There’s nothing like a full failure of technology to make you sit back and think. In mid-July, while attempting—and failing—to relax on vacation, all of my domains experienced a catastrophic failure. I lost everything. Every story, every photo, every plugin, every piece of hand-coded HTML, and all the settings for our email addresses went up in a virtual cloud of smoke. I got the email up and running and thought I would piece together some writings from my saved archives when I got home.
And then I didn’t.
Let me state, first and foremost, that I don’t regret having written anything I’ve written over the past 21 years of sharing my words online. I spent all of my twenties and the majority of my thirties sharing stories, opinions, hopes, fears, and more with my online audience. Five years ago, I took a step back and began rethinking what and why I shared what I did. Four years ago, I plunged into a deep silence from which I’m just now emerging.
I’ve learned a lot in the past four years. I’ve learned that grief will permeate absolutely every area of your life, and if you don’t deal with it in a healthy manner, it will try to kill you, too. I’ve learned that line between sharing my story and oversharing others’ stories can blur beyond recognition; I’ve also learned some stories need to be told anyway. I’ve learned that if you don’t take a break to truly rest, your body will sit you down and demand that rest. And also: how to let go, again and again and again and again; the joy of simply being with your people in your space doing the things you love or even nothing at all; the importance of asking for help; boundaries; the beauty of rediscovering reading just to read; how to break through years of diet culture and accept my body as it is today; and more.
Stop, Drop, and Blog served a very important purpose from my mid-twenties through my mid-thirties. It was a place to record my thoughts, experiences, opinions, photos, and more. The site brought me so many friends as well as financial gain, a number of professional writing jobs, and some awards over the years. Its sister, The Chronicles of Munchkin Land, let me work through some adoption issues until the line became too foggy between what issues belonged to me and what stories belonged to my daughter. Both sites saved me many times over. I wrote on Medium for a minute or two. It also served a purpose and bought me, in total, three cups of expensive coffee.
And here we are.
I always used this site as my resume, nothing more. Now it will become whatever it will become. I didn’t sort through my old writings and add my favorite essays here. So yes, that means that my award-winning pieces no longer exist on the Internet. It’s almost like the early days of blogging when I went anonymous until I couldn’t any more. Except, you know, this one is tied to my name. I don’t feel the need to hide; my stories are what my stories are.
I am not a perfect mother or wife, writer or friend, coach or daughter. I feel passionate about a number of things, but I also don’t have the time or energy to devote to arguing on the Internet about said passions. I am simply a woman in my forties, awash in years and years of compounding grief, trying to figure out what my story means, what it will be in the end.
I am here.