When Blogging Feels Stupid

2016 was a fucking mess of a year. War, terrorism, and our election. It might be the first year in my life in which my predominant memories are not totally self-centered–they are about what happened in the world rather than what happened in “my world”. Still, my world felt crazy. As 2017 came around I knew I would have to change things; living in a constant state of outrage and disbelief and sadness was no longer a way of living I could sustain.

I tried a few different things to get my sanity back; I was searching for a way that I could make a positive impact on the world but not get swallowed up by politics and tragedy. I needed to find joy in the midst of the bad and the sad; it was the only way I could live my life. I marched. I rallied. I protested. I joined an activist group in Brooklyn. I started calling my senators regularly. I went off of Instagram and Facebook. It was all trial, with some success, and some error. I learned a lot. First, I realized that constantly trying to measure my impact is futile; there is enough value in reaching or helping even one person. Second, I learned that I only have so much time. There were a few months where I was wearing myself thin going to rallies and meetings and protests. I learned quickly that I would be more effective if I committed myself to fewer projects and focused on something I felt consistently passionate about. Which leads me to the third thing I discovered: I only want to do things if I can give them my all, and I can’t give something my all if it doesn’t wholly align with who I am. Case in point: my activist group in Brooklyn. I met so many amazing people there, some that I am even still in touch with. But in whole, there was a very strong politically democratic focus in their goals and that helped me with my decision to step aside. This might seem strange as I lean very far left politically. But the truth is, I am tired of the right and the left. I am tired of having issues that affect poor people and minorities and women politicized for financial and power gains. It makes me sick. So when the group talked of going to support local democratic candidates that I didn’t really believe in solely because they were the democratic candidate, I knew I had to focus my energy elsewhere.

All of this led me back to blogging–because my passion for writing and connecting with people does not waver. I’ve found that I connect most sincerely with people through writing about the things that I love–running, travel, wellness, food, and life lessons.

This is all great. But then this administration makes moves to fuck the environment. And then terrorists plow their cars into crowds of innocent people enjoying a warm spring evening. I wanted to share today about our trip to Portugal; we just got back last night. But suddenly, that seems, well, stupid.

But I know that it’s not. And I will share Portugal with you. But I had to pause, and just acknowledge that I am conscious of how much bigger the world is than me. For the moment, I have not been personally touched by tragedy. This allows me the freedom to participate in, write about, and explore the joy in the things that I love. I know that not everyone gets this. I know that some people have this and then get it taken away from them. I know I am one of the lucky ones.

Chaos and tragedy did not begin nor did it end in 2016–life continues. I am going to keep finding happiness and I am going to help other people realize their joy. Terror’s reach will be far more devastating if we’re to let it extinguish the love and the light in life that define our humanity. The good things in life are as real as the bad ones. Still, I couldn’t bear to tread the line of escapism. I can’t and won’t acknowledge every attack or death that happens around the world. I won’t always speak out (besides to my husband) when an abhorrent decision is made by our government. But, I did just want to say that finding my way of coping with the current state of the world and allowing myself some sanity does not diminish my care for victims, nor my hope and drive for the betterment of all our lives.

14 thoughts on “When Blogging Feels Stupid

  1. Apologies as I definitely missed reading your response. I just now discovered the “Conversations” feature on WordPress! You can tell I’m not the most tech savvy of bloggers, but I learn with time. I reactivated FB for about a half hour a few weeks ago and just scrolling the newsfeed of basically nonsense I thought to myself, “How did you ever waste so many hours on this?” While I do miss the ease of finding events in the area (I had taken a sports nutrition class in the fall that I only found out about via FB) overall I really don’t see a need to bring it back into my life. I used to post links to my new blog entries but other than my mom and maybe a random person or two, I never got many of my FB friends to read anyway; I’m glad you’ve found some success in doing so!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m reading some of your old entries courtesy of your last post highlighting some of them. I really love this one as I too felt drawn to doing more this year. I would say I first got riled up last year when the Standing Rock protests began and even more so when I saw what the administration was set to do to our environment. It encouraged me to find a way to help fight climate change more than just my usual protect the environment behaviors such as recycling. I joined Citizens Climate Lobby and at some point hope to blog about how that has been going for me. I agree though that you can’t get sucked into every world story or you’ll go crazy; I quit Facebook about mid September and it’s been one of the best things I could’ve done for myself with a main reason being no more media overload.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tracy I quit Facebook and Instagram about 10 months ago—I brought Facebook back because I want to share my writing on there, and it is the only way I connect with a few friends that I really would like to maintain small but meaningful relationships with. Now I go days though without going on, I really only go on to post my writing. It’s made a world of difference. I think after the election so many of us started to rethink our use of all these platforms. Freedom from them has been a real breath of fresh air for me. Glad it seems to be having positive effects on your life as well!
      Thanks for checking out some of my oldies 😍. So grateful you are part of my blogosphere!! Have a great holiday lady!! x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: I’ve Got Nothin’ – cat h. bradley

  4. Beautiful points. I can relate to the emotions, wanting to make a difference. I started volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters because I felt like our country had gone selfishly crazy. We can all do something, even if it’s not a lot. I agree, I am also sick if the divisiveness. I don’t fit in a box for one side or the other. I’m also deeply saddened by the “you lost, we won” rhetoric, at this point with all the hatred among U.S. citizens, we are all losing. Looking forward to following your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. hey cat,

    i love the way you write. it seems that words flow from your mind-heart straight to your fingertips. seamless. i am a very slow writer. i read and reread my blog, edit, edit, and edit, until i am happy with the way i have written what i have written. that’s me.

    i love that you can think of blogging as stupid — i sometimes refer to my blog as ‘my stupid blog.’ i write about anything that i can go back to (some time later) and read. not into joining political rallies though, not my thing. 🙂

    life goes on… hey thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey! Thank you so much, that is a huge compliment. I think I am a slow writer as well but I’ve used blogging to work on that. I know not everything I put out is perfect, but I think it’s good practice to put it out there anyway and then get back to churning out more work. Write write write!! Thanks so much for checking out my blog–happy to have you 😍.


  6. Love this post. Have you ever read ‘Revolution’ by Russell Brand? Great book and I think you’d enjoy it – it made so much sense to me and helped me make sense of what I wanted to do and be in the world.


  7. Thanks Corrina! So glad you can relate. I expect that many can. I don’t think I’m the only one posting about running and donuts and other light things but with heavier things on the mind. Great post today by the way 😘.


  8. I love this post so much. So. Much. I also had that surge of action following the events of 2016 and now this year too. I wanted to make my protest heard. I wanted to do as much as I could. But it does wear you down. I came to a point too where I left political groups because their objectives started to veer away from what I’d signed up to, or there was a lot of in-fighting and distraction, or they moved in a direction that I didn’t feel I could support. You can’t run yourself ragged fighting everything at once. So now I try to focus on less activity because I can devote more time and a higher quality of action. I’m a member of the Labour Party here in the UK and we have a general election coming up. So I’ve been out leafleting and sharing information and supporting my local candidate as well as the leader of the party. That’s my goal for now. Stuff like Brexit and Syria and privatisation of our heath services and under-funding of our education provision will form part of the election of course but supporting those causes individually will have to sit on the back burner for now. I totally understand where you’re coming from, I really do.

    Liked by 1 person

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