On July 28th 2008, almost seven years to the day, I started my very first blog which I titled Suicide Birds and Seahorses. I still like that title and it actually has relevance to me seven years later. A lot has changed since I wrote those first words. In fact, at the time, I had no idea what blogging really was or the impact that it could have on others or myself. Since then I’ve had several different blogs, a website and written a book. It’s been a long road and like I said in that very first post, quoting Thelma and Louise, I just can’t go back. Although at my core I’m essentially the same person inside, a lot has changed and I’m not the same person today. That’s a good thing, but it also means that an era of my life has faded away.
I know now that the goal of that first blog was to get me through my lonely days of grieving my mother’s death, grieving the end of a career, starting a new one and ending a long term, romantic relationship. Writing every night was cathartic. I would drive around, stopping at gas stations for coffee with strong creamer, and take pictures of random things: the signs at the gas station, semis on the interstate, frogs in the middle of the road, rain against my windshield, or whatever I would find that I found interesting. After driving around for several hours, listening to music and smoking cigarettes, I would head home to my lonely apartment, except for the meanderings of my dog Griffin, and I would sit at my computer and blurt out a blog while watching a movie in the background. Today, those are some of my most favorite posts I’ve ever written because they serve as a diary and journal of that time in my life, but also because they were so raw and genuine. I think most of my posts received 3-5 views, mostly friends who felt guilty if they didn’t read my scribbling, but I didn’t care; I was writing for myself, not anyone else.
Today we live in a society of bloggers. Fashion blogs, tech savvy blogs, social media blogs, advice blogs, mommy blogs and on and on and on. Most of it is to build a “social media” presence for a company or career, and those are especially a turn off to me. I particularly enjoy the blogs where people just blog about random things in their lives. Those are the ones that pull me in because they feel so true.
I miss writing the way I did back then. Tonight I sat watching television, dreading the fact that I had to write a blog post simply because I made a commitment to write one blog post a day this month. I never felt that way back then; I was just honored to have a place to write and be read. Since then, I’ve written for The Huffington Post and several other magazines. My men’s lifestyle website raannt, which I co-author with my husband Alex, has won awards and allowed us to have a life I never imagined. I’ve published a book and have another one(possibly two!) coming out next year, and yet, I miss those raw writings of seven years ago.
And so I’ve decided that I will once again write those blog posts that I so loved, coming full circle to where I began. The reality is that those writings were so cathartic that they got me through one of the darkest years of my life and when I was better, I stopped writing. How insane.
Out of interest, I thought I’d include my very first post in here tonight, so maybe you can feel a little bit of what it used to be like. I’m feeling nostalgic anyway and the night is young.
Suicide Birds and Seahorses
Monday, July 28, 2008
Hmmmm….where should I start…well, I guess at the beginning…I’m not even sure that I understand the purpose of this, but I know eventually it will find me. Let’s start, Halloween, 2007. Unsatisfied, unfulfilled with my life, I sat on the porch in the Smokey Mountains at 2:30 a.m. with a friend discussing that I was nearing 40, and I didn’t feel as if I knew what I was supposed to be doing, or better yet, wasn’t doing what I felt I should be doing anymore, but I didn’t even know what that was I guess. My friend, a very wise, yet unfulfilled 57 year old, sat back, stared right into my eyes and said, “Don’t wait until you’re 57 and you’re husband sits on the couch all day watching CNN news.” It was the moment in Thelma and Louise when Thelma can no longer go back, those words released me. And I could not go back. Within the next few months, I left a seven year relationship, which at times, I am unsure was the correct decision, resigned from a job I had been with for 12 years and began writing a book. And then not one book, but two and now three. Oh, did I mention I’m a recovering addict and as such, I can’t limit myself to any one thing. And then, my mother became extremely ill and was in the hospital until May 14th, when she passed away. And driving away from the hospital that night, Bob Dylan singing “Shelter From the Storm” through my speakers, a bird swooped down and dove directly in front of my car. A suicide bird, I thought. But why would they take such a risk. For the excitement, for the test, the chance that maybe they would make it to the other side and maybe they wouldn’t? Could these small creatures really be that wise. Swallow Sage? And maybe, we were all suicide birds, putting ourselves in risky situations, or taking chances to feel for one small moment that we were truly alive. And that’s how it began for me, through all this crap that has happened, although I’ve always known it served a purpose, I’ve begun my own nosedive in front of cars on the interstate late at night. It started with dedicating one year of my life to living freely, taking chances, going where I wanted to go and not being afraid to meet new people. But now I think, maybe this is the way it’s supposed to be for me. Maybe I’m not supposed to sit like a bird on a wire, waiting for winter to fly south. Maybe, I’m supposed to fly south now, or tomorrow. But nothing makes sense and everything makes sense, all at once. Suddenly. And I don’t question anymore. Or at least I try not to. Haha…I’m not that arrogant. And one thing I know, is that the magic still exists in me, and that is part of my journey, to forever stay four, wading through the creek behind our house, watching the sunlight hit the moss on the rocks, or seven, my mom and I checking out twenty books each at the library, or nine, and still now, believing that somewhere, way down beneath the still waters of St. Barts or off the coast of Tulum, live sea horses who sport bright red top hats and sing Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon”…at least I hope…I hope they do…
I guess I’m back…