Friday, November 28, 2014

Let's be brand new: Trying blogging (again)

So it’s been a while.

A long while.

There are a lot of reasons I haven’t blogged for the past several months, but the comfortable synopsis is that I’ve been busy, I’ve been crazy, and I’ve been so unsure about so many things that what to write on a blog is the very least pressing of those uncertainties.

But recently I’ve been making decisions, and (seemingly) big ones, and what to do about this black hole of a blog was somewhere on the bottom of my “decisions to make” list. I’ve been nearing the bottom of that list, so here we are.

I’ve decided to try this again.

I’m sitting in an apartment I don’t belong to in the financial district of New York City, eating dry cereal with a fork, and listening to Taylor Swift’s new single while still trying to hate her (but come on, “blank space” is killer. It’s a pun about the music video. Laugh, please). It’s a pretty insignificant occasion and I’m wearing clothes that have been on my body for going on twenty hours, but it feels like as good a time as any to start over.

I’ve thought about starting over a lot this semester. How someone can shed years of cultivating a certain identity and step out into the world one morning with fresh skin and bright eyes. How do you derail yourself from the tracks you threw yourself at eagerly in youth when you’re already hurdling down them?

I’m going to insert a quote here because apparently I’m going to be that kind of blogger now. Don’t hate me. But I once read that “it’s never too late to be brand new” and that’s an idea I can’t get enough of.

It’s the idea that’s been keeping me going for the past few months and the one that’s brought me here, writing a blog post on a day that I have no intention of getting out of bed to partake in while still thinking that today is somehow different.

Because that’s how you start over. You get up one day and decide that today is the day: you don’t owe anything to the past versions of yourself and you’re not giving into them anymore. You take back the keys to your own bad (and totally autonomous) self, and lock out all the versions of yourself you’ve grown sick of and all the people who kept you stuck in those personas.

You decide that you don’t want to sit around and wait for finish lines to move closer to where you are; you want to chase after them with all the strength you have. You want to do the things that sit at the bottom of your “to do someday” list and have to make new “I’m doing today” lists full of goals and ambitions.

You just wake up one morning and say no more agreeing to a life that’s not the one you want. No more complicity. Because I think the truth is that there’s no sign the universe sends you and there’s never an easy time to start over. Every New Year’s Day that you tell yourself will be different is the same as every Saturday evening that you say you’ll start changing yourself tomorrow. When you wait for the world to help you out and give you a kick, you end up waiting another week or another year for the boost that never comes.

Starting over will never feel comfortable when you’re leaving behind something you thought you wanted. But you just look at the mouth of the tunnel standing in front of you and decide to enter, imagining that things will look better when you emerge.

For me, letting go of the version myself that I thought I was at the point of finalizing, not abandoning altogether, has felt vaguely like the experience of building colossal lego towers as a child only to clumsily topple them over with my own awkwardness. I fall asleep trying to imagine where I’ll be in ten years, and at best I get a fuzzy picture of what type of men I might attract if I get a navel piercing (elusive biker dude who can’t find a job, I’m coming for ya). Every productive choice also feels destructive, and sometimes I wonder if I’m floating away, untethered by any determined path or teleological purpose.

But that’s how you start over. You untie yourself from the things that have been holding you down, you let yourself drift into the dark, and you flail around clumsily until you find something to grasp back onto.

After floating pretty helplessly for these past few months, I’m finally in the business of finding things to grasp back onto.

Soooooo, I’m trying this again.

I’m back to remaking myself, and I’m back to blogging. I’ll be the first, and certainly not the last, to acknowledge the sense of imaginary self-importance that comes from thinking your thoughts are worth jamming into the already over-crowded interwebs, but I’m over it. I’m over being self-conscious and hyper-aware of what everyone is thinking about me, and what I’m thinking about them, and what they’re thinking about what I’m thinking about what they’re thinking about me. I’m exhausted even thinking about it.

I’m done with putting myself on paths and resenting myself for falling off of them, so I’m indulging in bumbling around until I end up somewhere and I'm fully ready to take on all the lego towers I may knock over in the process.

Friends, family, others, thanks for your patience and your love. It’s been a great journey, and we had some good times.

But today’s the day. I’m going to take all of this and make it something brand new.
I hope you stick around.

Logistical Note: This blog will no longer be a food blog. Ever again. I’m sad too, but I intend on some day restarting a food and recipe blog, separate from this one, when I have access to a kitchen and more time to cook. It’s impossible for me to maintain a food blog without a kitchen when I’m at college, so this will be exclusively a writing blog. Hang around for a year or two and someday recipes will come back. In the meantime, I’ll be cooking all by my lonesome and writing here. Thanks for all the support with the cooking. It meant more than I can explain.

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