"American Blogger". This documentary follows Christopher Weigand on his journey across America interviewing bloggers and learning what this whole blogging thing is about. Christopher's wife is a well-known blogger and we get a glimpse into their family life, as well as the preparation it took before he was to start out on his journey in the Summer of 2013. I don't regularly read Casey's blog, but they seem to have a lot of love in their family. And really, how cute are their kids?!
As I was watching I began thinking about my own blogging journey and the events that have taken place the last year. Today actually marks a year to the day when everything in my life seemed to implode. The marriage I thought I had, the man I married, the life I led, seemed to crash into a million tiny pieces, hence this blog. My blog I had for two years documented my life as a newlywed and as a social media obsessed person who couldn't get enough of blogging and what it had to offer. I shared recipes, vacation photos, (very little) DIY projects, but mainly what I had learned in the couple of years I had been married. When my marital status changed from married to divorced, my story changed, as did my voice. What I had written in the past almost seemed like a lie. What had my life come to? Was I going to be perceived as a failure? Were people going to laugh at the fact that I had made such a big deal about meeting my husband and falling in love instantly, only to be engaged 5 weeks later, married three months later, and divorced nearly three years later? What was I going to blog about now? Loneliness? Yeah, that always gets a big following.
But I had to stop and think for a while. Was I only going to blog about divorce? Of course not, because divorce does not define who I am. It is simply a part of my life, although a pretty big part at the time. Blogging became a way for me to escape. It was like I was going to therapy in front of the world. There were days I couldn't deny what I was feeling and had to write it. There were days I wanted to escape so I'd put together a fashion or home decor post. There were days I felt so rotten I had to write something positive to try and snap out of the funk I was in. Blogging became a source for support. Suddenly, 20-somethings were emailing me telling me that they understood if I decided not to blog anymore. Some asked if I was still going to blog even though my life had changed so drastically. Some were emailing me and saying that they were recently divorced and had no one to really turn to. Unless you have been there, divorce isn't necessarily easily relatable.
The thing that really struck me about this film were all of the stories. Yes, most of the bloggers were mothers and wives. Many of them are what I someday aspire to be. I saw pregnant bellies and babies running around. I saw wives with their husbands making dinner and going for walks to the local ice cream shop. I saw women with immaculate closets filled with clothes I could probably never afford. I heard stories of heartbreak and triumph. Women who owned their own businesses or who made a living from blogging about their lives. I in some ways I am these women and in so many ways I am not. Are there any critiques for this film? At the moment, no. I think this film was more about me looking back on my own story and understanding the stories of others. No, this film does not capture the "every blogger", but neither do our blogs. Our blogs are our own stories. Not everyone loves every single thing we write. Not every blogger can appeal to all women and all lifestyles. I am not a mother, so I may not appeal to a mother of two as much as an actual mother of two would. I am not a fashion blogger, so I don't expect women to come here for fashion advice. The truth is I am a 27 year old, single, God-fearing, southern, sarcastic, sensitive, funny, sometimes stand-offish woman. I have my hang ups, doubts, imperfections, and good graces. I am a blogger and everyday you can see into my life and read my story. This film was not a place to criticize or poke at the film maker for me. It was a place where I cried, nodded my head in agreement, said "yes!" and "no!", laughed, and asked myself the same question...
What is a blog?
My journey continues as does yours. What do you want to leave behind? What do you want to remember?
To buy the film and watch it for yourself, go here.