Over the Christmas break, I had an interview with my hometown paper where we talked about me, my religious vocation, life here in Milwaukee, and of course this blog. I feel that he did a great job on the article, and presented my current life in an accurate and thoughtful way.
Now I'm sure it's a faux pas to write about people writing about yourself, but the mention of my blog on a bigger level has gotten me to ask myself some serious questions. As I was reflecting over this concept of being a "blogger" while still fighting off my cold, I came to a very clear understanding: I am not a blogger in the commonly accepted use of the term.
1. I rarely read other people's blogs. I know there are people out there that write great things, Kicking and Screaming and The Ironic Catholic were a few of the first blogs I really tried to follow. But between class, homework, ministry, and community, I simply don't have time to read what is being written. For those who have time, I would encourage you to check them out. Both are better experienced at blogging than I am!
2. I'm bad about links and referrals. I suck at consistently writing posts, too. I know these things are essential for people who want to increase traffic to their blog. There is a part of me that would love to have a ton of readers, but I'm happy to be present to the handful of people who continue to follow my journey. Their continued presence reminds me that I'm not just talking to myself (and that I need to be better about spelling and grammatical errors).
3. I have no agenda. Sure, I pull the soapbox out every now and then, but this isn't a soundboard for my personal philosophies. Perhaps this is more of an online diary than a web log; it's a place where I put down my personal ideas and reflections rather than a pulpit to spew my liberal Capuchin agenda. I realize not everyone adheres to my flavor of theology. I realize not everyone experiences God and The Church like I do. And like everyone else, sometimes I need to break out and post a rant about something that pisses me off. But since this is a time of conversion for me, I have to be honest with myself and say I'm not sure of a lot at this point.
4. I have no clue what I'm doing. My favorite boss once told me: "I don't care if you screw up, but admit when you don't know something." I don't know if I'm writing memoirs to one day look back upon. Maybe I'm telling a story in hopes that someone who's possibly considering a religious life might see my story and think: "He seems as screwed up as me. Maybe I too can have a vocation!" Perhaps this is merely a therapeutic way for me to handle change, conversion, and to come to grips with the fact that God has given me a job, and deep down I still don't know if I'm good enough to be the man he expects of me. I have doubts, I have fears, I have sadness...even as my new life here continues to bring me happiness. Because of this, sometimes posts only make sense to me.
5. I do my best writing late at night when I'm trying to get to sleep. We've all done term-papers at the last second...drinking massive quantities of caffeine while typing away at the keypad. One night you may scribe (what you think is) the greatest thesis ever conceived by the mind of a mortal. The next morning it looks like the ramblings of a retarded chicken, high on crack.
I like to let my mind wander at those moments and just hit "Publish" when it's all done. I realize a good blogger would take time to make sure his/her content is relevant and even cognitive before posting it, but I find that spontaneous thought can reveal more about a person's inner self than any canned text which has been filtered and edited a few times.
So for the many of you who have begun to visit this wonderful place because of a link or referral, I welcome you whole-heartedly. But I warn you that I am not a certified blogger. I am a person living through a unique experience, learning a new part of my life. For those interested, I encourage you to follow along. For those looking for another opinion on Barack Obama, abortion, liberation theology, how to fix the economy, or recent comments about the Jonas brothers...there are better blogs out there for you than mine.
Peace and all good,
Vito Martinez, Capuchin Postulant