Why am I writing?

I think that it is much easier to write about happiness than it is to write about sadness.  Happy is laughing, joking, light and keeping things at arms length...  Sadness is crying, pain, heavy and letting people way too close.

I decided to keep this blog as a way to keep in touch with family and friend in a way that didn't intrude into their lives - like giant update e-mails with no obligation to read unless they wanted to.  Of course, I knew that some people would read it every day and love the way it kept them in touch.  When I write in here it makes me feel really close to the people that read it.  When I post about food especially, I think about my sisters.  I can see Theresa curled up in her chair with a coffee wearing Hello Kitty jammie pants laughing along with me as I describe meat pies with faces on them.  I see Julie on the couch in her blue bathrobe looking at my photos and dreaming of the delicious coffee here.  I keep those images in my head when I write and I like thinking that I make people laugh.  I hate thinking that any of my posts might make someone sad.

I am also writing for every other person out there who is getting ready to move here.  When we first decided to move I found some ex-pat blogs and started devouring them...  I was so hungry for information on what my life was going to be like here.  I loved the blogs more than anything because, beyond covering the usual main topics, they really delved into what a day to day existence is like when you leave your home behind for a new country.

The most important reason I am writing this is for myself.  This is my tie to home - my way of connecting with what I've left behind and my way of embracing everything I am gaining here. This is making me really live this experience instead of having it be something that is just simply happening to me.

I'm starting to feel a little dishonest here - there are so many people who read this that I start feeling like I am censoring myself to a large degree.  I am afraid of making my family and friends sad, of offending the Australians who read this and scaring off the people who are considering a similar move...  When I have a rough day or I am feeling a little (or a lot) sad, I shy away from posting for the reasons I've just named.

I guess I need to give myself permission to write posts that aren't all fluff and fun... I need to allow myself to post about everything - good and bad.
22 Responses
  1. Sarah Stewart Says:

    Hugs Mimi,

    I do understand what you mean. I know some of the people who read my blog and I am aware of this audience when I write.

    I started reading a blog of a girl in Melbourne who could write really well. She once relayed a very amusing drunk with friends story on her blog without completely realising that word may get back to the butt of the joke. It did and he wasn't happy. She then also had a problem with censorship. Unfortunately she has now stopped blogging publicly.

    It's a tricky one but you have to make sure you can get something out of this experience as well as your readers!

    Not sure if this really helps but wanted to let you know of others in the same boat.

    Sarah

  2. Melody Says:

    Mimi,

    You write what you want to write, happy or sad....we all understand! Lots of new things going on in your life and sharing it with your family is important. Thank you for allowing others to read your thoughts too. It is appreciated.
    Melody

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Mimi,

    I'm not in the group of people you mentioned that you write for- I'm an American expat married to an Aussie. I love reading your experiences. I'm so glad I found your blog. We can all learn from each other and it makes me not feel so all alone. You have a gift with writing. Thank you so much for leaving this open to the public.

    Vicki Carney--Mackay QLD

  4. the american Says:

    i started writing my blog to keep in touch with family in america. i soon found that writing became cathartic and was the place where i let loose. people who knew me understood and people who didn't were amused by my ramblings anyway. my blog is as much for me and my sanity as it is for others. i love reading your blog and like vicki said, it makes me feel less lonely here. keep it up and stay true to yourself and you'll shine through all those not so happy/homesick/frustrated moments. you won't be a depressed person, you'll be someone that is having a depressing day. you know? we all have them. if you didn't have them about this big move, i'd think you were a super human. you aren't are you? :)

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Mimi...your blog could very well turn into a book someday...so honesty about the good, the bad and the ugly is what makes books readable...who wants to read all the fluff and nothing more serious? You write so well! love, auntie dia

  6. Mimi and Joe Says:

    @ Sarah - I know you get it and I actually think about you a lot when I blog. You were the first person to commment on it and share your own story. I am really looking forward to meeting you when you finally arrive!!

  7. Mimi and Joe Says:

    @ Melody - Thanks so much, it does meean so much to me to know that people are out there listening; and understanding!!

    @ Vicky - Thanks to you as well! I love thinking that there are a bunch of us Yanks out there on the internet all looking for other people to share common experiences with. Have you visited www.yanksdownunder.net? It's a forum for US expats and it is a great resource!!

  8. Mimi and Joe Says:

    @ the american - Oh why do you have to live in Melbourne?? I wish you lived in Sydney because if you did we would already have met up and would be tearing the city up by now!! Sigh... You are absolutely right about it becoming cathartic - like my own brand of therepy!

    And I'm not super-human; although I did keep myself from driving over to a real estate agent's office this morning and slapping her across the face and that did take some super-human effort!!!

  9. Mimi and Joe Says:

    Oh Aunt Dia, one of the reasons I love this blog so much is that it helps me stay way closer to people than I normally do. I love that I am staying so closely in touch with you through this process - you're the closest thing to Mom for me and it's a little like you are watching over me for her :)

  10. Rachael Says:

    Let me just say, as one of your cute stalkers (hehe), that I love your blog no matter what you write and you better not start censoring yourself!! The whole point of this is to tell everyone about your experiences - whether they be amazing like the grocery store or homesickness or whatever. I tell my students all the time - writing is personally expressive - don't write for the teacher, write for yourself.

    Besides, I need to know the whole truth about this Sydney place for when I come to visit :)

  11. Mimi and Joe Says:

    @ Rachel - Oh, you better be visiting babe!!

  12. Judy Says:

    I'm Australian and I love reading about your experiences and reactions to my country. I have spent several months in the US (over several trips) and I'm about to move there for two years on a student visa; I have written of my own experiences in a new culture, possibly in the process offending any Americans who happened to read what I wrote, and it's fascinating to see my experiences and reactions mirrored by yours in Australia.

  13. Geri Says:

    Oh my Lovely,
    You are wonderful and so is your writing. Be true to yourself and let it be therapeutic. Your friends and your family love all the facets that make you who you are. It doesn't matter what state of mind or heart you are in, we enjoy hearing about your day. Just like you feel connected to us here. It makes us feel right at home there with you and Joe. I admire you for being brave enough to go and live this new adventure. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this adventure with us.
    Love you Mimi!

  14. Mimi and Joe Says:

    @ Judy - Thanks so much for your response, I'd love to read how Aussies see America now that I'm on the other side! That would have to be a cool experience.

    @ Geri - You and Rachel have been so great during this whole process. I can't even tell you how appreciative I am of how much you have been in contact and how much you guys have been loving on me!!!

  15. C. In Oz Says:

    I'll second/third/fourth ... what others have said. I blog for similar reasons, and also find other expat blogs a source of comfort. I don't know how I could have wrapped my mind around coming to Australia without other expat blogs, so I hope to provide that inspiration, as well. I really like your writing because it is very accessible and friendly, but also honest. I'm guilty of almost always only writing about the positive, and I think you've inspired me to write a more emotionally honest piece on my own blog. So, in short, keep doing what you're doing! I'm reading. :-)

  16. Missy Says:

    Kath-I'm so glad you got some of it off your chest. Having pent up frustration is definatley not a great place to be when you're so far away from home in a new country. Get it out girl! I agree with everyone else about not censoring yourself. You shouldn't have to bottle all those feelings up just so no one gets offended. Keep in mind that we're still praying for you and Joe over there to get settled and find a new and wonderful (doggie-friendly) HOME...It was really great talking to you yesterday/last night. I programmed your local number in my cell and I'll try to keep track of the time difference so I can call again soon. Maybe next time, I won't keep you from using the loo (or whatever those crazy Aussie's call it). Keep your chin up, lady. Things have to start looking up. Love you girl, and South Fork misses y'all! P.S. You've almost got me inspired to start my own blog...*nervousness*

  17. Sarah Stewart Says:

    @Mimi - Ditto - looking forward to a flat white and a good chat! :)

  18. C. In Oz Says:

    I wrote that response piece on my blog - this inspired me a lot. Here's the link if you want to read it: http://opalheartedcountry.blogspot.com/2010/07/not-home-sickness-writing-about-not.html
    -Cristin

  19. Geri Says:

    Too easy to love on you!

  20. Gina E. Says:

    As an Aussie intruder on your life, I don't mind what you write about Australia and we Aussies - I know very well there are many a/holes (wasn't game to type it in full, didn't want to offend, lol) here, and I am among the first to criticise my own countrymen/women for their faults.
    But no country is perfect - not even America - sorry! (But if I had to leave OZ, I'd rather live in the USA than anywhere else). It is a bit weird to find complete strangers reading your online diary, and commenting on it. Like, who ARE you?? But I have made many fantastic cyberspace friends through reading other blogs, and having bloggers visit me. If this is the communication of the 21st century, I'm all for it.

  21. Mimi and Joe Says:

    @ C in Oz - I read your entry and it was really great! I really liked the way you laid out the difference between the "feeling of home" and just "home". I completely identify with that right now! Also, thanks for the link :)

    @ Sarah - just hurry up and get here already!!!!

    @ Missy - I would love it if you started a blog... that would be super fun! Thanks for talking to me the other night. I really needed to just vent and also to have someone tell me it was ok to vent a bit in my writing ;) Love you chicky!!

    @ Geri - You rock!

  22. Mimi and Joe Says:

    @ Gina E - I totally agree, there is this huge community of expats out there and I've meet most of them through blogging! You are right - every country has it's downsides; but I have to say, besides the real estate agent (and I think that was a function of her job and not her nationality) I have yet to meet someone here that has not been friendly, welcoming, helpful and downright nice! And, the agent was really pleasant today so maybe she was just having a bad day the other day just like me:)

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