Woke up this morning to find that I had one less follower: 1058, down from 1059. No idea who, or why they decided to unfollow me, but I assume it's because of my post yesterday. (Then again, for all I know, four people could have unfollowed me, and I gained three new ones). And by noon, it was back to 1059 anyway.
The weird thing is, it never occurred to me it would spark such a good, meaty, juicy, wonderful debate. I love what each of you said (even you, Mom: and yours was the most 'critical': fair dues). It was just a freak coincidence that the Times published that article yesterday, and that an Anonymous reader, H, sent me the link, and I'm very grateful to you, whoever you are.
As Jen said: this is what I love about blogging! This is why I do it, frankly.
It's funny, when I started blogging last year, I hoped to create a virtual salon, illustrated with stylish people and, hopefully, pretty images, where we could chat and debate about the same kind of issues I talk about with my real friends in real life. As anyone who has a blog knows, it takes time - and effort - to become part of a community, to make new friends, to get people to visit, and comment. I feel so honoured that you're talking to me - and to each other. And that your voices can feel HEARD.
I never know which posts will spark controversy. We thought we were being so mischievous when I posted directions to the blue bells ('cavorting in a field of bluebells..') and no one batted an eye. Talk about asking for trouble: just climbing thru a muddy ravine in suede ballet pumps, not to mention risking tearing my tights and the borrowed American Apparel lace pattern dress (if you like it & want to buy it, please click thru the ad on my side bar: I'll get a commission!), while risking being arrested for trespassing and being shouted at by a mad woman (in both definitions of the word) with big black dogs.
And yet, nothing bad happened.
I feel the bravest thing to do is to put up 'self style' photos and risk strangers laughing at you, or opening oneself to criticism. When I was younger, before blogs, I did all kinds of arty photos with a self timer and a tripod. In this case, my husband, Mr. Dot, is the tripod, and I'm so grateful he wanted to do this. I know I'm a bit out of shape - I've really been missing my swimming and yoga - I know I'm not a model. I love the way women (because it IS mostly women) of all ages are doing these fabulous self style blogs, and I'm guessing for the same reason I did my photos back then: to try to figure out who we are.
I love that I can still be goofy and girlish and that my husband can, too. (Not girlish: you know what I mean).
When I woke up this morning and looked back at the Times article, the first comment on the issue of teenage smoking was the following, from all people, the talented Swedish producer and songwriter Max Martin. (Among other things, he co-wrote & produced I Kissed A Girl, by Katy Perry):
"Don't laugh at a youth for his affectations; he is only trying on one face after another to find his own. "
-Logan Pearsall Smith