I feel like a refugee. I know that’s dramatic, but this feeling of being displaced, shuffled around, trying to assimilate in and ‘pass’ for one of the locals when grieving the loss of a family. I wrote about the OffbeatFamilies shutdown yesterday, and have managed to stay away from the shuttered doors, and have tried to nestle in to Offbeat Home & Life, a place I previously felt comfortable. But then I started reading the comments, which is advice they say NOT to do in most internet communities, because snark+ runs rampant. But the Offbeat Empire has felt so safe…and then…I come across comments like this:
Ooooh… I’m sure this makes me a terrible person, but as a childless-by-choice OBH&L reader I’m glad there’s not going to be birth stories and breastfeeding articles in here…. cuz it would totally ick me out, but I’m sure I’d end up reading it anyways cuz it’d be like a train-wreck, where you don’t want to look but you can’t tear your eyes off it. Then I’d probably just have to stop coming in here, and that would make me sad.
But hooray for Harry Potter!
Ugh. So birth and breastfeeding is icky to you. Awesome. And my parenting choices are like a ‘trainwreck,’ which is also awesome. And makes me feel super comfortable when I’m mourning the loss of a place I loved and content I loved. Imagine if I went there and said “I love reading about colored wedding dresses, but gay dudes kissing is sooooo ick, and a trainwreck and so I’ll probably not come back.” Hurtful, right? (and soooo not my views in reality, FYI).
But I was feeling kinda okay about squatting over there, but now I’m not so sure. So of course I’ve begun spiralling. Where do I fit in? I’ve bounced over to Mutha Magazine, and Mommyish, and Birth Without Fear, and think ‘oh cool, these might feel like home someday,’ but just like expatriating, that day isn’t today and so I feel displaced.
Which calls into question my own feeling at home here, on my own blog. A blog with a name I’ve questioned for awhile and with a handle that I’m not entirely comfortable with. Monk-Monk sometimes feels too…unhuman, if that makes any darn sense at all. So don’t be surprised, if like a post-breakup, I dye my hair to change my identity. The blog equivalent might be a look change/name change/handle change. Still me under the bloggy makeover, but I thought I’d give you a heads up that my mind is swirling about new taglines and titles and how to move forward in internet refugee empowerment.
Hey! I’ve clicked over to your blog from time to time from your Offbeat Empire comments, since you say lots of thoughtful and interesting things there (and here). For this one I felt like I should comment!
I read all the Offbeat sites but feel most at home (heh) at Offbeat Home & Life, since I am neither engaged nor do I have young children in my life. But! I love reading about other people’s stories, especially the introspective ones about identity (yes, including as it relates to marriage, motherhood, breastfeeding, etc.) and I feel like it’s really exposed me to a lot of interesting viewpoints that I’d never considered before, in a safe space, like you said.
I’m personally really excited about the change because I love the more philosophical-type posts there (even wrote one myself) and I really do hope that the merging of the two sites results in a lot more of that. And, I hope contributors and commenters like you join us too! There are some people who miss the days when it was mostly crafts and home decor, and while those are fun too, I loved the shift in focus and I’m looking forward to hearing from Families community members so we can have even more diverse discussions.
So, yeah. I hope it does work out. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose that site as a parent, but hopefully the community doesn’t have to lose you!
Um, this made me tear up a bit. I appreciate your kind words! I really just shouldn’t have read the comments, I had actually really gotten used to (because excited isn’t quite the word) the idea and was actually about ready to support the OBHL website. Your comment is restoring my faith…because even if not everyone loves us family-refugees, knowing that some are welcoming us over there makes my heart feel good!
Though crafts, yeah…those were never my favorite posts. I love the identity/philosophy type stuff, and actually submitted something awhile back that supposedly will run in the next few weeks!
Thanks for coming by!
Don’t. Get. Me. Started on people who leave comments like that. Sooo not cool. You’re always welcome at momasteblog! ❤ u!!!