Correspondence

I would have to say that the most interesting thing about writing this blog is the email I get from my readers.

I guess it comes with the territory of revealing so much of your personal life for so long, putting it online for anyone to read.  I had a good friend tell me once that when she read my blog for the first time, a lot of it surprised her, because she had had no idea that I had felt that way (before my divorce).  I’m fully aware that this is a ridiculous statement, but for some reason I almost  find it easier to talk about things here than with people in real life.  I have a lot of people contact me and tell me they feel like they know me after they’ve read the whole thing.  I do get so personal here that I guess that in a way, they’re right. 

Enough about me.  Back to you guys.

I’ve gotten a lot of hate mail, certainly, for my more controversial posts (see here and here and here).  I mostly try to ignore that.  I’ve had people email me and ask me questions that I can’t possibly pretend to know how to answer, like “should I get divorced?” or “should I have an abortion?”  (I have to say that although I’m always glad to offer a listening ear and a sympathetic shoulder, I don’t exactly feel qualified to offer concrete advice.)  I’ve had guys email me and ask me out, women email me and ask me for advice on how to go about getting a divorce, people contact me for dental advice or to talk about going to dental school.  And of course I always love the encouraging emails, when people contact me just to say that they love reading about my life and Caroline’s, and to keep it up. 

But the kind of correspondence that really makes my day is these: the single mothers who tell me that because of things I’ve written here, they feel more inspired to go back to school for their children.  The working moms who tell me that they take comfort in knowing that there’s someone else out there going through the same struggles, and feeling like their compromises and sacrifices are worth it. 

If anything I write makes even one person out there feel less alone, then hey– I’m happy. If I get just one of those emails for every ten pieces of hate mail, it’s been more than worth it.  So, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has let me know that putting myself out there on the internet like this has made a small difference in your lives.  I can’t express how much it means to me.

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  1. by Caroline

    On April 1, 2012 at 4:15 am

    Hi Julia,
    I’ve read your blog for a long time, since you were first pregnant with Caroline and I was pregnant with my first baby – my baby was born on Caroline’s due date. At that time we were similar ages and while I wasn’t a student I hadn’t long completed my teacher training and I guess I kept reading because I felt we had a lot in common. And also you made me laugh all the time with your honest tales of being a new mum. I remember being really shocked when you first started to write about your divorce and since then your life and mine have become increasingly ‘different’. But I still read your blog because to me you are a breath of fresh air. You still make me laugh and I love to see how Caroline is getting on. You are not afraid to tackle difficult and unpopular issues and I appreciate that. I suppose what I’m getting at is that the reason people enjoy your blog is because YOU write it. It’s your take on the world and whatever you have to say is interesting. So keep going please. And you are an inspiration to me – not because I’m a single mother, but because of the way you approach life and motherhood with intelligence and humour.