For the past few weeks I've been struggling with the drastic decision of locking my blog, making it private, and returning it to what it originally was... an intimate journal of our family's experiences and chaotic lifestyle overseas.
"Um..... isn't that what it already is?"
Well, yes. It is. But over the past few years it's become more than that. Let me start at the beginning and bring everyone up to speed on how The Perlman Update came to life.
In 2003, Matt schlepped me, our 5 month old daughter, and our 2 year old Labrador Retriever to Muscat, Oman for our first overseas tour. Family and friends e-mailed us on a daily basis with questions up the wazoo.... "How are you handling the heat?" "What are the grocery stores like?" "Do they have a Starbucks?" As the internet speed was dial-up and as slow as molasses in January, it was far easier to type up one e-mail and send it out to everyone via a distribution list. And as easy as that, The Perlman Update was born.
Every few weeks I would type up a long e-mail detailing all the things we'd done, trips we took, and answers to what it was like to live overseas.
And I continued that for 4.5 years.
Until halfway through our second overseas post in Israel when I realized that composing these long e-mails was no longer fun. They were beginning to become a chore, they took forever, and I despised writing them. Why was I taking the time to pump these updates out? Did people really miss them when they didn't get them? Well, I found out they did. Whenever I took a break from writing, I would receive e-mail after e-mail asking when the next update was coming. I clearly needed to change my mindset and look into alternate ways to send out updates.
Then I discovered blogging.
A few friends of mine were doing it, and it looked easy enough. Why not give it a try? So on March 31, 2007, my first blog was published.
At first my blog was only read by family and friends. In fact, most of them signed up for the feedburner updates and to this day don't even go to my blog, let alone understand that when they receive The Perlman Update e-mails that they can check out links I've attached in the blog by clicking on the bold, blue words...
Over time my blog readership increased. I added my blog onto some expat sites, I put my name in a few blog directories, I linked up with other foreign service bloggers, I began reading expat blogs, mom blogs, fertility blogs, friend's blogs, photography blogs and the like. And I was even a featured blog on SITS. Google "anti thumb sucking" and you'll see my blog pop right up on the first page. Same goes if you type in "Miss June 2008".
With greater exposure, my blog's readership has grown exponentially. On any given week I receive e-mails about my blog. Requests to advertise, to review products, and moreover, questions about being a trailing spouse in the foreign service. I now have, dare I say, a fan base? However, this adulation does not come without costs. In the recent months I've come to realize I am the victim of my own success. Excuse me... I just vomited a little in my mouth after saying that... Because unfortunately, I'm now finding myself having to check myself, and be more politically correct in order not to offend.
The fact is that this blog was, and still is, a diary of sorts. A place for me to write down the day to day stuff that we do overseas. A journal for me to tell funny stories about the kids or scenarios that happen here in India. An outlet to vent about my frustrations of foreign service life, or express my feelings about certain situations. This space is mine.
Yet... lately I've been struggling with sharing my thoughts. I've curbed my comments, I've moderated my editorializing. I've noticed that I don't post as often as I'd like or even on topics I'd usually share. I haven't written about the sordid details of my maid situation, I haven't kvelled about our new house that we started moving into, I haven't made mention of the lack of community spirit I've sometimes felt here at post.
So I had to come to a big decision. Either I make this blog private for just family and friends, or I give a big blanket warning to all who read this now and in the future.... that this is my space, my blog, my perspective.
I chose the latter. Consequently, everything you read here WILL be one-sided. All accounts will be from my point of view. While I don't mean to offend anyone with my posts, I probably have in the past, and most likely will again in the future.
Its raw. It's real. It's never ordinary. Welcome to The Perlman Update. I write because it's cheaper than therapy.
BTW ... Matt thinks I should upload all of the e-mail updates to the blog that I wrote for the 4.5 years prior to posting on the web. There's probably 75 of them or so. What do you think. Should I? Here is my very first update I sent out back in 2003...