How much do you matter? You… the writer, the blogger, the quasi-anonymous shadow behind the words on the page and the profile picture that might be years out of date or show merely your cat or a sailing boat? Would anyone miss you if you didn’t post? Would anyone even notice?
Have you asked yourself those questions? Maybe you have had unannounced time away from the blog, for a holiday or through work or illness… did anyone stop by leaving ‘where are you’ messages? Or was there nothing until you came back… until the ‘we wondered where you were’s followed your next post?
And maybe you wondered whether it was worth it… whether you were actually really reaching anyone at all…
You may matter more than you know.
I cried today for a woman I never met and barely knew. A fellow blogger. A few comments exchanged, a little laughter, an odd email. I can’t say I knew her at all, just that she kept a parrot, laughed a lot and watched life through a lens with a greater zest and keener eye than most. That she was also dying simply added to her embrace of life, rather than taking away anything but time. Feisty, funny, stubborn as hell, I wish I could have known her. Really known her. Today someone kindly let us know that she had passed.
The tears were not for her death, but for those who will miss her. I know I will miss her wit and wisdom. I will miss too the beauty she captured through word and lens.
She didn’t post often by the time I was introduced to her, but I can honestly say that I was moved, either to laughter, wonder or thought, by anything she posted. Perhaps it was the known proximity of a death she never avoided acknowledging, but she brought a vividness to her view of life that was contagious.
When her blog went quiet for a long time, I wondered. I kept checking back, but felt diffident about leaving a comment, asking a question…just in case. My visits didn’t leave a trace, of course. She wouldn’t have known had she looked. I emailed then, but only once … silence came back. Nothing. I asked around. No-one knew. Then she posted again and we breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Then it went quiet again.
A handful of comments exchanged, no more than that. Yet this woman left a mark in my life that will, I think, not soon fade. It was a few words of hers that made me fully, consciously aware of how happy I am at this stage of my life. That in spite of the daily problems, battles and worries such as we all share, they are just a thin veneer over a deeper, happier frame of mind than I have ever known.
You may not be able to change circumstances… but you can change how you move through them by changing your perception. A few words from this lady grabbed me by the scruff of the neck one day and turned my eyes in a new direction when I was starting to let life get me down… and I remembered joy.
Just a few words…a handful of shared comments. No more than that.
So how much do you matter? More than you may ever know. Would anyone miss you or notice if you weren’t around? Yes, if you touch someone’s life and heart… There is no way of telling what may change a life, no way to tell what one person, amongst the many random people who visit your blog or read your books, may need to hear right then… words you have written, all unknowing, that answer the need of their heart.
You may never know.
But they will.
Only one thing is certain… if you do not write the words in your heart, they can never be read.