I’m not off to a good start here folks. I’ve only added a post title and already I’m lying. I mean, okay, yes it’s technically the first day of this website’s life but she arrived late. Like me. Like always. I meant to get my shit together and start writing on the actual first day of the year – you know, like a responsible adult.
But who was I kidding? I’m me. Have you ever met me? Yeah….you get it.
It’s morning on the second day of the new year and here we are. Welcome! What’s that they say? Better late than never? Yeah, let’s go with that and get this blog started.
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A couple of years ago, my favorite cousin got married. Dave and I swung by Target on the way to the wedding to pick up a card and in the stationery aisle I happened upon the most interesting journal. It was long and narrow and really, really thick. On the first page (and every page thereafter) were five blocks of lines preceded by the date. It looked kinda like this:
Unlike an average, run-of-the-mill journal this one would carry you through five years, not just one. And the layout provided an in-your-face look back at the previous year (and the one before that, and the one before that…) Whoa. Talk about a game changer. I tossed it in the cart as a wedding present for Amanda. She had waited a long time to get married. I thought it would be cool for her to chronicle her marriage – from Day 1 – and reflect annually on her wedded bliss.
But in the 10 minute drive from the store to the church Dave and I got into another argument. I can’t even tell you what it was about but I’d put money on it being one of the three things we’d been fighting over for 17 years. Sitting there reflecting on our first marriage and first divorce then mentally paging through the last four years of our second marriage, I tried not to see where it was headed. Willful ignorance – now that’s some bliss. My mind wandered during the entire ceremony.
On the way to the reception, I decided cash was a universal gift, shoved it into the card and kept the journal for myself. I slapped on a smile and got jiggy with it. I managed to have a good time. Here’s proof:
When we got home I put the journal beside my bed. Where it still is – completely blank. Nearly two years later. There’s something about those simple three lines that seem so limiting. How do you condense 24-hours into such little space? That was the lie I told myself to keep from documenting the shit storm my life was becoming. I knew that once I started writing things down I would have to face what was actually going on around me.
I haven’t talked to Amanda in a while. Truth is, I haven’t talked to anyone in a while. Not really, not in depth. These days there’s no one here to talk to but the dogs. I didn’t need a journal to tell me the second divorce was on the horizon. I’m not sure I’d want a day-by-day-by-year snapshot of the hell we went through after that long drive home anyhow.
So, here we are on Day 1-ish of a new year. And I’m up early, coffee in hand, baring my soul to the world wide web. Because I can. Because I want to. But more because I need to. Here, my thoughts aren’t limited – I don’t have to settle for the Cliff Notes version of my story. Making it public keeps me honest – it’s so easy to lie to yourself about how you feel, what you want and need and how things are really going. Writing in hindsight allows for perspective and grace. It lets me sprinkle some humor on the story for good measure. That makes it easier to digest.
For you, this is entertainment. This is my life.
And today is the first day of the rest of it. So, let’s get started…