Someone recently asked me (on a dating app, no less :)) If starting the blog has been a rewarding experience. And the obvious answer is yes. But the funny thing is, it’s rewarding in a way I hadn’t expected.
As you might know, I originally started this blog more for myself than for anyone else. I wanted to challenge myself to write honestly and consistently, and I wanted a place where my thoughts and work could live–a portfolio of sorts. I wanted to test my own limits; see how vulnerable I could get, how often I could force myself to write, how critical I could be of my writing, my opinions, my thoughts. And in all those ways, this blog has been extraordinarily rewarding, challenging, and gratifying.
But my blog very quickly took a turn that I hadn’t expected. What started as skirts and kicks and some musings on my dating and personal life, has quickly become more about dating than anything else. What it’s like to be single, to date, to break up, to date again, to break up again, to get back out there and date again; to go through the ups and downs of living somewhere on the Modern Orthodox Jewish spectrum, while trying to navigate the ins and outs of dating apps, and set ups, and asking people out, and hook-up culture, or trying to be shomer, and everything in between.
When I first started posting about my dating life, about sharing my own insecurities or vulnerabilities, I think people were surprised. I got a lot of positive feedback. But most of the compliments–the people saying they completely relate, that they’re happy I’m expressing what they’re feeling or at least talking about a conversation we don’t always discuss so publicly, would always end with; “especially since I could NEVER do that. I’m not brave enough to share.” Which always sort of confused me.
Some of it I get. Sharing about your dating life is tricky–because two people are involved. I walk a very fine line. I have to be extraordinarily careful about what I share. I take my own privacy seriously, but I take the privacy of people I have dated or am dating very seriously, and it’s really important to me that people trust that I’m not divulging things about our relationships that they wouldn’t want me to share.
But the general idea that it’s brave to share how frustrating, lonely, sad, tiring, draining, overwhelming (the list goes on) dating can be.. is almost laughable. Because it doesn’t matter your gender, your age, how popular you were in college or high school, how much money you make now, how good looking you are….I promise you: everyone feels all those things. It’s not really brave to say it, it’s just sort of fact. I know this, because I literally see it on a daily basis. I put up polls on my Instagram daily about dating, and I have people texting me or messaging me about my blog, and I can say with certainty-I am not the only person feeling the way I feel in my blog posts.
I recently asked my followers why they’re open to sharing their opinions with me. Even though the polls and answers to questions remain anonymous to the public, I see who says what. And a lot of the answers came down to people wanting to validate each other’s feelings and feel validated by others. At a certain point, you kind of get over the shame of: “are people judging me?”, because you start to realize that everyone else is feeling something similar.
So if you were wondering why the blog has been so dating focused, that is why. I’m just moving with the flow of where the blog takes me, and apparently, this is the direction we’re moving in right now.
So yes, this blog is extremely rewarding.
This blog has become rewarding, because in a really small way, I feel like we’re starting to create something. (I know that sounds stupid, but just stay with me on this, ok?). There’s a huge community of people floundering, grasping at straws, looking for ways to get advice, give advice, see what other people are thinking, vent, connect and ultimately feel a little less alone in this extraordinarily lonely experience. And somehow, the Instagram, the blog–in a small way–is apparently starting to do that (or so people tell me). And that is way cooler than any of the other reasons I started this blog.
So–thanks to everyone who shares their thoughts. I know I say it a lot in passing, but seriously–If you want to send in a letter to the editor about something–I’m all ears.