When I lived in Morocco as a Peace Corps volunteer, the purpose of my blog was clear: I wanted to share with the folks back home what life was like in a different culture. I wanted to educate people about Moroccans and about Islam and be able to provide a bird’s eye view of this whole other world apart from America.
When I got back, I shut down my Peace Corps blog – what I had titled “My Moroccan World.” My service had ended. What was left to say? I was entering a time of job hunting filled with transitions, and if I was going to brood about that process, I wanted to do so privately.
Then, in March, my need to write lead me to reopen my blog under a new title – “Saunterings” – but I kept it private, only inviting a small handful of folks to join and read along. With the blog private, like much of my life during this transition phase, I began to feel comfortable saying whatever I wanted. That lead to me adding “sections” to the blog, where I could write a lot about some of my passions in a thoughtful way, especially adoption, but also other socio-political and religious commentary. Anybody who knows me knows those are things I deeply enjoy discussing.
But now, I’ve decided to take the blog public.
Not because I expect anyone should want to read my endless pontificating. I’d love the discussion if people do end up here and want to engage, but let’s be honest: this blog isn’t anything more than a guy who writes because he needs to; I’m not looking to impress you with anything I have to say so much as I’m hoping to be impressed by what you have to respond. My decision to move the blog from a private place to a public one is less about the audience and more about me. For months, readjusting to American life, I confess I’ve been somewhat of a recluse, and I think the private blog has been a place to foster that quiet solitude. Not that a public blog breeds a social life, but in moving the blog to a public place, I think I’m also saying, maybe symbolically, that I’m ready to get back out there in the world, slowly but surely.
And for me, the best way to do that, to come out of my shell and claim who I am and want to be, has always been to write it out. That is what this blog is really all about to me, when it comes down to it. It’s a place to make sense of both the sacred and the mundane and to figure out how to walk the line between the two.
The readjustment phase, the transition of moving from Morocco to America, isn’t over. I am still deeply “reverse culture shocked” but in ways that aren’t obvious. I am still looking for a job. I’ll take one anywhere in the world I can find one, and I’ll be awesome at it. I expect the next few months to have the same highs-and-lows the past eleven have had, but in walking the line between them, that same line between the sacred and the mundane, I’ll be writing it out, and my hope is that I’ll no longer be intent on doing that alone.
So, if you’re just coming here, welcome to the blog. You can see I’ve put a lot of time and energy into it. If you happen by, I hope you’ll “write it out” a little with me.