What do you think of when you hear or read the word ‘blog’? Do you think of them as fun, informative, topical, addictive reading? Maybe you write your own blog or had one in the past. I generally have a feeling of unease, expectation, pressure and impending sense of doom as I try to string words together into a compelling read, where the shortest of paragraphs are agonisingly crafted.
I have a strange relationship with words. I often find it easier to communicate in writing, be it emails, social media or even good old fashioned handwritten letters and cards, than speaking clearly and concisely without waffling or going off at a tangent. Words are both friend and foe. They are central to daily life and particularly my job, which sees me sitting in my make-shift home office writing reports, emails and, increasingly, instant messages as Microsoft ‘Teams’ plunges my ancient work world of higher education into the communication methods of the 21st century. Who knew a work-related message was incomplete without a dancing penguin?!
Yet words say something about who, and what, we are. Four words that have significant meaning for us are: Mayer Rokitansky Küster Hauser. They were having a laugh, right? I much prefer MRKH, although even the letters prove to be a mouthful and leave the unknowing baffled upon hearing them for the first time.
I’ve never been one for keeping a diary. The odd time I fancied the idea I really liked the notion of a pretty, hard-backed book with a lock and key. Not that I had any secrets worth hiding. Until I was diagnosed with MRKH. And why would I want to tell the whole world that I’m not physically, biologically ‘normal’? No way, not me.
My job in policy means that I’m surrounded by people who have opinions and knowledge that always seem superior to my own capabilities. Whereas personal blogs are an individual choice, created out of a desire to tell a story, share an experience or inform others about a topic close to the heart, professional blogs critique government policy, analyse the latest data set or point out flaws in other’s thinking that will surely lead to disaster. There’s an expectation that that’s what people in my line of work do.
The result is that I end up feeling that I don’t measure up, that I’m not good enough. Sound familiar to anyone? Work even paid for me to go on a course to ‘learn how to blog’. I spent the day feeling even more inadequate and lacking in ideas than I had before!
But you know what? I wrote a piece about my experience of MRKH and lockdown in about 10 minutes, something I consider impossible in a work capacity. The difference? Writing about MRKH was – is – my authentic self. I don’t feel a fraud or inadequate because my experience of MRKH – just like yours – makes me an ‘expert’.
Our voices are valid and worthy of being heard. Writing is cathartic. And while I’m unlikely to be disciplined enough to write my own blog or start a diary, you might just find me popping up on MRKH Connect with the odd post. I’d love to read yours too.