I started this blog at Ex’s urging. After reading a short story I had dusted off and given him for Valentine’s Day, he pushed me to start writing again. So I did.
Though I maintained a steady habit of posting twice a week, Ex didn’t always read what I wrote. I never said anything. Instead, I waited for him to randomly offer a comment. Sometimes he praised me for my tone and other times he complimented my sense of humor. Then, the month our relationship went south, he chastised me for both.
“I can’t believe you wrote that,” he spewed in my direction, ‘that’ being an older post about nose picking.
“I’m sorry, what?” I challenged.
“Paige, what you said, it isn’t who I thought I was dating.”
I hashed out a retort in my head, swapping adjectives and verbs to formulate a productive statement.
“I wrote that months ago and more importantly, everybody, including you, does it - so what’s the big fucking deal?”
“Sure, that’s true. But it makes you sound, I don’t know, classless,” he said as he fuddled with the clasp of his Cartier.
“Classless...wow. Listen, here’s the thing, I won’t edit myself for you. Not now and not down the road. Because that post is part of me, even if it sheds a less than flattering light. And if you can’t accept it, maybe you can’t accept me, the whole of me,” I reasoned.
He didn’t have a response. At least not at that moment. But the damage had been done. The very part of me he had helped to develop was not what he thought it would become. The honesty, the rawness, all of it challenged his image and ideals.
Alaska struggled with my blog too, sorting out the real me as it collided with the virtual me. Personally, I find them to be one and the same but for whatever reason, to him they differed. He read regularly, randomly relayed his thoughts and never once suggested I alter what I had to say. To him, my blog wasn’t his to edit. It was mine, all mine. Nonetheless, he always identified it as an obstacle.
A few months ago, I started to feel uninspired with regard to my blog. Graduate school applications drained me dry of creative urges. Finally excising Alaska from my head and heart preoccupied my mind and tensed my hands. I continued to write but I just wasn’t in it. I was doing nothing more than going through the motions. The same way I drive down Broad Street, pacing not to the color of the lights but the flow of traffic. I was on literary cruise control. And for the first time in the history of Life Goes On, I Think, I pondered the point of continuing.
In May, I sat down and wrote a post about closing down my blog. I used adjectives like ‘maturity’ and ‘evolution’. I layered ‘the next step’ with ‘going out on top’. And then I saved the piece and waited for the right time to make it public. There in the clutter of published and drafted essays sat a collection of words that would change everything. It patiently lingered, properly prepped for a grand debut or perhaps more accurately, a grand finale.
This past weekend, I went down to DC to visit with Ryane. We threw back margarita’s with Amie and brunched in the shade with Freckled K, all the while pestering Kris Likey for failing to keep her calendar straight and thus depriving us of her presence. As I collapsed on Amtrak yesterday afternoon, I realized the timing to end my blog isn’t right. Not yet. I realized that maybe I’m in a writing rut, but I’m not ready to part with all that this venue affords me. It’s here that I got my footing as a writer. It’s here that I learned to believe in myself as a woman. And it’s here I found a community that embraced me, flaws and all. I might not need this space but I’m not ready to quit being part of it.
So when I got into work this morning, I finalized the details of my journey to BlogHer ’08. I charged out my flight, confirmed my hotel and registered for the conference. Then I made dinner reservations for here and there because, hey, a girl’s gotta eat. The only outstanding detail is to find a sassy blogger to share my room. Anyone? Anyone?