I’ve been absent from blogging for a while. Did you notice? (some of you did, some of you that I don’t even know so thank you for your sweet messages and concern, and some of you that I do know I’m looking at you, Brooke!)
A month became a few months became six months and more. Months that I’d love to explain away with something glamorous and adventurous.
Nothing specific comes to mind.
I went to Germany to see my sister become a mother and eat Ritter Sport to the point of nauseousness. And back to Japan to see spring begin. Then back to Michigan to dive deeper into a long Northern Michigan winter. Then a quick stop in Manitoban spring which is very akin to winter. A trip to California where it rained and I saw an Elvis Perkins concert, a jaunt to Vail where ice water was dumped on my head by the god(s) as I got ready to ride up a gondola to a fancy wedding. The short glorious summer of the UP where I sat on the porch and laid on the beach and sand was everywhere. And now I’m back in Japan again just in time for typhoon season, then off to South Korea soon to find out how spicy I can handle my cabbage based foods.
So maybe there was some adventure. And certainly plenty to write about. But for some reason I couldn’t. Or wouldn’t.
I’ve started about six posts since the last time I published anything here. I started. And stopped. Metaphorically crumpling each draft into a ball and tossing it into the corner. But nothing that came out seemed right.
Even now, inside me here is so much to say, things to share, and yet I haven’t. Couldn’t. Or wouldn’t. And what’s the difference really.
It’s not like this blog means anything much in the wider world. But it’s always been a place where I’ve come to share some slice, some tiny itty bitty slice, of all the things going on inside my mind. A place where people who know me could see me in a different way. Where people who don’t know me well get to know me better. Where people I didn’t know at all have found me and we’ve become friends.
When I was 16, I thought I was an adult. I kept a journal, an item that still exists but which is always at risk of me starting it on fire ceremoniously. I was a pretty boring kid by Lifetime Movie Network standards, but I had a lot going on in my mind. Dark, funny, complicated things that many 16 year olds probably think about but most don’t have the guts to bring up to their friends who are likely idiots. And certainly many have the sense not to write these thoughts down because it just leaves an unnecessary record of your angst.
In that journal I was annoying and used logical fallacies and waxed poetic about the texture of my hair. But I also had some incredibly insightful moments, expressed understanding of some painful truths that are best learnt early, and took joy in the beauty of the bleakness of life and existence. It was part 90210, part Kierkegaard.
Every year since then I’ve become less confident in my adultness, more accepting of the texture of my hair. I’ve trained myself to recognize logical fallacies and I’ve never felt more joy about the beautiful bleakness as I do now. And even though no one would accuse me of holding back my feelings very often, as an actual adult I also haven’t had the pleasure to regularly be as me as the me in that journal. To lay it all out there unapologetically. Without being self conscious. To give the same credence to matters of ‘does Jeff like me?’ (he didn’t) as to the concern of our inevitable mortality (pretty inevitable). I wrote about the genius of putting Seaquest DSV and Earth 2 back to back on Sunday night TV (if you don’t know what I’m talking about you basically wasted 1994 and you can never get it back) and on the next page wrote hundreds of words about the way industrialized countries thrived on third world slavery. Since the demises of that journal, I didn’t have that kind of expressive freedom.
Except for every now and then. In this blog. Silly as that may sound.
And quickly and quite easily the days, weeks and months crept by and the blog seemed dead. Just like the journal, maybe I outgrew it. Maybe it no longer served the purpose I needed it to. So I left it, rarely ever logged in, considered the 140 drafts to be ghosts and the hundreds of posts that already exist to be fossils.
But here I am. So what changed?
Nothing. Or everything. Who even knows the difference. Maybe the blog is dead, and this is just me doing CPR on a corpse. But that journal, as amazing and hilarious and painful and generally humiliating as it can be, is a nice record to have. I can’t remember why I stopped writing, but I know I tried for a long time to keep it up even after it didn’t come as easily anymore. And in some of those entries that I had to squeeze out there are some quality moments. And I’m glad I have them.