A couple of days ago, I wrote the Part I post for ‘If Your _____ Was A Bar’. Since then, I’ve been contemplating how I would fill in that blank and what my response to my own lead-in statement would be. Although a number of words came to mind to complete the phrase, the one I kept coming back to was blog.
The video I included in the Part I post was “How young Africans found a voice on Twitter”. If you haven’t yet watched the video, I really encourage you to. And if you haven’t followed the presenter’s blog and/or Twitter account yet, I highly recommend those courses of action as well. This young university math student from Africa has a lot of great things to say and in my as always not-so-humble opinion, is and will continue to be a leader of her generation. Siyanda Mohutsiwa has already gotten people thinking, feeling, talking, sharing, following, leading, and acting. Great attributes to have as a leader I think.
Anyway, I revisited the TED Talk and as I often do, I read the transcript for Siyanda’s presentation. A few lines in particular resonated with me as I thought about myself as a blogger and my blog itself. Here they are along with my interpretations of them re: me and my blog …
… to convince myself, no, to remind myself that I’m really funny and that if nobody gets it, that’s fine.
think know that I’m funny. I shouldn’t bother myself with convincing myself of it. Trying to convince someone is essentially trying to change their mind about it, as if they weren’t already full believers. Me trying to convince myself = me not believing myself. Not where I want my head to be at. Mind you, being funny isn’t something I’m trying to do or aspiring to make a career out of. However … there are things I AM trying to do, goals I DO wish to accomplish, and a kind of person I DESIRE to be.
I suppose now I need to reflect some more on: do I already think I am capable of doing/being all of those things? Or, am I still at the “convincing” stage wherein nope, I don’t quite fully believe I can. Should be an interesting mindtrip I’m about to take myself on. And if nobody else gets it, that’s fine with me.
… this platform that just needed 140 characters and a little bit of creativity.
Me say something in 140 characters or less? Rarely. I’m just a tad long-winded as my family, friends, and blog posts will attest to. “Get to the point Marianne” is a phrase my ears are very familiar with. Probably why I only just created a Twitter account this week. Don’t know when I’ll be able to tweet something myself but will use the platform as a wading pool to help me get used to this apparently popular concept of brevity. In the meantime, I’ll just keep reading lots of your tweets to teach me a thing or two.
The creativity part I think I have a bit of a handle on. Always room for improvement of course and the best way for me to grow in that is to both a) Just Do It™ as Nike says and b) observe the creative outpourings of all of you. Like the ReStore’s sign above says: Creativity is Intelligence Having Fun. Way to go Habitat For Humanity Wellington Dufferin Guelph – you are funily brilliant. [And yes, once again I made up my own word -aren’t I so creative???]
… you had to follow more than just the three other people you knew online.
I know a handful of my followers in person. The rest of the folks who visit with me along the side of the road are from all over the world. From Botswana and Mozambique at one a piece, to North America and the UK being my top source regions according to my stats. Now if I only ever blogged to, commented with, or chatted with the few that I do know, how much growth would there be for me or for my blog? Or for them for that matter? A bit I guess as I do admire and respect those folks and am grateful to have them in my life and I trust they feel the same about me.
But – I need diversity. I don’t eat the same few foods each day of my life. I don’t wear just the same couple of pieces of clothing repeatedly. And I certainly don’t read just several books over and over and over again. Variety is the spice of the life and I seek it out from those who follow and/or comment on my site, as well as the authors of other blogs. My sense of community in this blogosphere is in direct proportion to how much I read, follow, and interact with other blogs. And WordPress is a great place to find that sense of community.
… In Africa, we say, “If you want to go fast, you go alone, but if you want to go far, you go together.”
Fast I’ll reserve for wanting for getting through the line at a Tim Horton’s drive-thru and for making it from the side of the mall I’m at to the side where the washrooms are, oh about half an hour after my Tims visit. Those things I am quite happy to do alone thank you muchly. But nah, overall I’d rather go far in life and take it slowly. One day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time.
One of the most treasured memories of the trip to Cleveland I took with my three kids last year was when we stopped for a bathroom break and decided to poke around the small town we landed in. Ended up finding a yard sale that had a few wares of interest to all of us. Would have completely missed it if we had rushed back on the road towards Cleveland. More proof to me that it really is about the journey, not just the destination. And it really was made better by doing it in togetherness.
… But most importantly, people were using the hashtag to connect. People were connecting over their Africanness.
I blog to connect over my humanness. I use, follow, and browse through tags that are both like-minded and very different from what my blog content is all about. Sometimes I just go into my Reader and type in some random word and see what pops up. Click and off I go. I must be careful when I do that though. I’ve fallen into my Reader before you know. But alas, whether I fall, slightly lose my balance, or keep an upright posture, the whole point is to connect with other humans. Connecting over OUR humanness. That’s what I believe this is truly all about.
… I believe that with a social Pan-Africanist thinking and using the Internet as a tool, we can begin to rescue each other, and ultimately, to rescue ourselves.
Simply remove the word “Pan-Africanist” and what you’re left with is a simple truth that can be held by any of us. No, I take that back … SHOULD BE HELD by ALL of us. Otherwise, why the heck are we all here? Couldn’t have said it better myself Siyanda, well done.
Well this is starting to look like it might be another trilogy of posts, like my ‘I Am Perfuctly Fecked Up’ ones turned into. I haven’t even started to write out my response to If My Blog Was A Bar yet. But that’s okay. That’s why we have an “Add” button for our blog posts right?
Maybe you can help. Have you thought about what your fill-in-the-blank would be and what your response to the phrase with it would be? I would love to hear your thoughts on it so please do comment. Share a little intelligence, add a little fun, and we’ll all be able to tap into the creative outlets of our bloggerness. [yep, you guessed it, another word I made up]
In response to today’s Daily Prompt – Voice.
Image source: Me taking a pic of the ReStore’s sign in front of their shop last week