For over the last year I have been “doing life” via this blog. I appreciate everyone who has been reading this last year and even those who have joined in the last couple of days. I hope sharing my experiences made you smile at least once, and entertained you in at least one excruciating long line like at the DMV or something. Thank you for reading!
I don’t even know where to start.
The last week has been a little nuts. Like, aliens came down, took over my husbands body and he did the polka on top of a table at Red Robin while wearing a dress type weird. Like, instead of turning grey my hair started growing in blue (for the record: that would be awesome) type whoa. Like, my 3-year-old became an extrovert type crazy.
The the end of last week and beginning of this one was spent with me banging my head against the desk. Every simple administrative task I tried to do, turned out to be ridiculously way more complicated than it needed to be. I spent days on the phone, which I absolutely hate. I am such a millennial and a visual learner to top that. I can talk on the phone in a professional manner if I have too. But, it honestly, just makes my brain hurt, both figuratively and literally. I don’t know why, it’s just my drama.
Side note: I can report that after talking to five different people at the IRS, that they were all exceptionally nice…sounded a bit tired…but very nice. Everyone told me not to talk to them because they are minions of the devil and will put a curse on you. So far no curse, just kind words and as much help as they could give.
So let me now say, hallelujah for living in the digital age! Lions and tigers and text messaging, oh my! I love it!
Back to my story… We got outrageous bills in the mail, unexpected legal problems with a certain situation, and just nothing was going smoothly. It was just all piling up.
We’ve also been gearing up for next week, it’s going to be a tough one. This weekend we have a memorial, then next week the little lady is going under sedation to get her regular check-up for Retinoblastoma, and baby boy has his eye exam with the specialist and possible surgery.
Then on Tuesday I posted a fun blog post I wrote called “20 Signs you grew up in Catholic school“. I didn’t think much of it. It came out of a conversation with a couple of friends. That day though I was considering whether or not I should keep up with the blog. I love it. I do. It’s like my therapy. But maybe my attention should be more focused on my family? Maybe it would be better spending that little extra time in the day on something else?
I was thinking of this while driving home from one of the kids doctors appointments. When I got home, on a whim, I checked my WordPress stats. And…
Put it this way, by the end of that day my blog had 120,000. Wednesday it surpassed 1.5 million views, just Wednesday alone. And by 10 Friday (when I am writing this) the 20 Signs post had a total 2,463,775 views in 4 days. That’s almost 2 and 1/2 MILLION views of something I wrote.
That I, Jennifer Armitage, wrote!
What happened? I finally sold my soul to the devil to get my kids to sleep.
Not really. They still don’t sleep.
What happened was that the 20 Signs post went viral on Facebook. Then on Twitter. Gotta love social media!
It was crazy.
I tried to post a follow-up of sorts, Things I learned about going viral post yesterday but honestly, it was forced, it was bad, I couldn’t live with myself having it up so I took it down within a hour of posting (a big sorry if it messed up your RSS feed). I’ll probably re-visit it later, but right now I’m sticking with my age old philosophy: write what I am feeling, when I want too, people can take it or leave it.
On Tuesday, as soon as I picked up my jaw off the floor, I braced myself for the comments. We all know the internet is a unfriendly place where people use anonymity to say horrible things that just should never be said.
I got a couple of negative ones. I will admit they did get to me. As I considered giving up this whole blogging thing, because if I couldn’t handle the negative comments I probably shouldn’t be in the business, something funny happened. After one, probably very nice lady in real life, attacked me saying I never actually went to Catholic school (it was obvious because my experience wasn’t like hers) and my parents must be ashamed of me.
Side note: I can tell you my Catholic mom thought the post was hilarious.
What happened next was unexpected. There was a sudden outpouring of love and encouragement. Many not only came to my defense but you could tell they understood my heart. It was overwhelming and, yes, it made me cry.
A couple of responses to common comment topics:
-Yes, I know I messed up by saying the Catholic Bible was King James. It was 2am, I fixed it, lets move on.
-I don’t know why a conversation about buses started up. If someone could explain this to me, please email me.
-Yes, there is a Mormon missionary in one of the photos. Again, 2am, and I kept it because why not?
– Wow, do people have a wide range of experiences about nuns. I kind of figured, that’s why I just posted that people have strong feelings about them but didn’t go any farther. People posted stories of nuns beating the stuffing out of kids, all the way to nuns being the only reason a family was able to survive during hard times. The stories are powerful.
-And finally, yes, I really did go to Catholic schools for 12 years. I appreciated my time there, although I am the first to say it wasn’t always perfect. I truly believe that you can appreciate something and still be honest about it’s flaws, and even further, find humor in its nuances. It’s pretty much my entire blogging philosophy actually.
I am currently working on a post that will highlight some of the powerful and hilarious stories that people have shared. Some people left the church because of their Catholic school experience and some shared that it made them stronger Christians. Many were not picked for May crowning, and there are a surprising number of stories about kids passing out during Stations of the Cross.
There are almost 700 comments (and counting) so I am working on going through them all. I know it’s crazy to go through each, but people are sharing things that mean something special to them, I want to respect that. Plus, with most of them at least, I’m enjoying the reading.
That being said, if you have emailed me, filled out a contact form, or submitted a guest post in the last week, I will get back to you! I am a little behind.
This is all awesome and very cool.
I hate to say I haven’t known how to handle it. I’ve been used to making good things out of bad ones, that when a good thing happened I just kind of froze.
But life continues even when you go viral.
Last story to share for this post. My amazing husband brought me home this on my first day of “viralness”.
He said, “She is smart, shy, and has super powers that no one knows about, like you.” He wanted me to remember this moment in the internet sun, but also wanted me to remember to just to be me.
I love that man.
Tomorrow’s memorial service will be tough. Next week will be emotional, but will bring hopefully good news for both of our kids.
Thousands of people are still reading the 20 Signs post, but the stats are already to slow down, and that’s okay.
Side note: As my brother pointed out last night, it’s because I am so two days ago.
So there is that…