A lot of shit has gone down in the blogging world over the past month. I am not going to rehash it here. The key people in the main scandal know how I feel and where I stand. Suffice it to say, heated feelings reached an apex this past weekend, and Twitter blew up with finger-pointing, the blame game, and spawned some awesome discussions about the ongoing Superwoman complex that pressures women into feeling like they have to do it all.
The thing is that I just spent the last week saying good-bye to my father-in-law multiple times over. Funerals have a nasty habit of putting things into perspective in a rather abrupt manner. After four viewings, one funeral mass, and one chapel ceremony, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and observing and thinking some more. Here’s what hit me with the brute force of a truck – all of this world is temporary. Whether you believe in God, Allah, Yahweh, reincarnation, the Greek gods, or nothing at all, life on this earth is fleeting. What matters most in this short, short life of ours is how others remember us.
You see, no one is going to remember that you wrote reviews for every single book you read. They are not going to care about how often you posted or even what you had to say on any given day. Really, the fact that you may have plagiarized a bit or didn’t finish everything you said you were going to do will never even cross one’s mind when it is all said and done. People will remember the actions rather than the words. How did you express your love of life? Of your family? Of your friends? Of your job? It will be in the random thoughtful notes you send or the selfless acts of kindness that mean nothing to you but everything to someone else that make the biggest and most long-lasting impression. It will be in the pictures you leave for posterity showing your joie de vivre. It will be in your tweets and texts and status updates on your good fortune and positive outlook. It will be in the legacy of strong values you pass down to future generations. This is how others will remember us, and this is all that matters.
I say this as a reminder not only to others but also to me that in the grand scheme of things, blogging is just a hobby. I have always espoused this idea, but I realize now that I never really lived by it. I never succumbed to pressure or felt I had to write reviews; I would let the website go silent if I had nothing to say. However, for over six years, I have never skipped writing a review for a book read. I have stopped reading the books I own in favor of the review copies I do still request (too often for comfort) and receive (just as often). I am not complaining. I loved every minute of it, right up until the point where I no longer do.
The perpetual blogging scandals have, quite frankly, gotten old. I dislike being associated with a community that cries foul loudly over every single “infraction”. In fact, I dislike this whole trend so much I cringe having to write or say the word blog. Frankly, I’m embarrassed to be considered a blogger. There are no rules to this hobby of ours, so why people feel the need to be the blogging police is beyond me. I love my website and I love what I do, but I do not love the blogging community as a whole right now.
Then there is the little issue of censorship. It seems that there are some people from my place of employment who not only read this little website of mine but have taken it upon themselves to complain about some of the things I’ve written to upper management. The last time I checked, there is such a thing as freedom of speech. I have never once published where I work, what we do, or any other identifying features. I may have expressed frustrations about certain situations, but I have never maligned the company. Yet, this is exactly what is being said to upper management. The latest is that I appear unhappy about work in general, and oh, I shouldn’t be allowed to listen to audiobooks at work because it sets a bad example for other employees. Frankly, I am shocked and very upset that someone would take my words out of context and try to get me into trouble – so hurt and upset in fact that I seriously considered quitting. Life, after all, is way too short for this, and if I can’t be myself and share my thoughts and feelings to my friends online, then why do it?
However, I am not going to quit. I am just going to take a few more weeks or so to collect my thoughts, recover from the past few weeks and start fresh. Most of the books I’ve read recently I will never review. I will send my thoughts to the publishers and may post them on Goodreads, but that’s about it. When I come back – and I will come back – hopefully all of this scandal will have blown over, and I will have recovered from my own grief and shock. Right now, I am just so very weary.