I’m not talking about Scarlet here. And I’m not talking about my Droid either.
I’m talking about this here little blog. On 3/4/10, after spending literally hours on the design, I published my first blog entry ever called, “Hello.” It was scary and new and exciting and after a year, it is still all of those things and maybe even more. I’ve watched my little blog grow in content and design. My goals were small at the time of starting the blog so I can honestly say I have met my goals and then some. I have loftier goals for my blog’s second year of life. I want to take this show on the road and shake things up a bit. I’m not quite sure how I’ll do that yet but I’m not worried. This blog has changed me.
I always knew I wanted to write in life but I could never seem to find my focus. In grade school, it came easily and I was good at it. And I knew it too. Or at least I knew it because I didn’t have to try hard to do it and my teachers often praised me. I was creative too. I once wrote a story in 5th grade about the Man in the Moon and how he smiles at you if you’re a good person..and literally moons you if not. It was great. I had deep trauma in early childhood. I got high on life. I had a very vivid imagination. I was a good girl who always did everything she was asked and always completed assignments on time. These ingredients and more combined to make me a writer. I love photography, a LOT, but one writing compliment is worth ten photography compliments. Writing was what kept me safe and comforted as a child.
Then I grew up. I wrote a lot of daddy issues poetry in middle school. I excelled in English class in high school. In college I was so free-floating that I didn’t declare my major until the end of junior year. I wanted to do Journalism, I decided! So I took more than a sane person’s share of credits in one year and wound up having to write five or six papers a week. I went insane. I graduated and never wanted to write again..
Until I realized I had to. I wrote poems and I described my dreams and I talked about my childhood. I did all of this in emails to my very inspiring ex-boyfriend and a few other guys who may have wanted more than friendship but I was too flaky and too immature to tell them I didn’t want them back. I just wanted them to read my writing. Some girls use their body to get validation from boys that they’re sexy and beautiful. I used my writing to get validation from boys that I was deep; that I had a lot of interesting (weird) stuff to say. I’m not proud of it. It’s partly why I gave up for years.
I didn’t like poetry. I didn’t like creative writing. I was only good at either of those things on rare occasions at three in the morning. Who can live like that? My only true inspired writing came from writing emails about myself. How can you use this as a good outlet? How can more people read what you have to say? The creation of blogging was the first step.
Then I had Scarlet. She opened my heart so wide. Also, having a baby really makes you lose your self-consciousness, at least temporarily. First of all, I felt strong-like-bull after giving birth. Second of all, lots of strangers had seen me half naked during this time. That…changes a person. And I was brimming with ideas and stories. I knew I had to start getting them out on paper and in photos or I would burst. It started to occur to me that I wouldn’t live forever and I wanted Scarlet and Scarlet’s future children to know something about me and our life now. I had always been so turned off by livejournal and other online diaries and how people used them to whine about their love lives. I also never wanted to have a “mommy blog” full of product reviews and ads. There are some beautiful ones out there. Truly. But most aren’t what I wanted to do. I wanted to tell the truth. I didn’t set out knowing what I’d talk about but I knew I wouldn’t hide my true self. A year of my life has played out. I didn’t know my daughter would get bitten by a dog. I didn’t know I’d lose so many loved ones as well as said dog. I didn’t know I’d detail my struggles with situational anxiety because I didn’t know I’d have situational anxiety – a lot of that came from the deaths and Scarlet’s injury. It sucks and it hurts but it is real life unfolding. And it makes for good writing topics. I look forward to the second year of my second baby’s life. (This here blog. I’m not pregnant!) All of the blog comments you have posted and the emails you have written have kept me going strong. You all inspire me and I thank you. This is a small blog. It hasn’t gone viral. But to me it means the world.
A therapist once said to me, “You write…because your feelings are too big and strong for your physical body and they must spill out onto paper or keyboard or else…the emotions would drown you.” She was right. I probably wouldn’t have made it unscathed through this year without this blog. Thank you for giving me this chance. Happy, Happy Birthday.