Saturday, October 20, 2012

Change the world? Why not try...

More often than not I take on more than I can handle.  I try do it all - be it all - reach great levels in many areas and I maintain near impossible goals.  There are dangers to this lifestyle and lately I have scaled back in some areas to leave more room for other areas to prosper.  For example - I exercise much less rigidly and I spend more time on reading and language learning. 
Can I be a blog superwoman?

This blog is a good example of me trying to be a super woman.  I started it in the thick of the summer when I was preparing myself for my comprehensive examination.  I let it go for a while, and I concentrated on my other work.  Now I am back behind the screen and considering what I really want to accomplish with this blog.  Is it simply a public space where I hold myself accountable for my Turkish language and cultural learning?  (Yes, but more…)  Is it a place where I attempt to form a community and connect with others?  (Yes, eventually…) Is it a place where I try to reach grand and lofty goals of combating cultural ignorance and encourage cross-cultural  intellectualism?  (Humm…that would be a little too grand - but wouldn't it be nice?)  The reality of blogs is that few of them are very successful - while blogging is becoming more and more popular lately, the majority of bloggers I read cater to a similar crowd: expats living in the same country or considering the move, lifelong nomads, tourists in search of a new destination, and language connoisseurs.  Do these blogs ever reach the masses that do not share a desire for ethical travel, cross-cultural understanding and language learning?  Probably not….  Is there a way to use these blogs to springboard into more vocal types of media where there is more chance to be heard?  Probably, with some blog success other writing gigs become more likely and eventually radio, TV and books can become a part of the equation (if the blog is uber successful).

I should not write my blog with the goal of changing the world.  Yet, lately that seems to be a good reason to put my effort into it.  There is so much ignorance out there, Americans that have no clue about the people and culture that comprise the "Middle East" and only gobble up the news that is fed to them at 6 and 11pm in bite-size, digestible chunks of misrepresentation and bias.  Do people go search out the news for themselves - find reality - and read from multiple perspectives?  No they do not (for the most part).  I understand, most do not have time. 

I really do not have the time to become a free journalist either.  However, I am doing what I love - reading and processing and learning - this is what I can do.  I can become a better person and share what I know and what I learn and what I think with others.   If they want to listen and read and discuss then that is great.  If they ignore me or dismiss me then that is fine too - because in the end I'm not writing this blog for them.  I am writing it for me.  I am writing it to express myself and to progress forward.  Maybe someday it will become something more, but for now it is what it is.  A place a space to express myself with the opportunity of the public dropping by and with the chance that I will develop a community to converse with and share stories and ideas - eventually.

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