Oh my god this is like, my eighth draft of this post. I keep writing it and writing it and writing it and it’s never really exactly what I mean to say so I hit “save” and add another draft to my robust yet useless Google Doc “blog” folder and I don’t cross “WRITE YOUR DAMN BLOG POST OR ELSE” off my to-do list and I feel bad about myself because this used to be so easy! It’s very weird to feel so incompetent at something I used to find so easy. “Wrote 2-5 posts a week” is a line on my resume from a former job. I’ve been keeping some sort of written journal for more than 20 years, and I’ve been writing on the internet for at least a decade. What’s my deal?! Why is this so hard?
I think I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself to make this first real blog post “perfect,” or “exactly what I want to say,” or even just “not really shitty.” But…I’m out of practice. I’ve recently been lifting weights for the first time in a few years, and I’m not as strong as I used to be – I can’t deadlift as much weight, can’t do as many pushups, can’t hold my planks for as many minutes. These revelations have not been surprising. When you stop lifting, your body gets weaker. You can see where this metaphor is going.
I had lunch with a friend today and we talked about creativity and writing and blogging and being public with one’s art. She reminded me that a thing does not have to be perfect to be deemed worthy of being shared. I thought this would be a space to share polished essays, but it’s not – it’s a blog. It’s messy and unfinished and doesn’t know exactly what it’s supposed to be yet. There’s no theme, no cohesive subject matter to focus on, no way to distract from the fact that I just want to share the things that are happening in my brain and my heart and my life. It always feels so self-indulgent to blog without a theme: Here are a bunch of thoughts. Here are all my feelings. Here are some disjointed stories I wanted to tell you, opinions I thought you might care about. Here I am. Me, me, me. But you know, the more I think about it, the more I think: Why? What exactly is so self-indulgent about wanting to tell my stories? How come I’ve trained myself to roll my eyes every time I talk about my propensity to overshare? What is the issue, exactly, with taking up space?
I’ve been thinking a lot about change. About the nature of living a life. The shifts and discoveries and adventures and loss and and and everything.
The only thing constant is change. Susie wrote that to me in an email before we even met, when we were still just writing back and forth about my plans to volunteer at her homestead in Southern Oregon last year. That was back in June 2014 when everything felt awful and Sky was letting me cry on her couch in LA indefinitely. I didn’t know how I was going to get myself to Oregon and I didn’t know anything else anymore, either. But I figured it out. I took the train up the coast of California, which I strongly recommend, and met Susie in person. I stayed in Southern Oregon for a few weeks and then a month and then it was February and I was still there. Then it was March and I was going to Mexico with my new friends – who along the way had turned into family – and a girl, to see them get married and to fall in love. I thought I’d stay in Southern Oregon forever but love, sigh, it has a way of changing your plans. (What even are plans?) So I moved to Portland and now it’s November and I’m here, I’m in Alley’s bed and she’s watching TV downstairs and Taylor made dinner for herself and Evie and I made dinner for me and Alley and Scout the Cat hung out with us while we all ate dinner and watched Empire, a show I had never seen before this evening, and this morning I went on a hike with a new friend and tomorrow I’ll go nanny two tiny infants and soon it will be Thanksgiving and then Christmas and my birthday and my family will visit from the East Coast and then it will be 2016 and oh, I wonder what the new year has in store for me. I wonder what tomorrow has in store for any of us. Even as I establish routine, as I make dinner and go to my weight training class at the gym and learn when F and G need to take a nap or when they’re hungry or when they’re just crying because occasionally babies cry for indiscernible reasons and that’s okay, everything is always changing all the time.
And that is such a positive, such a gift. And I am so grateful.