Tonight, at my apartment while my roommates are out with their boy things and I just got back from improv practice with an awkward 30 minutes before I need to sleep so I can drone appropriately at the office tomorrow, I pick up my computer from my desk – the same computer I’ve had for nearly six years, the one that’s been with me to several continents and now makes disgusting whirring sounds if it’s left on for too long, and I sit down in bed, and I tell myself that I am going to do this, that I am going to face my bloggerly self, and I log into my WordPress account for the first time in 2 months.
I see a tiny trophy in the corner of the screen where WordPress tells me how much everyone loves me and wonder what I did to earn it this time. Turns out, it’s the 2-year anniversary of This Very Blog. All of the sudden it became clear, my blog had called me to itself for a purpose. It wanted me to remember its birthday.
Let me take you back, all the way to May 26th, 2011 and the birth of Snotting Black.
I had just graduated from Boston University and was another bleary-eyed, short-snouted, two-toned Boston Terrier entering what I hopefully and unimaginatively called the real world.
I was in the middle of a euphoric semi-relationship that seemed like the most exciting thing that had happened in the course of history, had spent a dreamy weekend with my family in Bar Harbor, Maine, a city so quaint even the squirrels have impeccable manners, and then had flown all the way to Cairo, Egypt, where I was entering a one-year Arabic program to finally become fluent in a language I had studied since I was a senior in high school.
I wrote my first blog post from the airport in Boston and was instantly hooked. Turns out, I loved exhibitionism and making even my most ridiculous thoughts available for the world. I blogged almost every day for a year.
I blogged from the dusty couches and furniture of three different Cairo apartments and one balcony. I wrote about sandwiches and revolutions and expatriates and travel and unicorns and instant coffee as I dealt with the immensity of Cairo and its endless high rise apartments and highways filled with people and as I traveled here and there where I could – Italy, Ethiopia, Turkey. I got out of a relationship and into another one.
The year in Cairo ended. I wasn’t fluent in Arabic and in fact didn’t much care for studying the language anymore. I was ready to go home.
So home I went to Oklahoma, where I co-delivered a knock-out speech at my sister’s wedding, and then moved to San Francisco in order to follow my dreams, which were undefined. Something about writing and performing and being universally loved and known. As the days pass, my blogging dies down. There’s not enough time between relationship, hostessing, babysitting, and job-hunting to keep it going steady.
Then I get a “real job” and time speeds up. I’m busy almost every night, either with improv, which is now a huge part of my life, tech meet-ups, concerts, lectures, or friends. I find it almost impossible to stand still.
I rarely blog, even though I renewed the domain name under snottingblack.com and changed the description a couple of times to try to refocus it. But I don’t know what it’s about, and when I think about blogging I think of sitting on the balcony in Cairo breathing the night air and watching the bats in the trees.
But life goes on: I’ve eaten at over 30 different breakfast places in the Bay Area, ended a relationship, have a hole in my work shoes, and brought my work computer home this past weekend even though I knew I wouldn’t use it.
Two years is not a very long time for a stone or a 30-year old. But it seems like long time for me. Rather, I’m surprised that all those experiences added up to be 2 years. It seemed shorter than that. Am I who I thought I would be two years ago? The older I get, the younger I feel, and the newer the world seems to me. I hope that lasts forever.
I do know that some of the Cairo dust that graced the crevasses of my keyboard in those first months of blogging passion is still jammed in there, and that’s comforting for some reason. Those parts of my life are still around and always will be.
I guess Walt Whitman said it best when he said, “I could talk about myself and my experiences forever.” And that’s why he created blogging.