Last week I broke my blog.
Intentional action I took late Tuesday night, half-heartedly, after not interacting much with the blog at all, caused a white screen. I saw there were plug-ins to update, chose not to take time to create a backup, and clicked away.
Using my phone, no less.
Broken. Nothing. No matter how many times I attempted to load the blog, it was not happening and the screen was white. It was late. I had made a choice that caused the problem, and there was nothing I could do but go to bed. It was hard to let that go.
Wednesday morning dawned earlier than usual for me. I seized the opportunity to call tech support to ask for help. I had never called the number before and was nervous. Asking for help is hard for me. I felt embarrassed that I had broken something and inadequate to even be allowed to use technology.
Self-contempt was running thick and deep as I dialed the number and waited.
Navigating the prompts to get to the support I needed felt daunting in itself, but finally Michael’s voice came on the line, extremely chipper for 5:30 in the morning, and willing to run tests to see what he could do to help me.
It took 20 minutes. He kept checking back to update me on progress, while searching for the problem. It was finally located with the news that I could pay their tech support to fix it for me, or he could send me some information to fix it myself.
Time was passing, and every fiber in me wanted the unrest over and the blank space filled again. I hated knowing that there was something I had broken and did not know how to fix, but the cost felt steep, and I chose to let it be. I would look at it later and try to fix it myself.
Cue the laughter and knowing nods and maybe eyebrow raising from my techie friends and relations. Famous last words ~ how hard can it be.
It was really hard for me.
I was obsessing about it as the time to put broken technology away and get ready for my day rapidly approached. Just one more thing. What about this? What is that password? Now I need to change it, because I can’t remember. I can’t go on! I can’t stop! I am so stupid! No, I am not. I made a mistake.
Steve walked into the room and noticed my stress level. Acknowledging his desire to help but lack of skill set, he asked what he could do.
Just recognize that this is really hard for me, and I am struggling to stay out of self-contempt.
Later, he confessed that after hearing those words from me, he realized that me fighting self-contempt could turn into others-contempt. He was in the shower bracing himself for the blowback.
Fast-forward to after school, my son at the table on his laptop working on taxes. I pulled out mine and decided to try calling customer support again to see if they could direct me to the place where I needed to make the fix. I knew it was a plugin, so if I could deactivate it, that should work.
This time Andi answered, her voice equally eager to help. It quickly became perplexed as I fumbled my way through my question. Now there not a white screen but a database error. The server and platform were not connected. In changing that password, I had broken the bridge (image courtesy of me) that connected them. I had fallen deeper into the web of the wide world.
I felt like a middle-aged woman on the loose in a sea of technology, crashing and banging into cyber things, snapping connections left and right. Because I was!
Now I don’t see your site. You need to go in and fix the password. Here, write this down and you can Google how to do it.
It sounded so easy over the phone. I wasn’t ready to pay someone else to do it for me. I needed to figure it out. I planned to persist!
Each time, I understood a little more of what to do, but I couldn’t quite find where to go to do it. Each time I would get close and then have someone need something or run out of time. The unresolved feeling of it all was dragging me further down.
Throughout the process, I began to realize that it was not really about the broken blog. It was about things broken inside of me. It was about me not speaking up for what I needed (time to work on it). It was about being okay with not already knowing something and having to follow careful directions to figure it out. It was trusting that something would work, even when I did not fully understand or could not fully see.
Finally, Friday afternoon I sat on the floor of my room ready to figure this out. Step by step I unlocked and opened and searched for. I watched tutorials and looked up terms I did not understand. I figured out where the code for the broken password was and changed it to match the one I had created.
A white screen appeared! I had re-established database connection. With renewed confidence, I found the location of the plugins and changed the file name of the one that I suspected as the culprit.
The blog reappeared! I had fixed it! With shouts of joy I called to my son who rejoiced with me.
So if you have noticed it quiet in these parts, that is why! I have much to process and hope to do so here, but first things first, working technology!