I woke up last night around 3 am, which seems to be a very special time for me, and realized I published my first blog post yesterday without proofreading it, panicked, and thought of fifteen changes I wanted to make. My first thought was, well, I can edit it and repost, no one has to know. My second thought was, that would be dishonest and cheating, and even if I’m the only one who would know, I just can’t do that. My third thought, aimed primarily at calming myself back down, was that no one else is ever going to read any of this anyway. Of course my brain quickly responded with, “Well, if no one is going to read it, why are you wasting valuable time working on it? You are always so annoyed when people complain about being busy and then waste time, you cheating, lying hypocrite.” It went on from there, but eventually I fell asleep long enough to have a nightmare about a very bad man.
It seems almost every woman I know who does not work full-time, and some who do, either became a photographer, a blogger, or sold jewelry or essential oils at some point over the past seven years. Note: I know at least one photographer and one blogger who are extremely talented and who have had their share of success. I have no artistic skills to speak of (ask my oldest daughter, she’ll tell you), and I despise sales, but I guess I always thought of myself as more of a writer of novels than a writer of blogs. I told myself at several points over the past twenty-five years (I was an interesting child) that one day, I would put pen to paper, or click away on an old typewriter near a beach, and I would write a moving piece of fiction or the story of my life. I’ve even started a couple of projects, one of them near the beach, but I always stop short of anything worth sharing. Usually it’s some combination of fear I will hurt someone’s feelings and having other, more pressing things to deal with.
When I sat down to start this, I couldn’t decide where to start, or whether I should map out some sort of plan for the next thirty days, so I wasted some time reading about blogs. I read that I should post a photograph so people feel more connected, so I tried to find one, but I realized that of the 3,000+ photos I keep stored on my phone, very few are of me, and the ones that are all have at least one child in them. I tried to use the computer camera, but remembered that I haven’t showered in three days, and I’m not sure people want to feel that familiar with me, or at least I’m not sure I want to feel that familiar with them. Then I remembered I was wasting time and giving in to feelings of anxiety about starting this project, so I gave myself a choice: start writing or study for the bar exam. And just like that, I felt motivated to write a little bit about myself.
I spoke to my mom this morning and told her about this project. She asked if I thought she would need a glass of wine to read this, and I said I’m sure she would. So far she and my husband are the only two people who know about this project (my kids probably do too, because they manage to hear everything, or at least the things they aren’t supposed to hear), and there is a sense of safety in that, because neither of them will find many surprises in here.
I was born twenty-nine years and thirty days ago, in a small midwestern town that actually passes for a city of sorts, because it’s surrounded by even smaller towns, and I spent the first eighteen years of my life (which will not be the focus of this project, but will likely come up) moving around or between that town and two others, one in a neighboring state. By local standards we traveled a lot, and I hoped I would not stay in the midwest as an adult. I spent my twenties moving to and from the midwest, landing, at least for the moment, on the east coast.
In my first post I described the past ten years as being “exceptionally full,” and that’s correct. I think it’s fair to say I fit closer to fifteen, and maybe even twenty years of living, into the past ten. I finished college early, went to law school, took and (miraculously) passed a bar exam, married, divorced, married again, had four babies, moved twelve times to eight different cities in four different states, taught full-time and as an adjunct at a university, and started a blog. I fell in love (or thought I did) three times, had my heart really and truly broken once, really and truly broke someone else’s heart at least once, worried about how I would pay my bills, had more monthly income than I ever dreamed I would have, watched some very trashy television.
These days I am a SAHM to four beautiful children and a dog in a suburb of one of the greatest cities in the world. I am about to be thirty, I’m studying for a bar exam even though after I passed the last one I never bothered to send in the rest of my paperwork so I could be licensed and I have no idea if I will ever practice law, and I started a blog because I have mixed emotions about turning thirty and I want to explore them and procrastinate, but I still need to feel like I am being productive.
I am neurotic, insecure, and a little flaky, and I am optimistic, energetic, and naive. It takes me a long time to really let people in, but I tend to share anything I’m afraid people won’t like right away. I’m smart, but sometimes I lack common sense, especially when it comes to other people. I tend to think everyone is like me, or that everyone is like me, but a little bit nicer, kinder, etc., and I’m always shocked if that turns out not to be the case.
Today I sat down to start a blog about turning thirty, mostly describing how my unsettled life is becoming settled, typed out a few paragraphs that I would, in a more generous moment, describe as mediocre, and was interrupted by a phone call from my husband telling me he is unemployed. Boom.