The real reason I have started writing a blog is this: my head is too full.
I guess eventually word might get out that I have started a blog. If I advertise it enough times on Facebook and Twitter maybe someone, somewhere, will want to read it. I don’t really expect that, and it is not why I am writing it. That would simply be a nice bonus. The real reason I have started writing a blog is this: my head is too full. That, and the fact that I really enjoy writing but don’t have the guts (or stamina) to try to write a book.
Let me explain. I have a theory that I have developed over the past 10 years while studying at university. My theory is that whenever you try to cram new information into your brain, something has to give. There is simply not enough space in there to remember everything perfectly and be able to recall it when you want to. So, for every new piece of information I take in, I figure something old falls out. Probably from my left ear – I have noticed it gets a bit itchy now and then.
During the past ten years I have studied a Bachelor of Nursing, a Graduate Certificate in Cancer and Haematology Nursing, and have also just completed a Masters Nurse Practitioner. That’s a lot of new information I have had to cram in. Add to that political and world events, my social life, family life and the real life experiences from my nursing – the clinical skills, assessment skills, the signs and symptoms that are retained and then contribute to the ‘intuitive’ part of my nursing care…and that’s a whole lot of stuff going in. So what gave?
At first it was the little things – which child was going on a school excursion and whether I had signed the note, what I needed to buy at the shops, which bills had not been paid, how to operate the DVD player. Then all of a sudden I started realising that big things were missing. Stories my children had told me about their day/life/thoughts/feelings. Remembering birthdays of friends and families. Words of wisdom from my husband (like how to operate the DVD player). People’s names, and how I knew them. And large chunks of my childhood memories have all but disappeared.
I first started writing a blog about 8 years ago. But it wasn’t user friendly, was mainly about my travel experiences, and I didn’t bother to continue after a few months because I stopped traveling and then didn’t think anyone would be interested. In the last year I have started reading blogs and been inspired by some truly amazing bloggers. Examples include Ian Miller’s Impacted Nurse, Dennis Wright’s My Unwelcome Stranger, Ann’s Life and Other Turbulence and more recently Anura’s blog.
Nurses are taught that reflection through writing a journal is a good way of dealing with some of the emotionally tougher aspects of our jobs, as well as helping us to learn from our experiences. I don’t know that anyone will be interested in reading about my nursing, but the nature of my work in Oncology means that some days I really want to be able to share (maintaining confidentially of course) what I am going through and what I have learned about life as I care for others.
The other reason to blog is that since I have been writing emails about travel and living overseas, I have been encouraged by a few friends, colleagues and relatives to write these into a book. Maybe they are just being polite, but many tell me that they have enjoyed my emails and look forward to the next installment. My mother-in-law tells me that it would be good to leave these behind one day for my children and grandchildren in the form of a book. I know that I have read my father-in-law’s autobiography “A Backward Glance” several times, and that I have learned a lot about him through that. Since his death it almost feels like I can hear his voice as I read his words. I really don’t think I am ready to write a book. I don’t have enough interesting things to say, and my life is pretty ordinary. But perhaps by creating an online footprint through a blog, one day my children and descendants may be able to find out a bit more about me and my family and have a real sense of who I am.
So what sort of blog will this be? I don’t think I can answer that yet. Even though I have a few ideas, I am sure that it will be a bit of a moving feast and will evolve over time. Hopefully someone will want to read it. But in the end, it’s really just my way of dumping things out of my brain to make room for something new. I figure I am ready for the journey, and I hope someone will come along for the ride with me.