This blog is a year old now.
I can’t believe it, really. It’s exciting and celebratory to look back, but it’s weird to think “Wow, that happened. That’s over.”
Of course, nothing is actually over. That’s just my brain playing tricks again. A year well spent is an achievement, not a loss. Note to self.
As some of you Shaunanagins Facebook fans know, this is slightly old news. My official “blogoversy” was September 13, which the calendar tells me was over a week ago. My excitement that day was pretty intense, which was awkward to express. Sure, a year is a long time and a blog like this is hard work…but also, how do you go up to someone and say “Yeah, I have this website where I write about myself. I’ve been doing it for a year. So no big deal.”
But it is a big deal, at least in my teeny-tiny reality. I wrote stuff! People cared about it! Sometimes, they even cared enough to share it. I remember when Sex, Lies, and Storytime , a ranty essay written covertly on my office computer, was Freshly Pressed in February. When thousands of people read it. When they liked it. And I just jumped up and down in the bathroom, letting my inner six year old take over because validation! validation! validation!
I was, and am, unforgivably amateur.
Emphasis on the “am.” After this year, my resume is full of four month internships and my head is full of ideas and itty-bitty optimisms–starting points, all of it. Traveling alone, living in a new city, test-driving jobs and instruments and beliefs and people-stuff. A semester here, a semester there.
So very amateur. A year of blogging and exploring hasn’t changed that. But I do feel like it has made me more aware, and that’s a gift I can’t take for granted.
The first kind of awareness had to do with other people. I learned what they wanted to read, what they did with it afterwards. I learned what they were willing to share, too, once the conversation was started. The Taboo Tab project constantly amazed me. I couldn’t believe how many people were willing to tell their story. It is beyond inspiring that so many people were brave and articulate enough to rise up and put a face on grief and sexuality and eating disorders. I was equally amazed by how many more people were willing to read and care about what the sharers had to say. Every time someone thrust their story into my hands and said “Here, have it. Edit it. Show it to the world.” they made an active decision to share themselves with this project and this community. And, thanks to the amazing nature of this community, it became a safe place to talk and to learn. So much trust. So much love.
(Also, I have more stories waiting to be posted on the Taboo Tab in the coming weeks. This “awareness” thing ain’t over yet!)
Self-awareness also happened. Sometimes it was invited, other times not so much. I audited my relationships, sometimes more than I needed to. I tried really-really-really hard to listen and face some realities.
Like, say, the reality that you shouldn’t go around making people feel guilty just because you had a bad day, or even they hurt you once. I call this guilt-machining. It’s basically the manipulative cousin of nagging, and has about the same success rate.
Or the reality that some questions are caring and inquisitive, but some are born of un-loving intentions–loaded, insecure, unfair, generally toxic.
Or the reality that no one’s perfect. Even when I tried to write a sign to remind myself of these things, I brutally misspelled a word. The reminder of “You’re human!” stares me down just as much as the other, more intentional messages on this piece of notepaper. Every morning and every evening: “You’re human! It’s okay! Now be good to people!” The reminder is taped messily beside my bedroom mirror, so it’s hard to miss.
This is all part of the game, I guess. A year into blogging and this is what we have: me whittling away, trying to carve out some kind of worldview. Collecting your stories and piecing them together in the Taboo Tab because, hopefully, then I’ll understand you too.
(And reminding myself to BE NICE AND LISTEN AND LOVE HARDER, for goodness sake.)
I think I have more to say, but to be totally honest…a wasp just flew into my apartment and stung me right on the pad of my middle finger. I’m icing it, sort of, in between key strokes. To the wasp’s credit, it was only fighting back. But dude. Ouch.
I should probably take care of my hand. So I guess I’ll leave this entry at this:
THANK YOU for an amazing year. Thank you for reading. I love all the comments you leave me, and they make my day (actually, now they make my year). You rock. Seriously.