was just stupendous. There was, for at least a short time, a real sense of community and togetherness; I for one had the feeling I had found my tribe and my sad, bitter little infertile voice could for once be raised as loud as I wished. It was an amazing revelation to me to learn that people could have serious, soul-destroying problems and still be funny, still laugh about things, still find a snarky comic joy during some very bleak moments.
If you are a blogger now and weren't around then, this is not to make you feel all left out. To be honest, even though I have fallen out of the habit of reading so widely, I had kind of assumed that in some ways, the tradition continued on unabated, although it did seem to me at one point that there were now entirely too many blogs to humanly keep track of. That was part of the beauty of the old days, I think. It used to be on Infertility Island, everyone knew their neighbour and nobody locked their tent at night. But the population seems to have grown and grown. Odd having a overpopulation crisis in a group of people unable to populate themselves, but there you go. I even heard a rumour that there may be a brand new condominium going in by the ferry dock.
For me, blogging changed irrevocably due to three factors. The first, and most serious, was that E. found out about the blog a couple years ago around the time of our first near break-up. Well, I say "found out" but in reality, I did tell him. I think we were having a huge fight about the underlying web of secrets and lies in our relationship and it seemed kind of disingenious to be keeping it from him, considering what a huge amount of time and effort I was spending online. He wasn't particulary amused about it and even though he indicated he wasn't going to read it, from then on I felt eyeballs on the back of my shoulderblades whenever I sat down to write. And I started doing a lot of undesirable self-editing.
And that self-editing became even more self conscious after I got trainwrecked. I hate to even bring this up, since it was a ridiculous incident and it bothers me in the extreme that those sad little fucks (who went around targeting sites to subject to ridicule) might have somehow, in any small way, gotten to me. But it did make me question to some degree as to how my writing might be coming across. That can be an insidious mental journey to take, and in my opinion, one guaranteed to fuck with your blogging head. Who is reading? How often? Do they like me? Do they still like me? Why do they like me? Will they like me if I say...this. What about that? Oh God, I really want to say that but then they might hate me and stop reading. Or maybe they are only reading because they hate me. Oh God, I hate me. Maybe I should just give it all up and work on my knitting. Etc.
The third thing was, obviously, getting pregnant with Botany, her subsequent birth and the mayhem of my ensuing life since then. I no longer have an iota of the free time I used to for the internet; most of my days are spent patching the leaks in the liferaft and trying to keep us afloat (all the while singing a rousing chorus of Incy Wincy Spider at top volume). So it's perhaps easy to wrap up the fondness I felt for the Halcyon Days with the same longing for say, a long lie-in followed by a leisurely coffee while reading the Sunday papers. Or even just thirty uninterrupted seconds to pee in peace.
Anyway, I am not sure where I am going with this little walk down memory lane. But if you're out there blogging, wondering in Jack Johnson fashion- where'd all the good people go, then I hope you somehow manage to carve out your own little happy corner of cyberspace. Everyone should have their own Halycon era. For no matter what fresh hell comes along in future, I think I will always be the better for having experienced that time.
*Nothing gets done quickly around here anymore. I have grey roots showing, I may never reach the bottom of my laundry basket and there are still cardboard boxes from the move sitting in the hall awaiting recycling. Admittedly, the boxes do make great tunnels in which Botany can play.