Writing makes me feel connected. I think I have always known that on a deeper level, but I never realised, until I moved to the other side of the world and so much of my life changed, just how true and significant that was for me.
When my boys were little, I kept a book for each of them. I would write the funny things they would say and yes, there were plenty! But I would also write a journal of what it was like to be their mother, to witness their lives through a mother’s eyes, and how it felt to watch each of them becoming who they are today, two kind, beautiful and caring young men.
In my work, I have always had to write – newsletters, annual reports, media releases and website content. The writing that brought me alive was always where I took a chance and wrote about my experience of what I had to do or write about. Like my perspective on taking a journalist deep into the townships in Cape Town to interview a couple about the business they started from their humble shack. While the journalist was looking for hard news, I knew that the story was deeper than their business. So as the journalist was about to turn her back on them, I started to ask questions and their answers intrigued her. She took out her notebook and started to write and she left with an amazing, heart-warming story. And the story I wrote of that experience is one of which I am very proud.
Since we’ve been in London, I have written an email to my family every week. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, every week. Until I started blogging – a whole two months ago! – I guess my weekly email was my family-blog. My darling family get all the goss, the low-down, the inside stories and the things that make me crack up. Bless them for not unsubscribing. (Not that I’ve ever given them the option!) But the writing and sharing of information with them is important to me. It keeps me connected to them and it makes me feel like I am carrying them along with me on this adventure, which sometimes feels like a roller-coaster ride, but it never feels like I am alone.
Now I get to do that – censored, to a certain extent – with all of you. And I realised the other day that my blogging world connection is my water cooler conversation every day. Working from home, as I do – in a manner of speaking, if you call writing articles about “trimming your goatee with a nose trimmer” a job, it’s fun and it pays for, um, postage stamps – I miss the connection with other people. My husband always comments on how much of a social person I am, how I love meeting other people, I’m always so interested in getting to know other people, finding out about them and then telling them my jokes. And I guess that’s what I do with all of you.
Writing in this fashion is one way of connecting with other people. And it’s never a one-way experience. I love the interaction with each of you lovely, loyal readers of my blog – your comments make my day, your sharing of my journey makes my day, and I love getting to know each of you. I so enjoy reading your blogs too, getting to know you and engaging with you through what you write. You share so much of who you are through what you write. I learn from you, I learn what great writing looks like, and you’re becoming my new friends and colleagues.
This post has turned into something different from what I had planned. I guess it’s become a tribute to writing. And to you. Thank you.
Sunshine signing off for today.