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Friday, March 21, 2008

Bubbles

One of my most favorite things about blogging is all the frengers I've made.
Frengers = stranger/friends.

My whole life I have lived in somewhat of a bubble. I was raised Southern Baptist by awesome parents. I did go to public schools my whole life, but I was somewhat naive when it came to other people. I think I assumed that most people's families were similar to mine. I went to a Christian college where my bubble continued to envelope me. I got married right out of college and settled down to have kids. The bubble was ever present. Life in the bubble was comfortable. Easy. I did teach school for awhile and met a few people who lived life outside that bubble. I didn't understand them, and they scared me. My world-view was small and safe.

In 2002 we moved overseas. I tried to carry my bubble with me. There were many, many people who were different than me, but I did find a rather large group of people who fit quite nicely into my bubble. But then something happened. I got tired of life completely in the bubble. I was meeting people outside of the bubble naturally, and I found myself challenged by our differences. They didn't scare me. I wanted to understand them.

This same philosophy has carried over to my blogging buddies. My blog used to be private. Only people I gave the blog address to could see it. In November I made the big change from private blog to public blog. I stepped out of that bubble. Since then I have had many people I don't know read my blog. Some have even come back for a second or third visit. Some have even become friends. Despite our political, religious, cultural, and sexual orientation differences we have become friends, and that doesn't scare me.

I still have my bubble. I have amazing friends from my life inside the bubble. I know they aren't going anywhere. They will always be here for me, and that means a lot to me.

But one thing I know now is this...I may not always agree with those I meet. My beliefs may be completely different from theirs. I may not always understand where they are coming from. But I can listen to them. I can love them. I can be their friend. And the great thing is I want to. I want to live a life full of compassion and love...for those inside my bubble as well as those outside of it.

12 comments:

sarah bean said...

oooooooooh this is so funny it's almost spooky - you were the commentor above me on loralees new comment luv experiment, so i clicked on your last post and you're talking about the exact same thing as my last post, listed right smack bang under yours on loralees sideblog. Too funny. Yay for bursting bubbles ;)
sarah

HeyJoe said...

*Pop*
:)
You're keeping me out of the bubble aren't you. :(

verification word: mlnyjoe. Pretty close to HeyJoe

Will said...

I'm happy that you decided to share with the rest of the world.

Mike S said...

It's nice to have the bubble to return to, but it's sooooooo much more fun outside of it as a rule.

WItty Writer gal said...

Natalie,

I am very glad you made your blog public, and allowed people to leave their own bubbles. I am sure there are a few out there, who have done the same... it is safer....

Funny thing about bubbles, though, they make me think of the kid's toy, where you blow the plastic bubbles... very different from soap bubbles.

They are a little bit more sturdy, but eventually they are the same... they burst, or lose their air, and the kids cry, because of the surprise of it.

I find if you are the one pressing against the inside of the bubble to expand it, eventually there is no room left, and you have to pop it, to allow the world in.

You are brave, and wise to pop it yourself....

Natalie said...

sarah bean - that was spooky! so funny. well, great minds think alike. and you know i thought it was interesting what you said about books. since i've lived overseas i have decided to read through all the newberry award winners and honor books. i love children's literature so it was a good fit for me. i have learned so much from reading the books on this list! i don't know that i would have chosen many of them because the topics didn't interest me at first. my world definitely opened up quite a bit. maybe that was the beginning...

heyjoe - you have definitely popped my bubble!

will - thanks. i'm sad you're dead.

mike - i agree. the bubble isn't a bad thing. it's never venturing out of it that is.

witty - you, my friend, are a kind and compassionate soul. i appreciate that!

HeyJoe said...

Now if I had written that, you'd have deleted me. :)

Mentanna said...

this my friend was a great post. not that they all aren't...i just especially liked this one.

i've found once you exit the bubble, it never quite looks the same again. leaving it changes you and even if you go back, you experience of it is different.

Anonymous said...

Hey Nat. Funny you should write about bubbles. I am learning to step out of mine and well.. I'm not gonna lie, it's been scary. I had to do that thing called "get a job" and have been spending quite a bit of time with folks that would never step foot in my bubble. Funny thing is... I haven't always lived in this bubble. Only really for the last oh, 18 years or so. Now I just have to learn how to live and breathe and do whatever it is I need to do today... and tomorrow. (and- my brain is fried and I can't recall my username and pw)-- Amy

sarah bean said...

that was a cool reading mission to embark on!
happy easter :)

Natalie said...

heyjoe - well...i knew i meant it in a clean and decent way! with you, my friend, i am never sure!

mentanna - thanks. that means a lot to me. you know it does. and i agree...the bubble isn't quite the same.

amy - you and your password! so funny! i'm glad you are experiencing life outside of your bubble. even if it is scary. i can tell you that it has made me much more understanding and compassionate towards others for sure

sarah - thanks! happy easter.

Anonymous said...

Somehow I feel exactly the same! The only difference is that only me and my little family could fit in my bubble until very recently. I am feeling much better now, I have friends that I have never met from flickr and from blogs. So the bubble that I live in now is a chewing gum bubble, it can expand but no *POP* please!
Take care, take care of yourself! Your thoughts are inspiring... Nese