Two days ago, my tenth anniversary of this online journal quietly came and went. No cake, no cards, no fireworks, no telegrams…just me and my slippery memory. But since that's what I started with, that's enough.
What I find most amazing about this milestone is that I am one slender month away from celebrating it where it all began: in my parents' basement. Back then, the basement had silver reflective wallpaper in hexagonal patterns and orange shag carpeting halfway up the walls, and it was always at least ½ full of my dad's stuff. Now it's suave and sophisticated, with blue walls & new blue carpet, finished with white moulding, plus a sunshine yellow bedroom and a functional kitchenette. Now, 2 weeks before Nic moves in, it's so empty it echoes.
I started this journal because I was very nearly completely alone, my social life having noisily exploded that spring when the Poet-Ophelia-me-Alexi thing wound up. I was wracked with guilt over what I had done, guilt that was even more intense because it had all come to nothing in the end. I could only blame alcohol for so much; the rest I had to take home with me. And it was social China Syndrome. The only people who wanted to see me on my 21st birthday were Dirk, Scherezade & the Lawyer. I was out of the city and home for the summer, working away in my parents' house for next years' tuition and eating my heart out with solitude. I wanted new friends, and the Internet seemed as good a hunting ground as any.
Also, since I was 8 I wanted to be a writer, and I hadn't given up on that dream at 20. I thought that this would be a good chance to write something that other people would read. The Internet was less saturated with personal writing then, and I could still stand out with my white-on-black website and my picture of myself in Ophelia's PVC dress and my grandmother's fishnets.
It was good for me, it really was. I got feedback and praise from strangers, which boosted me out of that dark place for at least a few hours. My writing improved and improved and improved, until I got to a place where I could read my own entries without wanting to jump out of my skin with embarrassment. I met Stacy, I met Javina; later I met moms in the same boat and even later, knitters. I love that so much of my life is available to me, and I can search out little stories and moments to give myself whenever the present seems overwhelming.
I also love that I am a happily-ever-after story, at least for now. I've dated, married, graduated, moved, given birth and changed jobs, all in the time I've done this project. I've travelled from sitting alone in a psychedelic cellar to sharing an office in my new house with my sweetie and pausing my sentences to zip a pre-schooler into a Buzz Lightyear costume. There is less dancing, and no sleeping away the weekend on Dirk's couch, but more snuggling and far less unhappiness. It is a very good life, la dolce vida to be sure.
Thank you for being with me for some or all or none of the journey. I owe at least a piece of my happiness to you, my readers, for just doing what you do and for letting me into your lives for the space of a few minutes. You make me very happy. You always have.
And here it is: my first post in all its ugliness. Enjoy if you can.
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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*