So 66 people checked out my blog yesterday; 27 people viewed my profile and I got a few likes and a couple of new followers. Looking back through my stats I had viewers from countries as far apart and diverse as Albania, Ireland, Ukraine, USA and India. This is absolutely breath-taking and when I take a moment to consider the implications, it bowls me over to imagine that people from all these different countries have read my words, and checked out my blog and my own personal version of reality.
People who speak languages I don’t, and who comes from worlds which are as distant and dissimilar to mine as chalk is to cheese. Yet they’ve found me, and taken the time to check out what I have to say, and I hope they might have felt like they knew me a little bit, and grasped a small part of who I am and what makes me and my world up.
This morning I have travelled by bus to work, passing out of leafy suburban Caterham, into Croydon and then through Waddon, Wallington and eventually into Sutton. Once you reach Croydon you’re into South London, and so the scenery outside of the bus window basically becomes urban, and there are always so many people to watch, and situations to spy upon as the bus stops at stops and traffic lights.
I grew up in a very leafy, countryside style village, and have always felt a pull towards the city, an urge to really experience the buzz and the activity of London. I always find myself wondering how different I would be if I had grown up in a different environment, and a different situation. Obviously the place we grow up in has a massive impact on the person we become, in so many different ways that it definitely needs to be the subject of another blog post, not a side section within this one.
For me personally, I remember feeling very stifled by the village I grew up in and the town I went to school in, although they were both beautiful, lovely places, they were predominantly inhabited by white, protestant, middle class people, and I didn’t really experience diversity, in any sense of the word, until I left for university. In Leeds a spent time with people from all different parts of the Uk, as well as having friends from Italy, the USA, Germany, Columbia and Africa.
These were eye-opening times for me, as I started to realise how small my previous world had been, and how different these other people were. When I first started, I met a guy who had a Namibian guy and a Sudanese guy as flat-mates. They were both only 17, doing introductory classes in English before starting their degrees, and it was their first time in the UK. Wowzas were the culture differences pronounced at first. I was heavily goth at the time, and it took us a while to find some common ground in a shared appreciation for weed and music. As the year progressed and we studied, partied and lived together I became firm friends with both of them, and I loved the way they opened my eyes to ideas and issues I had never considered before, and expanded my awareness of difference and diversity.
WordPress is another such community where I marvel at the differences in the people I speak to. It’s refreshing, inspiring and thought-provoking; and every time I check out another persons blog I feel like I’m dipping my toe into another world. And whilst I won’t ever get a chance to experience for myself or understand it completely, I do get the chance to touch upon it, in a fashion; to read words written by somebody on the other side of the planet, and therefore see things from their pov for a moment or two.
For no two people are the same, and therefore every single person will have their own unique take on life. This is exhilarating, and promotes a sense of freedom I think- we all make mistakes, and we’re all striving for the things in this life which we believe will make us happy, and yet we’re all doing that in different ways, and with different strengths and weaknesses. There is no right or wrong way; there is no “correct” way to live- just billions of different people doing things their way, and living out their lives in a multitude of different worlds and situations.
(Continued in part 2)