I began this blog because I could not picture a time in my life that would not revolve around race, class, gender, and other aspects of identity politics. But that’s not the whole story. I also began this project because I was acutely, painfully lonely. I had moved to finish my bachelor’s degree, and I found myself surrounded by people I had very little in common with. On a certain level, this was to be expected—I have always been strange, and have always had difficulty relating to most people. However, what I found was worlds away from what I thought was possible.
I was prolific when I was 14. I cranked out drawings, charcoal sketches, poems, narratives, several awful attempts at detective novels, and several even more awful and embarrassing attempts at fan fiction. I carved out little worlds for myself that I could hide in whenever my own life became too boring or too difficult or too sad.
That has been the role of this blog.
I was so lonely and sad to discover myself in a strange environment that felt vaguely hostile, and that pain spilled over until I shaped the excess into this.
I think about this little space, and the immediate question is: Now what?
See, my life has fundamentally changed. After I graduated, my spouse and I packed up and moved back. It wasn’t easy, but the change in setting has made it easier. Like it or not, this place is the closest we’ve ever had to a home. The biggest difference moving away had for me was that I stopped feeling safe. I stopped being able to rely on anyone else whether it was for a helping hand or a simple nod of acknowledgement. At home I knew what to expect, and I had been raised with the belief that everyone is important. Away from home I realized how much I had taken for granted.
Truthfully, my life no longer revolves around identity politics and social justice. Rather, I feel that I have consumed and will continue to consume these issues. They, in turn, feed me, becoming a part of my bloodstream and body. The difference between then and now being that identity politics and social justice are no longer the be-all and end-all they used to be for me.
This brings me back to the question I have been asking myself for months: Now, what is this blog? Do I throw caution to the wind and upload a picture of my beach-ball-like face and loudly proclaim that this is mine!? Or do I simply shuffle through, hoping that if I do have regular readers they are the type to put up with sporadic posts riddled with my attempts to maintain anonymity? Moreover, dear reader, I can’t figure out what the hell you might be getting out of this.
While I was Away, I thought I was forming myself. To an extent, I was, but to a much larger extent, I was getting lost. After we moved back I got stuck. I became hypercritical of myself. I painstaking fashioned a bow and arrows, which I used to shoot down all of my dreams. I roamed my psyche collecting their near lifeless bodies to burn on altars of news stories and editorials about Supreme Court rulings and immigration reform. I thought that this would appease whatever haunted me day and night with whispers that nothing I would do would ever be enough.
I was snapped back to reality and into embracing my subjectivity by a number of different factors, but the catalyst was human interaction in the form of an extremely encouraging friend, and, very oddly, taking a job in retail. Even though I have a long track record of abhorring retail, I recently took a customer service job that I genuinely enjoy. The people I work with are helpful and kind, and the customers we serve are mostly patient and good-spirited. The company itself makes an effort to be ethical, and I enjoy working in an atmosphere in which friendliness is encouraged. All that coupled with the fact that I have begun reaching out to people and that I no longer work to reject affection means that by and large, I am no longer quite so lonely.
I don’t know what that means for this blog. That’s part of why the book reviews have surfaced—I still love this space, I just no longer know what to do with it.
Stick with me, dear reader, and earn my gratitude as we see where we will go. Or, jump ship, and I won’t love you any less. This is an exciting and unknowable time. It is the start of a new adventure.