We totally create our lives. I get it. And I love it. We are constantly creating ourselves, trying out new things and trying on new ways of being. I’ve been trying “focus” and “niche” and “define your message” for a couple of years now, but the fact of the matter is, if left to my own devices, I talk about, well, just ‘stuff’. There’s no point to what I want to talk about, there’s no purpose to it, it’s not aimed at getting people to do something or to change their lives in any way at all. It’s just observations, commentaries on the stuff that happens in life.
If I’m totally honest with myself, I like to talk, to communicate with people, with the sole intention of getting to know them and having some laughs. I’m interested in finding out about people and I have the strangest experiences all the time because people will come up to me, completely random strangers, and start to tell me their problems or their life story. I must have this invisible-to-the-naked-eye neon sign flashing over my head that says “I’m here to listen! Tell me your story!” because people do exactly that! All the time!
Like the other day, I was happily walking down Mount Warning… okay, if I'm perfectly honest, I was limping down Mount Warning, fully aware that my calf muscles were going to cramp up and reduce themselves to the size of two walnuts any second, but I was pretty happy - and I came across a lady, sitting on a bench, having a drink of water. “Well, look at you,” she says to me, “all pretty in pink and skinny.” Okay, maybe it wasn’t water in that drink bottle. Besides which, my top was purple. She then proceeds to tell me all about the 120km walk around Northern Ireland that she’s just completed, taking time out during her storytelling to yell at two young female doctors who happened to be walking past, that youth was wasted on the young and expecting them to agree with her. Which they politely (if bemusedly) did. In the space of less than five minutes, I found out what the hike was like, who she’d come on this walk with, where she’d stayed in Ireland, even what the food was like, along with her hopes for continuing to go hiking for many years to come.
Now, this kind of story is what I truly love talking about. Sure, I love talking about mindset and moving beyond our blocks and all that other stuff. I love talking about people’s money stories, partly because it’s such an emotionally-loaded topic (although not nearly as emotionally-loaded as talking about Obama or Trump!). But really, I love just having conversations with people, finding out about them and their lives and laughing about life in general and specific events in particular.
And there really is no point to it! It’s simply a conversation! I want to share my excitement about finding quite possibly the most amazing hand cream in the history of the universe (and god knows, I’ve tried a lot of them, including a large number of home-made creams that came from the fool-proof, never-failed-yet, life-(and-skin)-changing, so-incredible-the-big-skincare-corporations-tried-to-stop-this-recipe-from-being-published ilk. I want to have a conversation. There doesn’t have to be a point to a conversation, other than spending time with someone whose company you enjoy. It’s not brave to have this kind of conversation online, it’s just human, it’s spreading a bit of humanity around the internet.
Oh my god, I sound so sanctimonious. Scratch that last bit, or at least, take it with a pinch of salt, for sure.
Just because something doesn’t have a ‘point’ or a ‘purpose’ in that it isn’t educating people about something doesn’t mean that it’s worthless or that it isn’t actually going to make a difference. It’s taken me a long time to understand that and to not feel the need to justify my presence (though I still fall into that fairly regularly; it’s an old and comfortable habit).
PS The comment about my articles being pointless wasn’t intended as a criticism, by the way, it was an encouragement in the middle of a conversation about what I’ve just been talking about, kind of like pointing out that I’ve already been doing that (and probably trying to ignore that fact, too).
Hi! I’m Karen O’Connor, hormonally-challenged, peri-menopausal writer, blogger, self-confessed sarcasm enthusiast, mother of 4, wife of 30 years, destroyer of souls... no, wait, that's just in the mornings...