On Monday I took Casey to Cabin John Park. It's not our local park, but it has a miniature train ride that kills about 20 minutes, so I am always up for making the trip.
After our wild train excursion, I let Casey play on the playground for a while when I saw a child I swore I recognized. He looked about 4 or so, so I started going through the mental checklist. Braden's school? No. Pool? No. Child of some acquaintance I am about to run into and not remember their name? No.
Then it came to me.
This child, as well as his two other brothers in tow, are the stars of one of my favorite blogs - Amalah. This blog rocks. The author, Amy, is hysterical. It is on my reading list and I read every single post.
In a weird way, I was starstruck. I know so much about her kids, and they are adorable. Three boys. All there. I wanted to run up and hug them, ask them about their recent vacation, and make Casey befriend them. I soon realized that if they were there, then maybe Amy would be there too, and I frantically started scanning the playground (boo, she wasn't).
It then dawned on me that I was being really psycho stalkerish. I snapped myself out of it, got the stick out of Casey's mouth that he had been gnawing on during my zoned out state, and left shortly thereafter.
It was kind of weird.
Fast forward to Tuesday night. I was at a summer associate event at my husband's law firm (oh, how I love those). I was a bit tipsy. Okay, maybe drunk. Just a little. The alcohol was free, y'all.
In any event, I was meeting people left and right and making small talk for most of the night. Just as we were about to leave, we joined a circle of people so my husband could say hello to someone, and a girl introduced herself to me with the following:
"Hi, I'm [I actually can't remember her name.]. I just wanted to let you know that I love your blog."
Ahoy hoy, what?
This little blog of mine isn't so mainstream, if you haven't noticed. I know some people read it (thank you all for reading!). But it isn't so popular that I expect random strangers to know me from it. This ain't Amalah by a long shot, in quality or quantity.
I was startled, in a good way. I thought it was so nice of her to approach me, and obviously I really appreciate her reading (and if you are reading now, friend I met on Tuesday night, I truly do appreciate you saying something and hope you don't unread me now that you are the subject of this post.).
But I was also a little freaked out. Because there I was, at my husband's law firm event, putting on a show like one does at a social function. Doing the cordial hellos, the where are you froms, the oh yes, I LOVE Southeast Asia, but it's been ages since I've been and I'd love to go back. I was acting social and happy and put together and my muffin top was very well hid.
But there it was, someone there who knew it was all an act. Because if she really does read the blog, she knows that I'm not fine. That I hate flying. That Kelly Clarkson sings my theme song. That my house is a mess. That my so-called career is in a flux. That I've had a rough year. Things you wouldn't normally talk about at a law firm function.
It was kind of weird.
But then I thought back to how I felt when I saw Amalah's kids. I wasn't sitting in judgment. Not at all. Instead, I felt connected. I wanted to see the author and hug her kids and tell her how I relate to so much of what she says. The thing is, blogging reflects an honesty and vulnerability that you don't get from everyday social interactions. So when you stumble upon a stranger that you feel like you know on such a deep level, it's kind of exciting.
Just like I felt like I knew these three boys at the park, this girl felt like she knew me. And in a way, she does. More than acquaintances, more than some friends, and more than some family who don't read the blog. And knowing me, with all the good and bad that this blog conveys, she still wanted to come up and say hello.
That made me feel great.
One of my favorite bloggers, Tanis Miller, recently wrote a post on why she blogs. And she is a way better blogger and writer than I, so let me quote her here:
"I blog because every time I sit down at my keyboard I find a bit more of myself. I remember who Tanis Miller once was and now is and every word I read and write brings me just a little closer to the person I one day hope to be."
I couldn't have said it better myself.
Blogging has brought more sincerity to my life. It has been a mirror. It has been a record. It has been a way to reach out to others. And it mostly happens behind a computer screen.
But when that raw honesty unexpectedly intersects into my real life, whether at a park or at a law firm event, it's a pretty amazing thing.