Wednesday, July 04, 2012


I know I haven't posted regularly in a long time. At first it was the grief. My world turned upside down and I couldn't do this, or much of anything, with any reliability.

But I've really just realized the other thing that happened and took this away from me. I started writing because I was unhappy with the blogs out there that aimed at being for women and feminist but were either bitchy or pedantic and insulting. I know a lot of amazing female bloggers, but they had their own things they were writing about. Feminism and the female voice wasn't their focus. So for a while, it was mine.

I wanted to anonymously share my experiences with rape, weight loss, self-image, relationships, medical emergencies, traumatic loss, and violent crime so that others - strangers - could hopefully get something out of what I was experiencing or had experienced. These were private things, intensely personal things, but things so many people cope with and that I felt talking about could be beneficial. At the very least, for me.

I shared my blog with some friends. A few people I knew. I chose them carefully. The ones I did not mind having access to this personal voice. These conversations I was having with myself.

I made friends with some amazing people online who were also, in essence, anonymous to me. People I had not met in person but whose writing I admired and who were supportive of me and seemed to understand what I was doing and why I was doing it.

I went through breakups. Significant others now seemed off the table as topics so I wouldn't offend or hurt men I had loved who might come here on a down day and, unhealthily, look to see what I was writing. I couldn't do that to them.

A few people I knew personally found the blog. It was an adjustment, but I came to terms with it and it wasn't anyone I couldn't handle knowing these things about me. But it stifled my voice more, made me more hesitant to share. Because I hadn't chosen them as an audience.

Then a stranger here in town who knows my full name and has vague connections to me through mutual friends (but who I had never met) found the blog. He now follows all my public online accounts. He seems like a nice guy. But we don't know each other. And he has read these deeply personal things about me and then shown up to see me and said hello to me in public places because, naturally, he feels he knows me. Like I said, he seems nice. He always has. He even explained how he found me and even offered tips for making my blog more anonymous and to help prevent being located the way he ran across me. But I don't know him.

And that was really it for me. Because these windows into my life weren't written for strangers here in my home town who have no connection to the issues I'm discussing and are just curious about me. And what I could talk about became so limited once I grew concerned about so many other people. I was never the point. Shared feeling and thought was. Being able to have other women who were about to have a biopsy on their uterus search and find my post and know what to expect and how it felt and that they were going to be okay. Sharing what I had learned, what I thought might help, with other people who experienced traumatic loss in a way that made the national news. And talking to other women and men about how feminists aren't one kind of person. Aren't even just women. And that hating men OR sharing tips on how to tell if your guy is cheating were not constructive ways to be a community.

So I miss writing. But I don't want to share my feelings with strangers who live where I live and know my name. And I don't want to edit myself for a growing number of people who actually do know me and could be effected by what I write. I'm trying to decide if I should make this password protected - which defeats my desire to share my feelings with other people outside my life who have similar experiences - or if I should start a new blog somewhere. I don't know. Those of you who have stayed in touch and have always been supportive - I will let you know what I end up doing.

I got tired of not saying this. And no longer being able to write what I really thought. That's all.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


I always understood that Carrie Fisher quote, “I don’t want life to imitate art. I want life to BE art.” I did want that. I often do.

I draw. And paint. And act, write, sculpt, sing, direct, photograph, model, cook, cater, sew, design, perform and am an amateur makeup artist.

I do a lot of things. Or I CAN. I am able to do many things.

After my teenage years and up until about 5 years ago, I rarely created anything. I was afraid. Afraid the things I made would not be good enough. Uncertain what the value of anything that I created might be. If it was something funny or silly or frivolous, it didn't seem to have enough meaning. If I tried to write or paint something serious, it seemed too self-important.

I was made of doubt. So I created little. And kept even less.

I began acting again 5 years ago. By accident really. Anyone who has spent time with a community theater will understand that one day I was helping a friend out by stage managing her play and a few months later I was on stage, in costume for the next production, looking around and wondering how the heck I got there.

The acting community led to other things. And slowly I found myself surrounded by people who make art. Play music, paint pictures, film movies, put on comedy shows... Crazy people. Wonderful people. People brave enough to create. People who don't seem to be frozen by the doubt that haunts me.

A friend I made recently brought this into sharp focus for me. He creates constantly. He is a newspaper columnist, an independent filmmaker, a talented photographer, a natural comedian, and a very capable musician - and he does one or another of these things all of the time. No day goes past without him creating something. Being near this consistent creative force feels strange and wonderful and a little intimidating. But the biggest lesson to me has been the experience of watching someone who doesn't hesitate. Doesn't pull back from trying because he is uncertain if each thing he does will be perfect. He produces work and shares ideas and makes something every single day. It floors me. He is so talented. But also so brave.

I'm still afraid. But I'm slowly starting to draw and write again. Those were the things that came first. When I was too young to understand that directing a play or designing a burlesque costume were things a person COULD do, I was drawing pictures and writing things down. And I am trying new things. And I am learning to have faith.

It took me so long to figure out that part of the beauty is in the creating itself. So many things live inside me. If I start now and I try to get them out of me, making something each and every day, I will never finish. I will never run out. And not everything I make will be good. It won't be beautiful or have value to everyone who sees it. And that's okay. Even if I only make things for myself, these things are evidence of a life lived, of days spent not in fear or self-doubt but instead actively engaged in the act of creating.

I want the art of my life to be in the making of things and expression of ideas and the sharing of joy and experience. I want to actually do all the many things I am able to do.

I want to be brave, too.