|Me, 10 years ago|
This is longer than my longest romantic relationship, which at this point is approaching nine years. It's way longer than I've lived in most places.
Really, this relationship, with all of you imaginary friends--many of whom I've been lucky enough to get to know in person--is one of the longest and most constant I've had.
I was thinking about where I was when I started. And it was here: heartbroken, fearful, insecure, depressed...really, kind of broken.
Some of you have been with me since the beginning, when my dear friend Kaysha said, "Do it! Start your blog!"
A few of my friends approved wholeheartedly. Some disapproved. Some just thought I was odd, but that's true; I am odd.
My dad read it from the start. He'd send me notes about typos or grammar. Sometimes he would lament my profane mouth; I'm well educated enough to use myriad other words.
I know now that he was proud of me, although he didn't say it to me. I'd hear the criticism. He'd sent my blog posts to friends, though. He'd talk about my writing.
Recently I was in a writing workshop and someone asked me why I started blogging.
I think the most honest answer is that I wanted to write and I desperately needed support, although I had no idea that was what I was looking for.
Truly, I could never have expected to encounter such fine people. I've met such smart, funny, interesting people, just by showing up here and writing.
Then they also asked how I named my blog, and of course I had to say it was my porn name. And also my Match.com profile name, which is up there with the poorest choices I've mad.
When I started I wrote every day. Every day. I had so much to say. And I wanted to say it to you!
I wrote blog posts in my head on my walk to work. I spun them around. And I typed them up at lunch. It was so easy. My head is so busy! And I finally had somewhere to put the words!
I now have less time, and honestly, my life is a lot less varied. I don't think I can ever top the Internet dates for blogging fodder. I was looking for love and I found all kinds of fabulous stories.
Sadly, I do think it's true that I got a lot less funny after I fell in love.
Such is life.
Blogging has given me a number of gifts. First would be friends. I have met heart people here, people I value tremendously and genuinely love.
It has made me a more honest person. I've laid myself bare, and people have responded with thanks, with their own stories.
I don't, in retrospect, know that I've always done the right thing being so open and honest. My dad was so angry that I wrote about him. He felt it was very unfair.
And for my part, all I could see was that he was shattering my life all over again. That he wanted us to live in silence because it was more comfortable for him. But it was killing us.
For me, it was such a relief to start talking about mental illness and suicide that I couldn't stop. I haven't stopped. He is gone, and there's no question of fair or unfair. But I don't know that I was 100 percent in the right back then.
Through this blog, I have come to believe that most of us have lived through something terrible, something brutal. We aren't all comfortable talking about it in public, but we need to be able to share, and to know that we aren't alone in our vulnerability, in our pain. To lay it out without being judged.
Darkness and fear are heavy. They are cumbersome. Everything starts to feel better when you call them out by name. When you expose them to sunshine and air they start to dissipate.
I feel so grateful and honored that people feel comfortable sharing with me.
Blogging has made me a better writer. I look back at early posts and I am tempted to re-write them, because I know I could do a better job now. But that's who I was then, and this is who I am now.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for your support, and for holding my hand through some very rough times. Thank you for not bailing on me even when I did things like rub butter on a complete stranger's nose.
Thank you for being part of my life. I am so lucky.
Love and hugs,