Every month, I pay WP Engine® $50 to host this blog on a dedicated server. I also pay Bluehost money for some reason they’ve tried to explain to me over and over again but I still can’t figure out.
Personally, I think it’s a racket.
All I know is that last year when I stopped paying Bluehost this protection money (that, by the way, those helpful tech support folks in Utah said I didn’t need to pay anymore since I’m hosted at WP Engine) my blog, along with my vanity email address, went dark.Is Social Media Good for us?
I’m thinking about hiring Julie at Fabulous Blogging (who you should hire if you need help with your blog) to figure it out for me, but then I think, “Hell Chloe, (because I always talk to Chloe in the third person), you hardly blog anymore. Why don’t you take this stupid thing down and use the money for something, well, useful?”
Then I decide to do that, and then I don’t do anything.
This has been going on for months.
Just when I make the decision to pull the plug on my blog, I get a pitch for something like FLOR, or I get offered an all-expense paid trip to Miami with AARP. The FLOR thing was a happy little One-and-Done, but AARP is still waiting for their third and last article about how terrific AARP Discounts are.
Unfortunately I’m pretty sure my readers are NOT waiting for a third post about how fantastic AARP Discounts are–which is sort of too bad because they do have great discounts. I know that before I can write another sponsored post about AARP Discounts I need to write something genuinely interesting to my audience. Unfortunately, that would mean writing something genuine, and then…
Okay, not exactly. It’s not that I’m easily distracted; it’s just that I have a lot going on. And frankly, I’m still trying to decide whether or not it’s healthy to have a blog.
After spending an hour or so perusing Get Off My Internets (GOMI) for the down and dirty gossip about BlogHer15 (because I’m sick that way), I am certain blogging isn’t healthy. None of this social media garbage is healthy. Human beings are meant to live real lives, not curated lives fashioned to get page views, likes, retweets, and other totally meaningless shit like that.
But real lives are messy and not easily pinned.
Real lives aren’t squee-filled tweets about how FABULOUS! a time you are having at a blogging conference, or picmonkeyed photos of expensive meals waiting to be devoured while on extravagant vacations.
That’s the face of our lives we want the world to see; the face of our lives we wish was true if only we were thinner, prettier, and richer.
Real lives are when our German Shephards bite little girls and we have to put them down.
But I don’t want to write about euthanizing my dog because he bit a little girl. First of all, I don’t want to hear from crazy animal lovers who think I’m an evil person because we put down our dog after he bit a little girl. I don’t want to explain how it happened, why it happened, and how, “No, I’m sorry, but we cannot live another 8-10 years with a dog that bites little girls.”
But the truth is that nothing else I can write right now makes sense if I don’t mention, “Oh, and by the way, we had to put down our beautiful, beloved Raynor because he bit a little girl on the face. And, yeah, any way you look at it that makes us shitty dog owners, but there it is. Suck it if you don’t like it because there’s nothing I can do about it now. The little girl is fine, and our dog is dead. The end.”
Also, how can I explain why it makes total sense that my husband and I now live four hours apart? No, we’re not separated, and, no, we’re not getting a divorce, but if I don’t want to explain the rationale behind our decision to live this way to people I know, how much less do I feel like explaining it to people I don’t?
But then what sort of blog is this? Why in the hell am I paying WP Engine® good money every month–and Bluehost good money whenever they feel like taking it–for what basically amounts to a dead blog because I don’t want to live a curated life, but I also don’t exactly feel like letting every Tom, Dick, and loathsome Hater Bitch into my really messy life?
I can’t figure this out. And, no, I’m not asking for reassurance that my blog matters. The question for me is whether or not I’m living an authentic life and if so what role does this blog have in it, if any.
Then I started reading the book Finding Fraser by KC Dyer and it made me yearn for good, old-fashioned blogging again. Anonymous blogging. The sort of blogging where I’m not sitting with all of my co-workers in the pre-shift huddle getting the daily report from the Manager about all the ongoing real-life dramas in my labor and delivery unit when suddenly from the back of the room someone I barely know shouts, “Hey, Chloe of the Mountain, I found your BLOG!” And all I can think about is that post I wrote about having sex in my driveway. I’m not ashamed of that post. Not by any means! I think it is one of the best pieces I’ve ever written. But am I happy my co-workers are reading it? I’m not so sure about that.
I’m not trying to hide anything, but the truth is that the writer me–the curated me–is not exactly the same as the in-person me. They are both me, but the curated me is far more provocative, while the in-person me is more of a quiet observer. The curated me is outrageously blunt and just a little bit naughty. She is also thinner, prettier, and richer than the in-person me. Emotionally, the curated me has learned to dismiss the haters and mean girls because they are the price of admission. But the in-person me? Not so much.
The Way Things Are
The in-person me is currently working at the best nursing job I’ll ever have in this lifetime. Every single day I cannot believe I’ve fallen into this amazingly fortuitous situation. But in order to have this job I need to live in the City four hours away from that Mountain my url says I’m of. And while I’m living and working here in the City (Chloe of the City?), my husband is living in a 20-year old, 31′ travel trailer he affectionately calls his Tin Can Under a Tree.
Because the problem, you see, is that my husband also has the best job he’s ever going to have in this lifetime, and it’s four hours away from me on our Mountain.
The curated me wants to gush about how amazing this adventure of ours is–and that’s not exactly a lie–but it’s also not exactly the truth. It is hard living apart. But it is working for us right now. It’s working as long as we both continue to keep our eye on the prize which is a retirement we love and can afford.
Last weekend, while I stayed here in the City working, my husband, with the help of his mother and sister, held a garage sale and sold off almost all of our household belongings. We made $1019.39. That’s how much our life–my former in-person life–was worth in cash money. I can’t believe how hard Jeff and I were both working before all of this to support $1019.39 worth of crap!
We’re starting over, but now we’re making very different decisions than the ones we used to make; strategic decisions driven by a sense of purpose and the pursuit of meaning, not emotional decisions driven by our egos and ids.
I suppose I continue to pay WP Engine every month because deep down I do think this life–our real life–Dare I say a Purpose-Driven Life?–is worth blogging about. I want to blog about it. I just wonder how I will find the courage, or the time.