A Place to Feel Both Invisible and Seen

When I was in kindergarten, we made a big to-do about the 100th day of school. We held a big celebration with cookies, streamers, and construction paper ribbons with the number “100” safety-pinned to our shirts. However, the best part of the celebrations: each student was to bring in a jar containing 100 items. Danny brought in 100 starbursts, Nicole brought in 100 soda can tabs, Corine brought in 100 pennies, and I brought in 100 cotton balls.

As a five-year-old, it was exciting to not only choose which item to bring in, but then to meticulously count and recount to make sure the current number of items would be held up in show-in-tell. If I was one cotton ball short, Mrs. Lucas surely would be able to tell!

This is my 600th post here on existential ergonomics. With the vastness of the internet, my words are like specks of dust and dog hair caught in the corner of the baseboard. And yet, I’m proud of my little trail of belly button lint and dead insects collecting in the places most don’t see. I am truly happy to be here, sharing thoughts and digital hugs with the 20 or so regular readers. (Hi!!)

The first blog post was written almost exactly five years ago. I had been ill for three years at that point and was still in denial. I had lost my friends and my career was suffering. My life was falling apart around me, being held together by bungee cords and duct tape. I was trying desperately to over-achieve myself into a better place, and is this blog was part of that plan.

What if we could wrestle down life’s big questions using the scientific method? What if we could systematically improve human thoughts, actions, and environments in a way that shapes personal meaning and significance? Existential ergonomics is my attempt to explore just that.

What is Existential Ergonomics?

This blog is infinitesimally insignificant in the world, yet one of the most significant parts of my life. When my health collapsed, my friends disappeared, and my relationship suffered because I refused to accept that I was sick (and thus seek help), this blog was a constant. It was a safe place to land, a place where I could feel both invisible and seen.

The celebration here isn’t exactly the numerical milestones, but instead the recognition of my journey where I have been and how far I have come. Over the last five years and 600 posts, unknowingly, I have embarked on my own hero’s journey, traversing through denial, diagnoses, treatment, and mastery of my health. It’s a haphazard story of stubbornness-turned-perseverance. In trying to distract myself from ill health, a found myself facing it head-on.

Today, on the Heart of the Matter, I’ve written about my first exposure to Joseph Campbell and his hero’s journey in Shadows, Monomyths, and One Teacher’s Influence. Come join in the discussion!

24 thoughts on “A Place to Feel Both Invisible and Seen

  1. Congratulations….wow…wow…wow. Five years and 600 posts? I haven’t been following you all of that time, but I CAN tell you your posts are far more than the ‘belly button lint’ of the internet.
    🀣❀🀣 You are wise and funny…thanks for sharing yourself with us, Erin, as you proceed on your own hero’s journey.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Vicki!! I love it, though… belly button lint has no pressure to be anything or achieve anything. πŸ˜‚ I’m so happy this has remain just tiny, tucked away community. πŸ’• Thank you so much for tagging along for the journey!! xoxox πŸ’•πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m proud of my little trail of belly button lint and dead insects collecting in the places most don’t see. I am truly happy to be here, sharing thoughts and digital hugs with the 20 or so regular readers. (Hi!!)

    Congratulations! I get it as I’ve been blogging since 2010 and while I’ve had two blogs with well over 5,000 posts, I feel the same. I can’t imagine having not done it as I consider my blog my digital diary, belly button lint and all. As I sense in your posts, we share the quest for self-awareness. Don’t stop.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for reading, Ray! What a small world–I, too, began blogging in 2010 and this is blog #4 for me. I also consider this to be a bit of a digital diary, and it’s such a great platform for that. 😊


  3. Oh Congratulations Erin! So happy for you. Love to your outlook and how you described your journey. So much wisdom in what you’ve stated: “In trying to distract myself from ill health, a found myself facing it head-on.” Such a great message. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the very descriptive language in this post Erin and the learning more about your blogging journey! Congratulations on the milestone πŸ™‚ I sometimes think that bloggers come to blogging with a specific idea of why and what they hope to accomplish. Underneath it all I suspect we all find it is the connections we form that are what matter the most. Perhaps we can justifiably say that we relish being collectors of dusty detritus mucking up the corners of each other’s lives…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Deb! Yes, I completely agree. The best part of blogging, hands down, is the people we meet and the connections we make. I’m so grateful to have met you here! πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats on your 600th post and 5th anniversary, Erin! πŸ™‚ I’m glad the blog provides a solace for you and I’m appreciative of the light it and you bring to those who follow along your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words, and for following along! πŸ’• I’m so grateful to have connected with you here, and am so inspired by the love, patience (most of the time πŸ™‚), and thoughtfulness you display in raising T.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations on a great milestone. It made me laugh because the kids at the elementary school just recently passed the 100 day mark and celebrated accordingly.

    What a goal, hope, journey, and beautiful actuality! You have shared your journey and healing with many – hopefully the blog has provided its own healing in return! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Wynne! And it makes a heart melt a bit thinking about the younger generation celebrating their 100th days. Precious!!

      Yes, this blog has been such a gift and I do believe that it’s been an integral part of my healing. I’m so grateful for everyone I’ve met here, including you, Wynne. I’m happy to know you! πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

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