On a whim, close to a year ago, I decided to start a blog. I started it as a practice run for a then upcoming work assignment. I have always been a storyteller but I didn’t know about this blog thing. It seemed vaguely exhibitionist-like and that it was a recipe for trouble. I was skeptical of social media and to a certain extent I still am when it comes to Twitter, so-called news aggregators (i.e. reddit) and Instagram. Yet, I overcame that initial gut-drenched skepticism regarding blogging and this post will be my 200th one. I have had some great postings. I have had some duds. With every art form there are many misses. Yes, I likened blogging to expressions of art. As with everything, when gems do get produced and a great post is born, they are precious and to be savored. I have had a good run with blogging and I couldn’t be happier with the experience. Who knew that writing and talking to world at large would be so invigorating? So, for my 200th blog I will deliver an ode to the art form of blogging in the vein of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem or perhaps in the antithesis of Heath Ledger’s “10 things I hate about you”. Take whichever pop culture reference that suits you.
1. Storytelling runs through my veins. I was born a storyteller and I was meant to be a psychologist. That is what my mom always told me. From spelling bees to actual storytelling contests, I was always talking. I was an only child and I had a lot to say and was always in search of an audience. I wrote my first novel at the age of nine but didn’t return to storytelling writing till now. I was stuck for a while writing boring ho-hum trite academic research papers that were supposedly reviewed by peers (but we all know they are reviewed by curmudgeons who think they are rock stars since 20 other people read their articles). Admittedly, I still write those papers. I still serve as a peer reviewer for academic journals. But that type of writing is not my passion for they do not allow for much storytelling at all. Blogging allows me to return to being that 9 year old storyteller, albeit with a much more adult subject matter (well, in some instances).
2. While I am a storyteller, my mom was a storyteller extraordinaire and I honor her with this blog. She had random stories to share throughout her life. She wrote poems. Loved William Blake. There was nothing she could not spin into a story. I miss those kooky random tale bits. But many of her words live on here.
3. I love storytelling in all its forms. I have just started developing a sense of picture storytelling. I have over 15,000 photos from my travels. Might as well share them with the world, or whoever reads blogs. So many photos capture a moment in time worth exploring further in this fast-paced world.
4. Blogging is cheaper and more convenient than therapy. Have you ever tried finding a therapist in NYC? Good luck with that. I do find that blogging cures all ailments. I have come to realize –especially through my fresh pressed blogs- that at the end of the day, I may have a lot of rage. Sometimes the workday seems just like that Smashing Pumpkins song “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” (whatever happened to Billy Corrigan, eh?). Accordingly, “the world is a vampire sent in to drain”. Word. And a big thank you to the blogging platform for allowing me to vent and find kindred souls. Now, as I go through the workday, I sit in my hundred meetings a day, jotting down little nuggets of nuttiness that are just begging to be blogged about. There is a goldmine out there. I believe I have enough material to do another 200 posts. So, stay tuned. I am bringing my laptop to a meeting near you.
5. I have used blogging to figure out my pitch. The pitch about myself that is. I began this blogging experience to help my organization. Then I realized I could use it to brand myself and find my voice. I am now psychologist mimi. It seems to suit me. I feel an added air of authority. Even in my regular interactions, I sit back and analyze, deconstruct and reconstruct as a story. I wonder if Carrie Bradshaw felt that way.
6. By figuring out my pitch, my voice and my story, I am now somewhat uncensored. And, that has been at the heart of social media’s emerging dominance. Non-censorship and freedom of speech are at the core of our identity as a nation and are key to the development of human rights around the globe. However, there are some limits on what I, and others, can say through social media. Look at the headlines of the last two days whereby we are coming to terms with the government monitoring our cell phone calls and our internet searches. I believe most of us already knew what we are doing is being monitored. Thus, the outrage is a bit disingenuous. What did the people think the Patriot Act was about? Plus, what we are putting out onto social media is for the world to see, anyway, right? This blog is probably being scanned for key suspect words. Nonetheless, I feel a certain amount of freedom to be able to express myself. To be able to say certain people and certain situations are silly, nonsensical and so on. I love being able to say that there are authentic phony people out there after I had an infuriating, phony-filled work encounter. https://psychologistmimi.com/2013/01/27/the-psychology-of-workplace-dynamics-its-ok-to-be-a-phony-as-long-as-it-is-authentic/
I write because I feel it and I am able to express it freely. With that aforementioned blog, I didn’t have to put on a fake smile and take the phoniness. I could call it out. And what an exhilarating outlet that was.
7. As such, I am my own person and no one’s prop. At times women in the work world are used as props and as trophies. I am sure you are shocked by that revelation. Have you seen the recently held televised discussions about how women now out earn men in more and more cases and whether women’s roles in the workforce has led to the downfall of the US educational system (as the Governor of Mississippi asserted). Through this blog I am woman, I am storyteller and I am no trophy. I have a mind. I have opinions and I will assert them. And not only in the virtual world but in real life situations as well. There is this psychological phenomenon that the more you tell an opinion the more entrenched you become in it. Thus, the more I blog and I express my opinions the more empowered I actually feel. So, beware those that want to see me as a pretty girl in the workforce meant to prop up some clueless leader. That is not me, not by a long shot.
8. While I am no prop, I readily admit that I am an adrenaline junkie. Don’t get me wrong. It is not as if I am going to bungee off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, but my adrenaline gets pumped up run on tight deadlines, impossible tasks and so on. Did you ever read my “ode to caffeine” posting? I love caffeine. I love coke zero. It runs in my blood at this point. I wake up in the mornings –usually by 6am- and my mind is already racing. It could be the caffeine I pumped into my bloodstream everyday, but somehow I feel all that caffeine actually calms me down a bit. So, what does adrenaline junkie have to do with blogging? Well, my racing mind can focus and quickly capture a moment. I often feel as if I have to capture a moment in time through words and a story. It is invigorating.
9. There is a new world order and blogging will help me be a part of it and lead my own revolution (ok government scanners I don’t mean it in the way you might interpret). Madonna famously said on American Bandstand that she always had a lot of confidence in herself and wasn’t afraid to strike out on her own as a pop star. When Dick Clark asked Madonna what her hopes and dreams were, Madonna uttered one of her most famous quotes, “To rule the world!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orwhstP7DIU
I get that sentiment.
10. Lastly, I blog because I dared myself and I could. Not all are perfect but I have had some great ones. Thanks for reading and being part of my 200th blog. Onwards on this journey…
How do I love thee? (dear blogging…)
Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height.
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight