Monday, July 6, 2015

All the Pretty Blog Posts

I am reviving Loved To Happen because I miss writing.

I started blogging in high school when Xangas were cool and you could change the background of your page and make music play when people visited ala Myspace. My background was a black and white picture of a dirt road in Jamaica and my song was Ziggy Marley's "Who's Gonna Drive You Home." I was a quasi-emo fourteen. My (poor) mom gently mentioned the overtly melancholy nature of my layout and, embarrassed, I changed it. So began my pattern. I deleted pages, changed usernames, made everything pink and then back to black and white but still, I wrote.

Around fifteen, I started to write in Spanish. Grammatical errors abounded but I liked having something that was mine. In our tiny "everybody knows everything about everyone" world, it gave me something new and unknown. My sisters and friends used Babel Fish (Google Translate's predecesor) to translate my posts. So I stopped doing that too. Why did I want to be different?

I don't remember blogging again until I studied abroad in Argentina. I loved writing about Buenos Aires. I loved finding ways to keep each experience there alive. The tangos, las milongas, the accent and the beautiful vos tense. I fell in love deeply and even though it was my first time, I knew that when you are really in love, you want to share it.

But when I came back home things made less sense.  I wondered, as I graduated during the height of the recession, if the need to articulate my experience automatically grouped me with the entitled selfie-taking glamorons of my generation. I didn't think I was special. So what did I need to say? And why? I stopped writing again.

I moved to Spain and I didn't bring camera. I wondered if I could just take it in and be in the moment. I was anxious and I had insomnia the 9-month span I was a teacher's assistant in La Comunidad de Madrid. I rarely slept more than three hour stretches. I didn't understand what was wrong with me and I was embarrassed. I wanted to write but I didn't. Eventually, I made better sense of myself. I made friends who valued me and helped me see the value in myself and then I started wanting to share again. I started writing. It wasn't all happy but it was genuine.

And then back to the US again where I started to try to carve out my life here for the first time and I didn't want to write about it. I worked in restaurants in Rochester and then moved back up to the border land of Northern New York. I made it my job to apply for jobs, I helped a friend with her wedding and eventually, I moved to New York City. The year and half leading up to my move everyone had told me I would have to move. I resisted it but as soon as I found myself in Brooklyn, I knew they'd been right. Adrenaline kicked in and I hit the ground running. I was ready.  I've been pounding pavement in the concrete jungle ever since but off and on, it occurs to me, I miss writing.

In our fast-paced record, click and share culture, there's a lot of confusion. One of my sisters wisely labeled it "Life envy." I've always hated the idea of people being jealous of me because, as great as my life can be sometimes, it makes me feel fictitious and fraudulent. On the other hand, writing about things like death or sadness, anxiety and disorder, can sometimes feel as if one wants to play the "my pain is more than your pain" game and quite honestly, I don't.

So why start writing again and why, God forbid, blog? Because I miss it. And I still believe that writing for others has the power to connect us, to help both writer and reader process and grow. I still think it's a skill and one I want to use and develop.

I'm not sure how frequently I will write and I'm not entirely sure how focused or genre-specific I will direct LTH but I'm looking forward to sharing openly again. I'm working in New York, I'm growing up, I'm challenging myself to live ethically in a big city, in a big complicated world and here goes -

It loved to happen and it will love to happen again.