I remember clearly how excited and nervous I was when I finally started this blog. I was excited because I was finally trying out a new writing venue, but at the same time nervous about putting my writing on the internet. I didn’t know whether to worry more about no one reading it, or lots of people reading it but not liking it, and then saying so. I had seen links to blogs on Facebook with lots and lots of cruel comments, and I didn’t want to deal with that.
Luckily, I didn’t have to worry about either of those things. Enough people read my posts to make me feel that it was worth writing them, and the worst thing that appeared in my comment section was some random spam. Aside from struggling to figure out all the technological issues and getting over my distrust of all things cyberspace, I managed to launch my blog with no problems. There was really only one issue that I struggled with a bit, and that was how to deal with friends who made it a point to tell me that they had no intention of reading my new blog.
I’m not going to lie, at first it hurt my feelings. I thought starting a blog was a very big deal, and I had naively assumed that all of my good friends and close relatives would support me in this venture. And most of them did, for which I will be forever grateful. Still, several good friends congratulated me on my new blog, but followed that up by saying they didn’t have time to actually read it. I smiled and told them that was fine, but that wasn’t true. I was thinking, “Really? I write a short post that takes at the most five minutes to read, twice a week, and you don’t have time? You can’t spare ten minutes a week for something that is clearly so important to me?”
But eventually, I began to understand. Sure, my blog is important to me, because I’m a writer and therefore, I take writing very seriously. But the friends who were telling me this weren’t writers, and for the most part, they weren’t people who enjoyed reading a lot either. To them, my blog was just something I did on the side, like gardening, and while they were pleased I had found a new hobby, they honestly had no idea that I was actually hoping they would read it. They weren’t trying to hurt my feelings or dismiss my creativity, they were just looking at things from their own, unique point of view. Which is, of course, what we all do.
I’m sure if I asked every single one of my friends to name a time when I didn’t offer support to them on an issue that they considered important, each of them could offer at least one example, and probably several. The time I forgot to ask about the new grandson they were so proud of; the time I didn’t recognize a career crisis they were going through, or the time they found the courage to follow a dream and I simply told them, “that’s nice,” and then changed the subject. Too often, we are so busy dealing with the chaos of our own lives that we don’t always keep up with, or even recognize, what is important to others, no matter how much we care. It doesn’t mean we don’t want to “be there” for each other, it just means that we don’t always manage to do it.
Ultimately, I’ve learned that good friends aren’t the people who understand everything about us, or who always do what we want them to do, when we want them to do it. They are just the people who love us, and who really are giving us their best, in their own unique way. And that’s more than enough for me.