I’ve been having this feeling lately of feeling alone. I write on my blog to try and help me feel connected to people, yet it just makes me feel more disconnected. It didn’t used to feel this way, but now it does. I don’t know why, really. Nothing has changed that I’m aware of. It just feels so empty.
Sort of like a one sided friendship. Like I am giving of myself and not really receiving anything in return. Not that I am supposed to expect something in return, but I sort of thought that it would help me stay connected to people from far away, but really I don’t think it is. Maybe it is helping people stay connected to me, but I don’t feel that. All I feel is that people know what’s going on in my life, and I have no clue what is going on in theirs.
I don’t know if this even makes sense. I think I am at the prime time of one of the stages of culture shock or transition or whatever, so I am probably just feeling it more heavily than normal.
With all that to say, friends, I miss hearing from you. If you read my blog, please know that I would love to hear from you as well. Even though my life may look a certain way, it can be terribly lonely. I need relationships and friendships so bad, even if you live far away, I still need you! This isn’t to say that I don’t have friends here, but lately, I’ve been grieving my friendships from the states.
This post isn’t to say that I have crap friends, because I am so honored to have the friends I do!! I’m just missing them.
So I’ve been contemplating quitting my blog. I know that sounds crazy for me to say, but I can see how many people read my blog daily and it is nowhere near how many people I stay in contact with. I really have no clue who is reading about my life, my husband’s life, my child’s life. I could probably just as easily write emails and keep family and friends posted that way. Maybe it will bring a bit more of a personal feel back into my life.
I don’t like the sterile feel that I’ve been getting on my blog. That isn’t how friendships are supposed to be. I want people to ask me how I’m doing, not just read about it on my blog. But in return, I need to be asking those same questions! I realize I haven’t been the best of friend in this area. It’s something I want to work on.
So there are my ramblings today.
I would miss your blog because it’s the way I get to see what’s up in your life. But I understand your reticence and your desire to take it down. Sometimes I’ll run into someone who asks me something very specific about my life.
At first I look at him/her and wonder, how in the world did he/she know that?! But then I remember I posted that on my blog. It makes folks feel like they are my friend, when in reality they simply know things about me.
As an author, I need to have a web/blog presence, so I won’t be taking my blog down anytime soon. But I appreciate your honesty and the way you conveyed your feelings here.
hey jen – i would miss your blog, too 🙂
i’m so sorry you’re feeling junky. i’m sure you are in some stage of culture shock – how could you not be? it can be so weird & disorienting & totally unnerving.
if it makes you feel any better, i sometimes feel some of your same feelings & i just live in houston! only hours away from most of my friends!! it’s awful to feel lonely – i think you’re very brave for confronting it in such a real & open way.
blessings to you guys – drink some dutch tea for me!!! (do they still have that kind that comes out only seasonally?? that was so fun to me!)
i’m sorry i used a smiley face – really, that’s soooo nerdy!
Hi Jen! I am always checking in on you guys through your blog – in fact, I have you listed on my favorite blogs list on my own blog. I definitely understand what you mean when you feel as if you are blogging to no one. Comments are a huge deal in the blogging world!! I get so bummed out when blogs go unnoticed – especially because the posts are important enough to me to want to share. But more importantly, just knowing people are out there who care about you and what’s going on in your life is so meaningful and appreciated!
I think t is so great that you have your blog. Just know you are never alone! I have enjoyed getting to know you through your site and keeping up with your beautiful family!!
Thanks for your thoughts girls.
Kelly, I totally do that smiley face all the time!!! I know it is nerdy, but I guess I am getting old because it just flows off my fingers! It is so annoying!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Ok, it is time for me to come out of blog lurking mode…
So I have never actually met you, so this might be the opposite of what you want to hear (because I don’t actually know YOU, just what you share here) – but I love your blog! I would be very sad not to hear about your life and adventures in Europe.
I have friends in CAI and found your blog through them (and other blogs.) I just think you and Justin are so brave to step into God’s adventure of living abroad and following his lead. And what a great life you are giving Maisie – seeing perspectives other than suburban American and living out the idea of trusting God. I think you are a great mom and love seeing your personality.
But – a blog is totally a one way conversation. (and public one at that – hope you are not freaked out at this stranger commenting on your life!) (email and ask me anything you want and then I may not be such a strange stranger…)
I can see how you need the interaction of comments or emails. I bet you are a verbal processor, who thrives in relationships and community. It must be hard to be so far away from those that know you best, who can help you process. And you seem to be in a new place, without deeper realtionships yet.
So, if you need more time to email your closest friends – do that! But the blog is great too! 🙂
I love reading about your adventures in Europe! We don’t know eachother that well but I hope that we get to know each other now that we’re in the CA family and will be in Europe soon too!
You are a great example to us as we are beginning our journey. Thanks for sharing all that you do!
Hey Girl ~
Don’t get discouraged. I love reading your blog. I actually showed it to my friend a while ago that just gave birth because you were talking about BabyWise and it was totally cracking me up.
I know we’re not that close but your blog makes me feel like a part of your life. I don’t know if this helps but, sometimes God speaks to us in our longings. Like, now that I’m in AZ I feel the same about friendships and missing home, but I know that God is reminding me that my longings for those things are what keeps me connected to Him. Our longings are for heaven, you know? Where everything is perfect.
You’re definitely going through culture shock. Let us know how we can lift you up!
I know we never really connected much after high school. . . but I wanted to say hi. . . my heart hurt reading your blog. I can’t imagine what that must feel like. You’re so brave and obedient to go out of your comfort zone away from everything that is normal. I commend you. I too would totally miss your blog. . . I love reading what you’re up to and praying for you, Justin, and Maisie. I’d understand if you were done though. Did I tell you that Nate and I are expecting baby #3? I’m due the end of March~I was hoping for Feb. (since that’s the best month in the word), but March will be great too. Praying it’s a girl. I’m feeling pretty good. . . my boys keep me busy. Anyway, I love you friend and know that I’m praying for you. . . even if I never comment. I’ll try to be better at that.
I’m so sorry I haven’t commented more often on how much I love reading your blog. I just love how real and authentic you are about your life as a believer and your ministry. You truly have been a blessing to me as I’ve read about your life. God’s given you a huge sphere of influence in this bloggy world. I don’t blog, I just read them, and I hope that’s o.k. Please know that I’ve prayed for you often in the trials, and ups
and downs in mothering, and in ministry. I will continue to do that even if you decide to not blog anymore. Sorry that I haven’t commented or let you know that. Thanks for being so real about what you’re going through right now, and how you feel about it. Know that you have someone in MN praying for you and your family! God is using you Jen, even in this bloggy world.
we just had this conversation yesterday jen (it was SO good to see you!)…and my heart aches for your lonely times. i love you honey…
I stink. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve wanted to write you and let you know that I was keeping up with all your adventures, videos, pictures etc. I can’t believe I never post anything although I read all the time.
Your blog rocks.
I pray for you guys all the time and I just love seeing what God is doing thru you over there. Thank you for your commitments. I have learned a lot from you and Justin. Shesh, what else can I say without sounding super silly. Just know that you are loved and supported.
For a few days I didn’t want to comment here…not on this post! All my responses were selfish. I NEED your blog! Eliza NEEDS your blog even more. I look forward to a new post here more than any other blog I read. When I thought about it more though I realized that in a way you are right…you write something and then in an undertermined amount of time someone may or may not respond to you. That is really lame! I know that I will keep in touch with or without the blog. I know that there are other ways to look at pictures of your adventures. I am on your side (whatever that means) I support you. 🙂 I am still giggling about our skype conversation. Most importantly I am so sorry that you are feeling lonely. I actually understand your emotions more lately than I ever have before. I know we have talked about your struggles in this area, and I have been praying that wonderful people fill up your life and your heart in Europe. I love you to death! I wish we could just meet at Panera and chat and talk and visit and laugh… In the brilliant words of Hannah (America’s Next Top Model contestant from Alaska) “Sometimes you just gotta pick up your beans and keep on rollin!”
**sorry, that makes me sound like the biggest geek ever, but I laughed SO hard when the girl said that on the show the other night and it seems to fit…kinda…somehow…
Okay, gotta stop now, I’m gonna start rambling. Do what you need to do, I love you, blog or no blog!
Hey Jen- Just thought I’d introduce myself… I’ve been reading your blog for a while. Found you on Missionaryblogs.com and really loved reading your stuff not only because you’re a great writer and fun to read, but also because we were in similar situations in life (I’m a missionary and have a 14 month old daughter) . Anyway, sorry I’ve not really commented before, I always felt weird because I don’t really know you. But also I wanted to say that I totally understand the loneliness… that’s definitely my biggest struggle. Hope things start feeling better soon.
you probably dont remember me… but we met when you and justin were assistant collage pastors at adventure. i just want to tell you that i love your blog. this is totally out of character for me to write something to someone who probably doesnt even remember me (for fear of them telling me they really dont remember me. lol) but i felt the lord tell me “if you love her writtings you need to tell her”. so here i am writting you. your blog totally encourges me and some friends i shared it with… (i hope you dont mind) i feel like you write about so many things i can relate to. parenting, friendships, trials, everyday life issues. any who, i hope you are encourage by all of these comments. so many people love you and love your REAL writtings!!! feel better soon 🙂
Thank you everyone for your encouragement! I just want to clarify (so you all don’t feel bad) that it wasn’t comments that I was asking for or wanting. As most of the people who read my blog know, this is where I process. I was more processing my feelings toward my blog and about my friendships. I think that I accidentally communicated that my friends weren’t doing a good job staying in touch with me, when it is ME that hasn’t done a good job. I think I was expecting people to stay up with me and me stay connected with friends through my blog, instead of doing the REAL work to stay connected to them.
Anyways, thanks everyone for your encouragement. You’ve all convinced me to keep the blog, but I promise to my best friends out there, that I am going to do a better job (or at least work on doing a better job) of making you feel loved, because I do love you!
Thanks also to the few who sent me personal emails sharing thoughts (hard and encouraging) with me.
Yeah, the blog world is a strange thing. I started mine over a year ago for a variety of reasons. I wanted a creative outlet. I enjoy writing. I thought it would make me more intentional about life. I am totally an external processor who works through stuff by talking or writing, not just by thinking.
So, I thought the blog would be only for me and if others wanted to read then that would be cool. But then something happens… like when I post something that gets 15 comments I think it must have been good, but if a post doesn’t get a comment then I wonder if it was crap. I’ve talked with other blog friends and they feel the same way… sort of embarassed that this even matters. I even notice who has me linked and who doesn’t… it is just plain silly!
For me, the blog world has connected me with old friends. I don’t have as much of a support system in my life now as I have in the past, and it has been great to reconnect with some PCC friends. I agree that blogging and facebook isn’t good if it’s taking us away from other relationships or opportunities, but I also think I have a real sense of community via online connections.
So, I just wanted to say that I really do enjoy hearing your thoughts. I like how real you keep things. And there are times I have been mindful of you and Justin during the day just because of something I read on one of your blogs.
Glad you are going to stick with it. ; )
PS… since you have never left a comment on my blog, does that mean you think it is crap??? just kidding…. 😉
Oh my gosh Diane! That is hilarious! I am saying that the point isn’t about leaving a comment!! I HARDLY comment on people’s blogs and don’t mind AT ALL if people don’t comment on mine. To be honest, I haven’t had time to read blogs much in the last two months, so I guess I’m saying I’ve been crap at reading blogs! I do like your blog though. I’m with you on the reasons for starting a blog. I too am an external processor! Can you tell!?!? Anyways, thanks for being so supportive of the blog!
ooooooh! I have been a sucky sister!!! And am the last one to comment as I haven’t even checked your blog in so long! I am so sorry!! I didn’t know you felt this way Jen. I do love your blog and love seeing what you guys are up to. The kids LOVE seeing pictures of Maisie and laugh every time there is a video of her.
I am sorry you were feeling lonely. Are you still feeling that way as it’s been like a couple weeks since you wrote this? (whoopsi).
Anyway! Miss you my sister! love you!