I created this blog on a whim, one Tuesday morning in January. The transmission in my car had selfishly decided to throw a tantrum on my day off, leaving me alone in my empty house, stuck inside my head with no means of transportation to get me away from it. (Yes, I had a bicycle, but I wasn’t that desperate.) I sat at the dining room table spooning cereal into my mouth at regular intervals and staring at an open book with unfocused eyes. My own words kept inserting themselves between the ones on the page, making it impossible to concentrate; my thoughts were clearly not in the mood to take a backseat to somebody else’s. Fine, I told them. Let’s see what good you are. I got my computer and went into the folder of documents reserved for bits and pieces I’d written over the years that I’d designated as completely useless. I only ever opened this folder when I was feeling especially bored or unusually ambitious. I scrolled down the list and selected one at random. I hadn’t bothered to make up a title for it, I’d just saved it as the first few words of the document.
It started out as expected, a vague spattering of thoughts and emotions that had long since reached their expiration date, with little heed to punctuation and grammatical rules. Despite my misgivings, I kept reading. Mostly because I had nothing better to do, partly out of a bored curiosity, and not at all because I thought it had potential. To my surprise, the choppy lines started to take on a rhythm, and my eyes moved faster across the letters and spaces, my mind and my memory devouring the words quicker than I could read them. I soon caught on to the subject, and though I didn’t recognize all the references, I remembered that it was all real, and I could feel it. I finished, stared at it. Let the borrowed emotions slip back into their places. Checked the document properties to see that I had created it on May 12, 2011. I tried to picture myself back in that moment, two and a half years ago, and couldn’t. These words were the only thing I had connecting me to the person who wrote them. Created on that day and not modified since, not even opened. Never read by anyone. It struck me, as I stared at the words I no longer identified with, that maybe instead of hiding it all away and calling it useless, I should have done something with it, put it somewhere so maybe it could be useful to someone else, or even entertaining, or at the least, distracting. The point is, it could have been something, instead of sitting there being nothing.
That’s when I decided I wanted a place to put my words where someone else could see them. It didn’t matter who saw them or if they even read them or liked them or cared, so long as they were there. My words, out in space where I couldn’t control them, where they couldn’t be ignored. I had never done something like that before. So I created this blog, and instead of posting that document, as I had originally planned, I wrote something new. And then I wrote another something new. Hours passed and I hadn’t moved from my spot at the dining room table. My cereal was still sitting there, soggy and forgotten, the book still laying open and abandoned. Hours later and all I had accomplished was one post of a single paragraph and another not much longer. I was tremendously proud of myself. I hadn’t written a single thing I was proud of in, what, months? Years? I couldn’t even remember. And now here I was with two small, pretty posts, beaming up at me as if to say see, knew you could do it, and here’s your proof. And then I got a like. A like from someone I didn’t know, who didn’t know me, who read my words and had enough interest in them to click the small star button and let me know. Thank you to that first person, and to all the people who came after that. I can’t say that I wouldn’t write if it weren’t for you, but you certainly make it more worthwhile, and that one simple gesture touches me more than you realize.
I started this particular entry with the intention of explaining why I haven’t posted anything in almost three weeks, but somewhere between the first sentence and the second, my thoughts interjected, as they often do, and I let them, as I have learned to do. Here it is: the reason I haven’t posted anything is because I’ve been busy. Busy with work and obligations, as always, but also busy writing. Lately words have been coming to me not in sentence form, but in verses, with melodies and rhythms and emotions that don’t want to be written, but sung. That’s where all of my creative energy has been focused. I’ve written numerous drafts here on wordpress, but they weren’t what I wanted and I left them unpublished. This post, initially meant to be an explanation, has turned into a reminder to myself that not everything I create has to be perfect before it’s shared, and absolutely nothing (with a few embarrassing exceptions) should be designated as useless and be hidden away or worse, deleted. There’s no other feeling in the world like that of putting a piece of yourself out in the open instead of keeping it in and letting it go to waste. This is my promise to myself that from now on I will try to let go of any reluctance I might have in posting something less than perfect, or complete, or even marginally good. I hereby apologize for any and all ridiculousness that occurs as a result of this decision. Thank you to all of you who have read and continue to read my words, and I fervently hope you never regret doing so.