I have this mildly unhealthy habit of checking my blog stats WAY. Too. Often. Thankfully, WordPress only gives me really basic information–I steer clear of Google Analytics, since the geographic detail feels a bit too creepy. Here, I just get the basics: I can see what different countries readers are coming from (‘sup, Yemen?), and I can see how they’re getting here. Usually, people find the blog via social media like Facebook or Twitter. Sometimes, Stumbleupon points people my way. Mentions or comments on other blogs can also spur a few hits.
And a few times each day, someone finds my blog through a Google search.
The search terms are usually predictable enough: “Things to do in Ottawa,” “Blackboard wall,” “Stocking stuffers that give to charity,”…you know, straight-forward subjects directly related to blog entries. Every now and then, though, I see a search term that makes me FEEL THINGS.
These search terms are the desperate, doomed-from-the-start pleads to the internet for guidance. These searches come from the same place that bring us 11:11 wishes, untimely text messages, bad “poetry,” and worse habits. There’s a knot in someone’s soul and they can’t massage it out. The default solution? ‘Maybe, just maybe, Google knows.’
And then, if they find my blog, a ‘Maybe, just maybe, this Shaunanagins website knows.’
Full disclosure: I have totally been that person, sitting alone and unsure of something (everything?) at approximately 3 o’clock in the morning. I will shamelessly admit that I have turned to Google for validation, or just a gentle reminder that it’s allllll good.
“Coping with stress”
“How long does it take to get over [thing I am under]?”
“How to deal with learning curves”
“What is good about being single?”
“Plane tickets to Seattle.”
(No, I’ve never been to Seattle. The alone/unsure/3 am combo sometimes ends in weird places.)
It is this past experience in the field of “Well, shit. Life. I guess I’ll just Google it?” that makes me FEEL THINGS when I see search terms designed to…massage out those soul-knots. This month, two such search terms really stuck with me:
“i can never relax. what do i do?”
“don’t exactly know where home is”
Heavy. I feel you, Person A. As for Person B…I have so much to say on that topic, it’s a little ridiculous. All I can say for right now is that I feel you, too. Or at least, I felt you for awhile.
Dear Person A,
In response to your search “i can never relax. what do i do?” : Dude. I wish I knew. I guess turning off your computer would be a good start. Maybe drink tea and do a puzzle? Or go to a used CD store, pick up some new music, and put it on. Close your eyes and listen. Or, hey, just read. Maybe read a blog. Maybe this blog, brought to you by another person who can’t relax.
That totally killed my “Turn off your computer” thing, didn’t it?
Dear Person B,
You told Google that you “don’t exactly know where home is.” My response to this could, and should, be a full blog entry. It should be a series of blog entries. What I can say in short right now is that Home is the place where things grow. It’s the place where you grow. And sometimes, growing can be uncomfortable. So, sometimes, Home can be uncomfortable. But if it’s safe and loving, if whatever needs nurtured is being nurtured, you’re on the right track.
Oh, and Home doesn’t have to be a geographical Place. It can be a person, or an attitude. And if you get spiritual, that there’s a whole new dimension to the concept of Home. But for now, just focus on finding a safe spot, geographical or otherwise, that has positive energy. A Place that you can move and shake in. Do not worry if, while moving and shaking, you stumble away from that Place for awhile. A life well lived will always bring you back Home eventually.
Okay, I feel so much better now. I know Person A and Person B will probably not be back to this blog, but maybe other people with similar pleads to the internet will. And maybe they will also be able to help me learn how to relax, or figure out where home is. Because we’re all just floating, you guys. And we’re all alright.