I actually remember the day I discovered MetaFilter. I was reading the now-defunct Brill's Content and there was Mr. Haughey on the cover. I went to MetaFilter and a universe opened up to me. I was too chicken to become a member then; I had been flamed completely without mercy on some board once and never really took to the online community thing after that. Eventually I gulped back the terror and signed up, but then forgot my login. After 9/11, when every Tom, Dick and Nobody signed up to freak out in communal outbursts, I too succumbed and created a new account. But I've never really been a vociferous member of MeFi. I was just too weak constitutionally. But I realized that I could jibber-jabber on the web too, and started this journal when I undertook NaNoWriMo in 2002.
I also met a helluva lot of monkeys through MeFi, after I discovered that they had created an island oasis of bicker-free community fun, MeFi Lite, as it were. They are some of my greatest inspirations on the web. I met some of them in New York, when I still hadn't told anyone I was pregnant and had just gotten my first bout of morning sickness. I went out with these amazingly generous and fun people while pretending to swill Budweiser and trying desperately to keep down my carbonara pasta. It was the highlight of my trip, and not just because I spent the rest of it in my hotel room wishing I was dead.
So to discover that my little journal had been linked on the front page of MetaFilter alongside an article about MomBlogs in the New York Times? It was like being called back to the Mother Ship. No pun intended. I felt like I needed to fix my hair and put make-up on, or at least check for lousy punctuation and craggy sentence structure. I was giddy. I was embarrassed. I was confused but overjoyed.
Ironically, this same article in the New York Times had, two nights ago, completely demoralized me when I realized that anyone with productive ovaries (or testicles) could do exactly what I do here, and they have. I actually had a meltdown. I began to question everything I've ever written. If writing about being a parent was so commonplace, wasn't I just a cliche? Wasn't I simply being another self-absorbed navel-gazer who can't write about anything but my absurdly small universe?
Hell, I don't know. Maybe I am a cliche. Maybe I should branch out a little. But I don't have time to write about anything else, and the short-form of journal entries is just about perfectly timed for a nap. That, and I don't want to forget what the hell it was like taking care of a tiny boy. Soon he'll be graduating high school, and I'll be scratching my head trying to remember what his coos and raspberries sounded like.
So I went from complete despair to complete elation in one day about the same thing. Maybe I need meds.
But thanks for linking me, liam. You made me completely blush, and I'm honored to be called back to the Mother Ship.