“I am so happy it’s going to be November. If anything, to start with an empty cup. I know it will fill. Let me enjoy this. Can I just sit back and smile for a while. What if the only words I said were thank you. They are enough.” – Steph, from her post, Just thank you
Reading Stephanie Precourt’s posts makes me want to paint or make up a poem. She’s inspiring in the most subtle ways. She has a gift I lack, that of being concise. Steph packs a punch in few words and something magical happens–you walk away inspired even if you don’t even really know exactly what it was that resonated with you the very most. Blogging brings about that connection, one you can’t always describe. If you read blogs or blog yourself you know this–you come to feel that you know someone through this window into their world.
We tell our stories, we connect, we high five and pinky swear across the vast and endless sea of words on the worldwide web. We take it to Twitter and Facebook and sometimes to real-life parties and conferences. How well we know each other is unique to everyone who meets here, of course, but for the most part we’re all able to agree that this is one fine way of being heard and understood and maybe even known. If we didn’t think so, I’m not sure we’d be here. So much of why we’re here is to say, me too.
“What am I doing? Please someone tell me that this — when you are in between young and old and you have the meat of life on your plate — say I’ll get to pause and savor. That I won’t always be so far behind to stop in time…”- Steph, from her post Blurry
When I consistently read a blog I start to wonder about a few key things, things I usually only get to know if I develop an offline relationship with the person, which I’ve had the pleasure to do with many online friends, including Steph. I wonder about the rest of the house, around the blogging window. I wonder how they manange their time and I wonder how invested they are in the online creative space. If they’re successful at what they do, I want to ask them if they ever feel like they’re losing themselves to an online persona–a persona often not intentionally created by them, but one that exists because of the unique views and perspectives of readers. And lastly, I always want to ask them what they think their readers DON’T know about them. In essence, I guess I just want to be a fly on the wall in real life.
I asked Steph some of the seeing-past-the-blogging-window questions. These are some of the things I learned about her:
When asked what her readers may not know about her, Steph said,
“I didn’t finish college (I studied theatre and English for about 3 semesters) but would really like to go back to school with a focus on art history. I have no idea why, it’s just something I’d like to do.”
“I’ve often had readers assume I homeschool, but my kids go to public school. And I have a child in special education. I don’t write about that. I wish I did, because he’s doing awesome.”
When asked what it feels like to try to keep up with her online life while juggling the demands of her offline life at the same time, Steph said,
“It feels like… a beautiful heavy needy burden. Just as much as I love it and can’t live without it, I wish I could walk away. Online demands tend to keep me up late and not my best self for my family the next day — or week. I’m trying to rein it all in. It’s hard when it’s a job and I’ve committed and have a responsibility that I can’t blow off. But same for my family. I’m pulled equally, it seems, in opposite directions, as I imagine most working parents feel. It’s rewarding and exiting and I love that I’m doing what is, for me, a dream job. But it’s got its fair share of gray and shady areas.
I asked if she finds that writing publicly leaves her constantly spinning experiences into posts while she’s living them…
“…I’ve found the words are always there, and often better when simmered a bit, or if I must I write in a notebook. And sometimes when the words don’t come or aren’t my best, then I feel like I wasn’t meant to write about that particular moment. It was okay to just let it stay there, unwritten.”
and lastly, I asked Steph how she feels about blogging being only a small window into all that she and her life hold…
“…some days I just think it’s normal to write and be open, other times I wonder who is really reading, and who really gets me or understands me and that can make for a really tiny window. I know there has to be people out there making incorrect assumptions and judgments about me because I’ve sodone that while reading other bloggers, too, but honestly, that doesn’t matter to me at all because I don’t see or hear about it. I hope it stays that way. Please talk about me behind my back. Thank you.”
“I think maybe my identity as a blogger appears as all or nothing but you know as well as I do that it really is no big deal. That’s just my blog. I’m not a blog, I’m a person.”
The person behind Adventures in Babywearing is Stephanie Precourt. Her blog resonates because of all that she is whether she shares every part or keeps some things to herself. Not all of her story stands in the window, so today we got to sit with her somewhere else inside. Thank you, Steph.
Stephanie Precourt is a mom to four in Valparaiso, Indiana. She is a contributing writer to the Times newspaper of Northwest Indiana, blogger at Babble’s Strollerderby, the larger family site 4 Kids or More, and a writer slash copy editor at SheKnows.com. In 2011 Stephanie directed and produced the Listen To Your Mother show in Valparaiso and can’t wait to do it again in 2012. Oh yeah, and she journals daily about her life at Adventures in Babywearing.