Today while shopping at the local Western grocery store, someone stopped me and said she recognized me from my blog. I’d written a post awhile back, when I was still pregnant, about being Rh negative in China, where the majority of the population is Rh positive, and the challenges this poses for expats giving birth here. This person told me how helpful my blog post had been, and how her hospital now knows exactly where to get their Rhogam (which is a shot required for Rh negative mothers) thanks to this blog!
It was pretty exciting for me knowing that not only are people reading my blog, but that some of my posts have made a difference and helped people out. Blogging is one of those things that is sometimes hard to justify. When asked “why do you blog?” it can be hard to come up with a compelling reason. Some do it simply as a way of writing a kind of “mass e-mail” to keep family and friends up to date on their lives, while others use blogging as an outlet, honing their creative skills, or venting about daily troubles, or promoting a cause. For me, blgging is a way for me to keep writing, something I have always been passionate about, but it also gives me an opportunity to share experiences with people who have lives similar to mine, namely people living abroad, or married abroad, and that is something that gives my blog purpose in and of itself. As a foreigner in China, or in any country really, be it Japan or Germany or even America, it is important to find a base of people who you can relate to, who can tell you “you’re not alone, I went through that too,” otherwise the experience can be quite maddening. Having kids abroad, I think, heightens that need for a community, a need to know that there are other people who have been there, done that, and, as they say brought back the proverbial t-shirt.
So thanks to Sarah in Beijing, for reminding me why I blog. I am so glad that what I wrote was able to help you and others in a very real way. I am sure that the next time I feel discouraged, wondering, “why bother writing anyhow?” thinking about our encounter today will give me inspiration, will encourage me to keep on going. If my blog helps even one person, whether it be in the real, practical sense, or simply by being a common voice that someone can relate to, then that is good enough for me.