If I weren’t a blogger

If I weren’t a blogger, what would I be?

This question keeps coming back to me these days. Why? Call it an existential dilemma or a mid-life crisis. Actually, don’t call it the latter. I’m not middle-aged. Yet.

A part of my being whispers it, in the softest of tones, almost inaudibly so. I can hear it only when my soul is absolutely receptive and the head completely still and willing to take in everything.

The words come to me, in a querying tone, ‘I had a dream that I would be…’ and then it fades into the realm of what-ifs and suppose, losing itself in the mire of unfulfilled aspirations.

A dream

Don’t get me wrong. I love blogging. Once upon a time, I was absolutely addicted to it too! But that’s changed now. I still love it, but I don’t lose sleep over the fact that my blog hasn’t been updated or that there haven’t been enough comments or views. Call it growing wiser or older. (Again, skip the latter, for my sake.)

Since we’re supposing, I’ll admit that if I could do anything other than blogging, I’d have continued to teach. The connections I made, the questions I heard, the energy I could  sense in a room full of eager young minds were all so inspiring that it took my breath away.

Teaching also gave me something that blogging can never completely give me- a balanced and level-headed interaction at all times. If a student asked me a question, I’d be watching his body language, the hand movements, his expressions, the tone of his voice and the content all at once and gauge my response accordingly. I’d be honest, but I’d keep all of that in mind while sharing my reply.

Blogging doesn’t allow that, most of the time. Our responses are either couched in easy comfort where we thank people for reading our thoughts or, occasionally, become belligerent in trying to defend our point of view.

You don’t even have to be a blogger to understand what I mean. You just need to have a presence on social media. Say something, say anything and chances are 9 times out of 10, you’ll end up annoying someone. Most of the time, it’s misinterpreted, your motive, and you have to firefight it.

That’s very tiring, to be honest. I doubt I can do it for much longer. As much as I love blogging and the connections, my soul cannot take much more of the negativity online. It’s why I stay offline more and more these days and time my social media presence to the minimum.

Some day, I’d like to go back to teaching- to feel the pulsating sense of joy when wisdom is shared and received, to listen with my heart when anything is open  for debate and to always be grateful for the connections that make us human.

So, dear blogger, tell me your dream:

What would you have liked to be?

52 thoughts on “If I weren’t a blogger

  1. Finding your own passion is what we are always after, aren’t we? As for blogging, I guess it is a platform for me where I can pursue my interest of writing. For me I have always loved writing, though horrible or good it may be. Writing thoughts somewhere gives me calm. What I would have been if I hadn’t been blogging? Hmm.. neevr gave thought. Usual job would have consumed me I guess..

  2. The Annoying Part is so True. I recently annoyed one of my favorite cousins on what I wrote at my Blog.

    It was – ” I’ve spent an enormous amount of time in a Cage and I’m never returning back ”

    She assumed Cage to me was Family when I meant my own rigid beliefs by Cage.

    It gets frustrating to explain

  3. Blogging is something that has happened to me recently. It gives me the much-needed break I sometimes crave for to break the monotony of being at home, and doing everyday, almost similar chores. But given a choice, I would like to go back to teaching too. And also write a book on my mom…:)

    1. So many teachers in the blogging space. It’s so heartening to hear about 🙂 Why don’t you write the book anyway? Blogging shouldn’t come in the way of that 🙂

      1. No, blogging is actually helping me in improving my writing skills. Reading fellow-bloggers’ books is also helping me. But I need time, more than time, I need concentration, which I have less of, with kids running around….:)..

  4. You are wise now… blogging at most can be your timepass, only be part of your life… you must do teaching… google the story of Rajdeep Malwani and you will know why… he says he wanted to be a teacher because it touches thousands of life and he became a teacher and then a teacher who students liked much later… I can tell you his story for now you can see him here… ok you google him, trust me you must know his story… I guess I am meant to be a journalist… though would love script writing and things like that… goodday

  5. That’s a nice post which demands thinking and some introspection. I dont really see myself as a blogger. I rather think that “i like to write..sometimes about thoughts, sometimes about beautiful things that i encounter.” And I dont like to write all the time.. sometimes I want to and sometimes, I would rather be doing other things. As you say, I dont think too much about readership now. If there are a handful or even a single person who wants to read what I write, i will continue writing. And if I lose that person too, I might still do ..more to catalog my thoughts.

    1. I think that’s wonderful! It’s the best way to write/blog in my opinion. To write because we want to instead of have to. Come to think of it, all our pursuits must be driven by that instinct. Now that would be wonderful.

  6. Personally, I started blogging because I wanted to write more frequently than I was writing. And I wanted to write in different styles than what I was mostly used to in my academic career. In some ways I thought of blogging as an extension of my learning-teaching work which I had done for decades. Learning for myself, teaching to myself, first of all. Everything else about blogging – connecting with other bloggers, comments, visits etc came later once I learned a few things about this blogging game. For a while I thought I was getting sucked into all that extra stuff, but thankfully I soon realised that it takes me away from my personal goals for why I started a blog in the first place.

    And as for online interactions/discussions I don’t take that stuff seriously, so I don’t see them as negatives. I mean it is not that when I say something on a serious topic I don’t seriously mean what I am saying. In fact, I believe that if one is not sure of what one is saying on social media or on one’s blog, it is better not to say. Also, if one can’t emotionally handle any differences of opinion or perspective, one should avoid getting into any controversial topics. If one has said something, one should be prepared to hear the most divergent perspective and engage with it constructively. Maybe is the ‘eternal student’ in me that I see online discussions more as a positive rather than a negative. But maybe that’s because of my experience. Or how I interpret it.

    So if I were not a blogger, I would be a learner and a teacher. And that I still am, in a way 🙂

    1. Agree on not getting into discussions that are controversial. I tried it a few times and it did not work for me. On the contrary, it took away my peace of mind. Nothing is worth that.

      I think blogging is an evolving form, capable of many interpretations. Each person gets something different out of the experience. I’ve loved it the most for the writing it allows me to do followed by the friendships it has generated as a result of the engagement thereof. 🙂

  7. Beautifully expressed Shailaja.. Can totally relate with you… I was a teacher too at some point and loved it… 🙂
    And yes the social media misinterpretation… the less said the better 🙂

    1. Thanks Archana 🙂 I think we all have been teachers at some point. How wonderful! Yes, the social media thing can get trying so I have learnt to step back and breathe these days 🙂 Helps tremendously.

  8. Since I’m not doing it professionally yet, I am a Software engineer with multiple interests and blogging/writing is one of those things that channelizes my creativity I guess. So if not for blogging, I wouldn’t have found my lost self again.

    1. Interesting how many folks find themselves through blogging. Is it the writing itself or the connections we build through our blogs that keep us going? I wonder 🙂

  9. It has taken me a lot of time to finally say that I am happy being a blogger. I guess all professions or vocations be it teaching or anything else have their pros and cons and many are on similar lines as blogging. In corporate one cannot move an inch without feeling a wind of negativity flow in one’s face.
    At least in blogging we know it is a decision we have taken. We are in many ways our own boss.

    So while I have always taught people all through my life (from age of 13!) through paid tuitions/lectures I still feel it has some serious pitfalls presently as well.

    IMO blogging is where my heart is. Hence despite all odds I keep coming back to it..

    1. Blogging is where one part of my heart is, for sure. The other part misses being a teacher 🙂 I am so pleased that you’ve found your happiness through blogging, Richa. After all, joy is what matters, ultimately.

  10. Blogging has opened avenues for me which I never knew existed, not even when I started blogging. But, blogging is still not the be all and end all for me. I love my current job as it is. But, I feel I should have moved to being a teacher early on in my career. That is my retirement plan. Blogging and teaching.

    1. Wishing you lots of luck as you embark on that dream, Lata. I find there are a lot of teachers and would-be teachers in the comments here 🙂 Such a happy feeling!

  11. Mmmm blogger is just another identity of us no. I will for instance always remember you for taking the effort to come across the town for my sons naming cermony (and not your blog :-p)

  12. I have said this before on another blog post – and once again for the risk of repeating, I feel I am doing what I wanted to do. To start with, I wanted to be an Engineer and I became one. Then I wanted to be a HR woman and now I am. I have always loved explaining things to people – thinks that I know. Blame it on the teachers’ blood that runs in the family, I find time to coach people here and there including my Mum 😉 I feel I discovered myself with blogging. I have always so much to say that I fall short of time. If not a blogger, I would have been lost 🙂

    1. It’s perfect when you do what you want to do, Parul. I feel that way about my current job as well as blogging. Everything just aligns so well it’s incredible. I’m happy to know you blog because of your heart’s desire. It’s the best way possible.

  13. You would be the perfect teacher Shailaja! And I know what I am saying here – once a teacher, always a teacher. My mum’s been a teacher all her life, in school and out of it. It kind of permeates into every pore of you. That said, the blogger in you will never completely forsake you….try as you may. You will always keep coming back to it, as long as you have a story to tell and share. Ignore the negativity you feel and focus on the positivity. As for me….I am happy to have worn many hats, each a learning experience.

    1. I know what you mean, Kala. I doubt I can ever stop blogging. It’s what keeps me happy on most days. If I am sad, I blog. If I am excited, I blog. I basically emote through my blog these days and it’s gratifying.

      I’ve learnt to not let the negativity get to me anymore. Or at least, I’ve tried 🙂

  14. I enjoy blogging – but, I don’t think I can do it as a profession. I love writing 🙂
    Right now – I am trying to figure out what next. Did the whole IT career for 8 yrs. Took a break. Now, what next?

    If I hadn’t concentrated on studying, I would’ve been a Bharatanatyam dancer and teacher on a professional level.

    1. Wow Hema, that sounds great! I didn’t know you could dance. I find that the artistic side gets neglected way too often in our pursuit of our careers. Sigh, what to do. We need money as well, I suppose.

  15. Before I started writing/blogging, I was a trainer/marketer (MBA in HR and Marketing) /social volunteer/go-to emergency teacher/impromptu crafts maker/sketching artist/entertainer. I still do most of these things, so I guess if I weren’t blogging, I’d still have my hands full. As an alternate career, though, I’ve dreamed of translating and subtitling movies, editing manuscripts (which I do occasionally now), and being a full time artist. My Mom insisted I’m a wonderful teacher, and I probably am, but I wouldn’t want to do that full time. I like to do it on and off. I just enjoy helping people with zero expectations. I also enjoy learning new things all the time, for the joy of knowing.

    I’ll bet your students adored you, Shailaja!

    1. I love the idea of teaching full-time , Vidya 🙂 It made me very happy, interacting with students, keeping my mind open. You’d make a lovely artist, of that I am certain.

      I’d like to think my students did love me. A few of them still keep in touch 🙂

  16. It’s a novel feeling, Shailaja – to want to teach and experience happiness when wisdom is shared. Teachers have a huge impact on people’s lives, whether they are in the classroom or outside it.

    If I weren’t a blogger, I would still be dragging myself along in the corporate world, being subjected to emotional punishment every day and knowing that something is missing in my life.

    1. Yes I have always enjoyed teaching, Vishal. It’s probably what makes me want to always learn too. I find that the more we are willing to learn, the more we gain from it all.

  17. Hmm…If I wasn’t blogging, I’d probably be working as a Product Manager at some technology based firm. Would that be my choice? Probably not; The truth is that until I started writing, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. Now, I do. So, all sort of worked out.
    As for whether I’m good at it or not or if I can continue to make a career from it, then well and good. IF not, ah well, it’ll work out 🙂

      1. I can see you in a chef’s hat, yes 🙂 As for writing, you’re right. Maybe it will all work out. Maybe it won’t. Just enjoying the journey for now. That’s what matters, doesn’t it? 🙂

  18. I
    d have been pretty much what I am now becauseI have a quite a full life outside of blogging. I’d also be writing – perhaps for some obscure magazine, or tapping away at home at my desktop – but I’d be writing – of that I’m certain. I don’t see blogging necessarily as a social thing. Stay offline by all means but don’t stop blogging, don’t stop saying what you feel – this is the only space where you have complete freedom to do so. Don’t let the trolls tire you out.

    1. I know what you mean. I must learn to step back and away from the trolls and the sly-tweeters and the naysayers. It drains too much energy. You, I am sure, would have been writing. All the time 🙂 I can just picture it!

  19. Your question really made me think…and think some more! 🙂
    I have been blogging since 3 years now. But, I always tried my hand at writing even when I was totally oblivious to the Net and its uses. So, I guess, I would have done something in that field. Or, maybe, would have taught kids at an NGO. Might do it, too! Actually, WANT to do it. Let’s see, where life takes me..:)

  20. I would have loved to be a teacher too at the computer coaching institute. For now, I have 8 children taking tuitions from me and I enjoy my time with them more than anything else. The time feels well utilized. I have also fairly reduced my social media browsing time. But blogging is a passion. Sitting on a blank screen and filling it with words that make some sense….I enjoy it.

    1. I think tuitions and teaching are among the noblest professions around, right next to dedicated doctors 🙂 The fact that these people do it for the love of the task, much like the way bloggers do, is probably what draws me to teaching too 🙂 You gotta love what you do 🙂

  21. If I could do anything I wanted to, I would want to work in the book publishing industry. Kind of an obvious choice for me, you would think. Well, I clearly did not think so, until recently. Especially not when I did my Masters in Finance, and then worked in Investment Banking & Research for 2 years. I do have a clean slate now to start over here, but sadly, it is not that simple, since publishing is pretty much concentrated in NewYork. So, I am kind of exploring my options at the moment.

    1. I think you’d fit right into the book publishing industry especially if your reviews are anything to go by. And hey, who says you have to move to NY? You can try your luck wherever you are. Come on. What say?

  22. If I were not a blogger I would be in the industry, I am a MBA in HRM so would be working full time.
    But I married an army guy do no chance.
    Could go back to my lecturing though….maybe some day.

  23. I absolutely love blogging. I had never thought of writing as a career and blogging launched me into it. I also love my work as an Editor and Content Developer which blogging propelled me into. Now, if I wasn’t a blogger, I would have liked to be a Counselor or HR professional. Though I graduated in Marketing, HR was my first love. I wouldn’t mind being a Chemist either, a teacher, a nutritionist, a fitness instructor, running a food business! Wish quite some choices there. 🙂

    1. You really are multi-talented 🙂 It’s lovely to have choices, right? Perhaps the possibility of going back to it too some day 🙂 Yes I know you love blogging. It shows in the way you do it.

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