I haven’t been writing on this blog for a while. Here’s why I almost quit writing on this blog. When I read the news about bombing in Paris, I felt the same sense of disconnection that I had felt when the WTC towers fell on September 11, 2001. Then, I had seen images of people jumping out of the building and I just couldn’t reconcile these images with what they actually mean: it took me a while to realize that they were jumping to their deaths rather than being killed in a fire. Then came Paris. It’s just a few hours away from where we live and then I found out that attacks on a Schiphol airport were planned as well. I wanted to write something but first, I send an email to my cousin in Paris, saying: “are you OK?”
Luckily, she was.
So I sat down to write.
I wanted to tell you about all of this and how sick and scared and frustrated I was. I had hoped for a better future than this one. My grandfather who had to go into hiding during the World War II. For four months, he lived in the ruins of Warsaw, cold and scared for his life. He survived but he came out a broken, sick man.
I wanted to tell you of the time, shortly before I was born, when they pronounced Martial Law in Poland. When I was a baby, they did a power demonstration in Warsaw and used gas on the streets. We were living on one of Warsaw’s biggest street and my father had to take me on to the roof because I couldn’t breathe.
I wanted to tell you that, years later, I was so happy when Poland joined NATO and later the EU. I thought that we’re going to be safe now. I was proud of being a European citizen.
I hoped that now anyone will have the right to move anywhere they want, marry anyone they want. I hoped that no one will have to worry about their and their children’s safety. I went to Germany to study, met my husband and had children. I hoped I would bring them up in a world where the worst thing I have to worry about is what my kids will eat for breakfast.
Instead, I inherited a world where September 11th is reality and not just a scene from a bad movie. A world where Paris happened, where millions of human beings put their children on rubber boats in the hopes of a better future and where little boys turn out dead on beaches.
Every day, as I tuck my kids in for the night, I ask myself the questions: “Will that be us too?” “Will I have to put you on a boat? Will I have to take you on a roof for your safety?” and I pray that I won’t have to.
I hoped to live in a free, safe world and I got Paris. I’ve been such a fan of Europe, and proudly identified with Europe, and here, just a few hours away, in Cologne, women were groped and hit and undressed. The same happened in Hamburg, my beloved city where I lived, studied and met my husband in.
Add to this fact that I don’t know how many times I have to answer the question: “Hey, what’s actually going on in Poland?” I can only shake my head and be very embarrassed for my country.
Here’s why I won’t stop writing
Seriously, this world is making me want to stop writing, stop doing anything really, because what’s the point?? That, and the sheer exhaustion from having to pick up my middle child from school early because of potty training problems. Each ride was 1 hour each way. After 2 hours in the tram I was too tired for writing. So why not quit?
Community. That’s the point. That’s the reason I stay sane and that’s the reason I keep writing. And I think in difficult times, community is more important than ever. By community I mean the face-to-face interaction with your neighbours, family and friends, but also the wider community of the Internet: you.
And that’s why I won’t stop writing. Because the whole point of blogging is to build, maintain and connect with a community. I have to go back to the reason why I started this blog: to speak out and help others and look at this with new eyes. I’ve been observing what you’re saying and here’s what I found.
New blog, new focus
I noticed that when I shared on my FB page something about how parents in other countries are raising their children, I got a really good reply from you. So I thought “I’m reading so much about this, why not share what I am learning?”
The new focus will be however, to show parents everywhere that they’re doing just fine. I am also considering writing an e-book, and adding video, podcasts and e-courses to my arsenal of skills!
I will not quit blogging and writing. I missed it too much. Even during the break, I was always thinking about what I want to write about or how I wanted to tell you about the new cool book I was reading (if you need to know one thing about me, it’s that I read. A lot).
I also wanted to write more for other websites. I just joined the lovely team of writers over at Babble – something which has been my blogger dream for a while. I will try to contribute on a regular basis. I was also published on the Wall Street Journal. I have lofty aspirations for my writings and let’s see where 2016 will take me (I hope lots of places, writing-wise). You can also see what I wrote on My Portfolio.
I wanted to say a big thank you to you, my community, for staying with me, reading my posts and being so supportive.. If you want to get in touch, you can email me at olga (at) europeanmama (dot) com. Also, I really would love to publish a book this year- hopefully I can make that happen!