In March of 2008, someone named Kate left me the most lovely comment. She asked me not to publish it so I didn't and won't share it verbatim here in case that still stands. She mentioned how she was going through some difficulties in life and struggles with herself and anxiety and how my habit of editorializing my own quirkiness has given her strength and happiness and how much she appreciates my doing so. I was never able to delete it, so it has sat in my comment inbox for all of these years, quietly reminding me of why we're here whenever I forget.
I do have paralyzing moments of wondering what we're doing here together. I get writer's block wondering why the hell any of you would care what's going on here. I get stage fright wondering why the hell I would choose to share my boring life with hordes of strangers. I get worried that I share too much or too little or of being judged in real life (because not letting real life people know has failed miserably--meaning about half know and the other half may find out at any time and wonder why they never knew). I get insecure over the unspectacularness (I invented that word) of me and my average little family.
And then I see Kate's comment again and feel good about the people I may have accidentally helped along the way, even if it's just with a smile, and I remind myself that I'm recording my life story and hope that my children appreciate its existence one day. I think of Kate probably every day, someone I have literally had no personal contact with since there was no way to reply to her comment, and how she couldn't possibly guess how that one innocuous comment has kept me going through the years.
And although Kate is the poster child of good comments, so many of you have touched me with your words and with the fact that you reached out in some way, or even that you are there. Every time someone comments that they've just read the entire blog from start to finish I am in complete awe (and concerned about your lack of quality reading material) and go to bed that night thinking of their comment (and of the fact that I myself have never read the blog from start to finish...I never re-read it at all, due to aforementioned stage fright). Whenever one of you who have been around for years drops by, I feel like I've been reunited with a long lost friend and am so flattered that you're still out there. Whenever someone new announces their arrival and pleasure at having found us, I am happy they're here and surprised that they took the time to convey their delight.
And I mean to reply to every comment and to reach out to every reader, but I have a short attention span, I'm lazy, and I often read my comments late at night or over the phone and vow to respond the next day and then forget. So, I'm sorry, and thanks to the Kates of the world for being here, and please excuse this cheesetastic interruption of our regular entertainment.
(And I swear this isn't a tactic to guilt you all into commenting more frequently....)