This weekend, the 19th March, I’m speaking at the first ever Aussie Bloggers Conference.
I’m being sponsored by the awesome people at Bamboo Village, who were on to RRSAHM Before. And I love them, eternally, for that. Please, go check out their bamboolicious stuff, it’s beautiful.
I’m a crowd sourced Key Note Speaker, reading out loud a blog post of mine- ironically, The Black Dog.
I’m also a panelist on the My Blog, My Story panel.
I am fucking terrified.
But I’m doing it.
When I was preparing questions to prompt me for the My Blog, My Story panel, the one that kept popping into my mind was “What made you decide to continue blogging?”.
It sat so wrong with me. But I wrote it down anyway. Because if I were someone else, reading my blog… that’s what I’d be asking.
Why? Why to begin with? And certainly why did I keep going, after it all blew up in my face, and this blog became a focused reason for the people I know In Real Life to hate me?
In the last nine and half weeks, I’ve asked myself, quite a few times “Is this where I stop? Is this the point to give it up?”.
I didn’t want to do that, leave the blogging world that means so much to me in a hysterical, burning ball of ugly, disjointed posts. And I certainly wasn’t giving this place up just because it made people uncomfortable, or it made them angry.
People would have been uncomfortable with me, and angry in my direction, anyway. At least here, I have a platform to speak. To state my point of view. To talk and be real… to not let the silence surrounding this suffocate me.
The first night, the first post I did… I didn’t make a conscious choice, there, to continue blogging or not. I wasn’t blogging, when I wrote that post- I was begging for prayer and healing thoughts. I believe in both of those things… I believe that enough people, thinking the same thought, can effect the world.
That night… I don’t remember much of it. I left the hospital at about 7pm, left Tony in the ICU, stabilised. And returned to a friends house….
As I said, I don’t remember much. I remember the horror of it, feeling like I would explode. The ugly of it, the bite that came with every thought.
And I remember blogging, writing, tears streaming down my face. Calling to the people who were my friends, to help me, to bear this with me.
And that’s what I got. A murmur that became a crowd that became a heartbeat of support. Comments, emails, posts… money raised. Enough money raised to pay out one of our cars. Enough money to buffer us, so i didn’t have to think and stress about how I would pay the electricity bill, when I couldn’t even remember to brush my teeth.
And love… unconditional, supportive love. From you lot. This blog, it kept me going in my darkest bits, when I felt all alone, when I couldn’t breath from the pain.. I came here.
I’ve mentioned before, the afternoon this happened… I lost everything. Everything about me. Wife Lori, Mum Lori… the one thing I kept was Blogging Lori. Writing Lori. The part of me that loves to string words together so they bump into one another and overlap; to share and over share the goings on of my once normal, mundane little world…
I didn’t lose that. And my community, here, I didn’t lose that.
They were the only things, especially in the first six weeks, that provided me with any self esteem. The only things that made me feel worth something again.
And the Bloggers Conference… when Tony died, there was nothing certain in my future. Nothing except that date. The 19th March. It was so far away. It was so important, to me. If I could make it, till then, till the Conference..
Then maybe I could make it.
And, dammit, I have.
I’ve deliberated over what Tony would have thought about this, many a time, especially when I’ve been accused of making him turn in his not-so-literal grave. At the beginning, before that Ugly post, I was positive he would have wanted me to go the Conference, no matter what… he knew how important it was to me.
And he was so proud of me.
I think it comes down to that. He probably wouldn’t have liked that post that I wrote, because he would have been damn ashamed of what he’d done. fair call. But he would copped it, like a man, cause that’s the kind of bloke he was.
And he was always proud of me, for telling the truth. For writing the way I did. For putting myself out there. he was always proud of me, for that.
And I know- I’ve known, since he died- that he will be there with me, on Saturday. Every scary, overwhelming step of the way. (People, too many people, too much noise, people brushing against me.. it’s all too much at the moment. Forgive me if, occasionally, I run away for a bit. I’ll be back).
And he’d want me to meet my friends.
Because he knew, how important you are all to me. My ‘imaginary friends’ he called you, but he knew each one of you,. and your blogs, and trials and tribulations. he loved this world that I was part of, that I was so good at…
He was proud of me. And I know he’d be proud of you lot too. For being awesome. For giving me continual love and support. For helping his family in a thousand ways, when a lot of the people in his Real Life did not (didn’t he always say he had no one, not one true friend except me that loved him for him..?)
He’d be proud of you lot. And so, so thankful.
And I am, too.
So.. in case I forget, or get tongue tied, or there is just too much to say… that’s what I mean, when I speak at the Bloggers Conference.
I love you all.
You are truly awesome.
And then’s nothing more to it than that.