I started this blog after I lost my advertising job in 2008. The pent-up writer in me found an expression for her pseudo-voice and a place to foster my insanity. By the end of the year, I got a rebound job that quickly spiraled out of control, just like any rebound relationship would. I thought when I got fired the second time, I would dive back into the blog with invigorated spirit, creating a new writing career.
Instead I reinvented my life – without documenting it on the technological spectrum. I felt very disconnected – sometimes lonely, sometimes confused. Mostly I continued in the tracks of a grown up while still feeling like a 19-year-old. My theory is, for those of us who ‘grew up too fast,’ we spend the rest of our lives owing it to ourselves to live out our childhoods. (I don’t mean Michael Jackson extremes). For example, as opposed to most NYC Type-A women, I don’t think about 401(k)’s or buying a house. My mantra is that I’ll deal with the future when I get to it.
What I’ve realized over the last two years is that LIFE isn’t what you thought it would be – or what you dream it will become. Life is right now.
Life is unexpected and surprising. It is ugly and beautiful and can bring you extreme pleasure or extreme pain. How do you value water without extreme thirst? How do you value true love without painful heartbreak? I would never have appreciated a week on St. Martin’s gorgeous beaches without a New York winter to kick my freezing butt.
Back to the blog.
Like all life lessons – this one has taught me to let go of perfection. A burden that not only I inflict upon myself – but one that I alone must carry. No one else expects it of me, nor do they penalize me for not being perfect. (The days of me bringing home a test where I scored a 93 and my parents said ‘what happened to the other 7 points?’ are gone.)
I stopped posting to the blog because I was always working on something better, bigger, more complete. But the point of the blog was just that – snippets, snapshots, memories, life at a glance – documented. The only person I let down was myself.
Then it got so long that I hadn’t posted anything that it became overwhelming. What will the first entry back be? Nothing would seem worthy enough for being gone for so long.
So I ignored the blog, an unorganized closet whose door never opened. I deleted it from my signature. I kept a folder on my desktop called “Writings in Process.” It was all a process and I never moved it byond that.
But life went on.
I moved in with my boyfriend of four years. I wrote about it – but never posted it. Then we went through a series of fun life experiences. Blending lives, households, and incorporating a 7-year-old into it all.
We went on a road-trip through 10 states in 10 days. I took thousands of photos and tweeted my way through it. But I never blogged it.
Then I got pregnant.
Then our apartment got bed bugs. So we had a treatment that involved a bed-bug dog, a 4-men extermination team (all complete with creepy tattoos and big stretch earrings), and a bed-bug dog. We also had to wash every single item in our apartment.
Then we had a colony of rats that moved into the area above our drop ceiling. So while we never truly made eye contact with the creatures, we had the pleasure of a soundtrack that involved hundreds of them mating, rummaging and nesting above our heads 24 hours a day.
My rodent phobia, which normally would have me screaming and crying with my head in my hands for hours – had taken a back seat to the puking. The daily grind involved a 5am wake-up call and an appointment with the porcelain god. It was the world’s worst hangover that recurred every day. I was living Groundhog’s Day and couldn’t figure out the lesson to learn to make it be the next day. This pregnancy put my life, my dreams, and especially the long-forgotten blog, on hold.
But I wrote about the puking – 60-pages worth of writing that would never make it out of the ‘works in progress’ folder.
But I missed the blog. I missed airing my voice. I missed the comments and the technical interaction with the people that validated that my voice was worthy of being heard. Mostly I let go of the dream every time I flushed the toilet.
Then we moved again. This time into a pimp apartment on Wall Street, a neighborhood where the most colorful things on the block were the Pink and Tiffany flags. Here we were – a clown and a pregnant writer-to-be moving in with our 7-year-old, one block from the Stock Exchange. Talk about a fish out of water.
So now we’ve moved again – for the second time in six months. We tripled our square footage and our bathrooms. We got a new computer to join the other 3 and I still existed in a guilty state about ignoring the blog and my writing. I felt blocked, not just creatively but also functionally. It took all my energy to make it through a day of nausea.
But the guilt, the doubt, the perfection … all limitations I inflicted upon myself that were doing nothing but whacking me like I was a mole in a game. I held the mallet and kept hitting my head back in the hole. My life was happening and my story transcription was halted. The moments that floated like clouds away from me, changing shapes so I couldn’t recall them in all their glory.
I had enough. It was time to grow up, take accountability and tackle the challenge of commitment.
I took a break. Now I’m back. Can’t promise that I’ll be better than ever. Can’t even promise that I’ll be great. But I do commit to being back more consistently.