So, all this week we’ve been obsessing over this website.
Or — I’ve been obsessing over this website, and trying to drag anyone I can into getting obsessed over it with me, proofreading and nitpicking. I keep reading and rereading the posted articles, searching for errant commas or just a better way to phrase things. Is this too much? Is this too dry? Is this boring? Why the hell would anyone care about this in the first place?
But then, one evening, Shaun and I were discussing this topic. A lot of topics, actually — my writing, in general. This blog and how the project would go. I kept saying, I think this can be something really cool, I’m just scared — scared I won’t live up to my own expectations, you know?
And then, of course, he did that roguish grin thing he does and my heart went all flip-flop, and then he topped it off by saying, I think really good things are about to happen for you, babe. I think you’re talented, and I think you’ve been working hard and you’ll keep working hard, and it’s about to all click into place.
And I blushed, of course, but he reminded me of a very specific conversation I remember having with Mama Suh — and this was several years back. This is back when Shaun and I had known each other for less than a year, had been dating not quite six months. And as steady, reliable, and strong as our relationship is now, we had kind of a tumultuous start. Or — it seemed that way, to me. Everything is always tumultuous with me, I’m always on the verge of a Come Apart — but Shaun and I met at a time that was very undecided, very on the cusp for both of us. We were both fresh loose from a whole host of obligations and trials and relationships and finish lines. We both had big plans, we both were thinking maybe we’d go back to school, maybe we’d move somewhere bigger, brighter, with more opportunity.
But then we met, and there was this crazy intense attraction, from the get-go. I’m telling y’all, I went home from Fat Moe’s (right there, on the patio) that first night that I met him, and I went to bed and I dreamed that we got married. Immediately. That first night, I knew.
But we had These Plans, you know? We were Going Places. Somehow, it seemed impossible that we could have both, that we could do both — and so those first six months of us dating felt really rocky. It felt like both of us were waiting for the other to call it quits, or at least up and move, and it still was so soon, so early to try and figure out if one of us moved, would the other go with?
Enter this conversation I was having with my mom. You know that weird point in your early twenties when you start to realize your mom isn’t just your mom anymore, she’s also your best friend and the best listener and the best advice giver? Yeah, there I was — and I was just sitting at her kitchen table, crying, because of course I was crying — me, who feels any emotion louder than a whisper and burst into tears.
(Any emotion — have you ever been so filled with righteous fury that you immediately burst into tears with the force of your anger? And then everyone thinks you’re sad and pitiful, and it only makes you angrier, because you are FIERCE, which only makes you cry more?)
You’re trying to force things into place, Emmy, Mama Suh told me, in that patient, gentle way she has. You’re working so hard to make everything have a right place and a right time and a perfect answer. Sometimes, when we’re trying to jam things into place and they don’t want to go — that means they’re not meant to be, right now. Sometimes, if we just let ourselves go with the flow, see what happens, be open to possibility — you find everything floats into place and you end up exactly where you were trying to get anyway.
We had almost the exact same conversation, about a year later, when Shaun and I were committed to being together, but trying our hardest to move to Bloomington, to make anything work. We were trying to jam things into place, on our own time line, because I am nothing if not strong willed, and I believe that if I just believe hard enough, I can make anything happen.
And I can — maybe, hopefully, possibly — but the world moves on its own timing. The world is shifting pieces on the board and moving things closer and closer together, and when the moment is right, each of us make our move.
Which brings me back to this website.
I was struggling. I feel like I’m always struggling, but I was, like, really struggling. I wanted Things and Accomplishments. I wanted to feel like I had Done Something and Made a Difference.
But I just could not figure out how to get there. And I’m still working on that, the specifics of how to get there and which turns to take — but the thing that stuck out in my mind is that I needed a place to talk. I needed a place to talk as much as I wanted, about anything I wanted. A place where I could share infinite number of pictures and no one could get tired of it, because it was my space and I can put whatever I want in this space. A place where I could talk about bad TV or good film or choreography I’d just watched or road trips I’d taken or scribble scrabble ramble short story writing jibberish things.
And you know me — I pushed. I shoved. I hacked at my resources and tried to make them shake a leg and get on my timing. I made plans and I had deadlines and expectations. I wanted to launch in March, I planned to have a huge archive of work by this point in the year.
And life got in the way.
Life always gets in the way. Life says, oo, you thought you were cute? Think again.
But Mama Suh was right again, y’all — because here we are. Exactly where I needed to be, wanted to be. With this gorgeous site hosted by the awesome Rachael, and a killer design look by my life coach and over-seas bestie, the German-Swedish goddess, Kat. And three months ago, four months ago, six months ago, January? I did not understand what exactly what I needed to do with this site. I wouldn’t have been using it to the fullest potential, based on what I’ve learned and experienced even in just those few months. I thought I knew, I had inklings that were headed in the right direction — but I was thinking so concrete, so straight and narrow, at first. I wanted a traditional blog, I wanted strict writing sections and strict categories and strict features.
Traditional ain’t me. Strict ain’t me. What is me is freedom to explore, and community, and coloring outside the lines, and making up the rules as I go along.
So that’s what we’ll be doing here. I’m gonna talk a lot, because I can. I’m gonna try and make sense. I’m gonna try and explore life lessons, and I’m gonna definitely tell you a lot of stories. Some of them will be funny, I hope. Some of them will be sad, certainly. Some of them will be true — most of them will be true, but some will be made up. Some will be a series of pictures, or a poem, or a dance.
Sometimes we’ll have guest features, and we’ll learn someone else’s story. I want to hear from you, I want to share what you have to think, I want take what you think and think on it some more, and see what new thing I can come up with.
As always, I’m not exactly sure how we all ended up here, together. But I’m glad you’re here. I hope this is a good, thoughtful, safe, and thought-provoking place for you to visit. I hope you stick around.