Sunday, October 04, 2009

Interview with another lurker

Alternate title: Even though it may have jumped the shark, why I still blog

Two weeks ago, I posted my first interview with a lurker to great fanfare. Within minutes, I had several emails from a few other lurkers removing their cloak of invisibility. The stories and encouragement I'm receiving from perfect strangers was the balm of Gilead to a rather crummy week. People, I may have shed a few tears. Believe it or not, this lady is a bit of a softy.

I shared a few amazing emails with Gail, who runs a custom tack shop in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. How Gail stumbled onto this canvas of the wanderings of my mind is rather miraculous. Are you ready for the bacon-less degrees of separation?
  1. A search for a website of a former classmate's daughter injured in a car accident lead her to
  2. Cancer patient Johnathon Walls from Oregon and four years of following his blog where
  3. A link was posted to Alexa Aigner in Texas where "I positively fell in love with this wonderful little girl and followed her story, shed a lot of tears and grieved right along with everyone else, in silence. I still follow Crys and have written her several emails about a donation of my custom horse tack for a raffle to benefit the Princess Alexa Foundation." Sweet Alexa is the niece of
  4. My girl Colleen who "doesn't post often enough. Boo." (Yeah Colleen! Boo!)
  5. "So, here I am, a devout fan of The Nat Attack. You give me inspiration with your independence and spirit of adventure and your dedication to your friends and family. I love how you fly off to another country to explore and take a drive 200 miles from home for awesome good food."
"Sometimes we humans are connected through trouble and sadness or joy and happiness and we are not even aware of it. It's a way to see that we are all alike and so different at the same time. We find humor and camaraderie in each other without knowing it or others and we also inspire others silently as well. "
The title of this post really should be "Gifts from Gail." What a sweet, honest, unsolicited email to receive. I promptly wrote her back, thanked her for her support and asked if I could use her story and words. She replied with the following:
"By all means, share my words. I feel for you, I really do. I gathered it was hard for you to be so far away but I do admire how you have plunged ahead and are carving out a nice life for yourself in Boston. You truly do not know how encouraging that is for me. Isn't it funny how lives are intertwined? I have to say I have felt guilty at times for peering into the lives of others and I have seen such sadness and also joy in those lives as well. We don't know how our lives or examples affect others along the way and that it really laces everyone together as a human race, most of the time we aren't even aware of it. There are so many things in the new technologies we are in to make things impersonal but maybe knowing that you are giving others strength and courage each day as well and that others are giving you a silent 'woot woot' is a good thing too."
Friends and readers. I don't know Gail (I hardly remember where Michigan is) and yet she spoke some of the nicest, kindest words of encouragement. And also defined why lurking on blogs is perfectly acceptable (all you silent viewers can rejoice!).

Gail touches on one of my favorite parts about the blogging community I've thought a lot about recently. I've been amazed at the way we're all connected as a human family--frankly who knew this little project started three and a half years ago would become what it has! Fifty people took my "How do you know me?" quiz and the results are fairly shocking. I've heard repeatedly in the last month how excited people are that I'm back to blogging (for the record, I'm thrilled to be back as well.) I don't take y'all for granted--I appreciate the response and comments and links and general support. After my post re: vertigo, I had an insane amount of gChats, comments, and texts with treatments and cures--true empathy displayed at its finest.

Sometimes I don't know if I'm doing this whole blogging thing right. Too many words, or too many photos, or being too braggy, or playing too much of a highlight reel, or being too downtrodden, or being too this, that or the other. Regardless, when I discuss frustration with life, y'all are some of my biggest supporters. When I achieve something great, you're the first to cheer with me. As one of my guiltiest shames claims, we're all in this together--and figuring it out together. And together, wondering why I'm still waxing nostalgic and sentimental and probably borderline cheesy, but it was General Conference weekend and I'm still riding the spiritual high... like I said, this lady is a bit of a softy.

So hold tight for the next ride, I don't have plans to go anywhere. As Gail so eloquently states, "we find humor and camaraderie in each other" and let's make it for several more years to come.


Mary said...

I love it! Go Gail! And go Nat! Technology can be used for good or evil, as we are all well aware. Thank you for using it for good, evidenced by the friends you've made in no other way but through this blog.

Jody said...

I was just thinking the other day how glad I am that you're back to blogging. It was missed.

Nat Attack said...

Thanks Mar & Jody -- I do love and enjoy both of your blogs as well! XO.

moe said...

I wouldn't worry too much about if you're "doing this whole blogging thing right" because clearly you're doing something very right to have so many loyal followers. Best dare I ever made!

Team Russi said...

We are friends of the sweet Aigner family, and found your blog via similar steps. Alexa was a beautiful girl. My son attended day care with Alexa and even shared the same birth week. Knowing her really did mean loving her.

Alaina said...

I love everything about this post. What an eloquent writer Gail is! As are you - makes sense you're kindred spirits. Thanks for sharing these uplifting words.

Newt said...

I was recently reflecting on the relationships we can forge and strengthen using this world wide web. It's pretty amazing.

♥ ♥ ♥

Keep writing, pup.

Jan said...

You'll always be Nettie to me.

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!