When I was at university some friends and I started blogs, in between updating our Friendster profiles and listening to the Velvet Underground. I posted sporadically for a few months then lost interest. The same inauspicious ending happened in 2006 to the travel blog designed to chronicle my working holiday in Australia. I quickly realised I would rather spend my hard earned dollars on Jack Daniels’ premix cans than exorbitant internet cafe charges, and soon became occupied with other stuff anyway, like meeting my husband and deciding not to return home. What can I say? I’ve always been a writer, but never a diarist. So what is different now?
Well, first of all, I’m now a parent. A big caveat here – after over 5 years of struggling with infertility and being well down the path of accepting childfree life when my daughter made her presence known, I harbour no illusions that this gives what I have to say any more importance than anyone else, despite that hereafter I will be referred to on the news as ‘a mother of one’ rather than merely ‘an (insert place of residence here) woman.’ (This used to make me crazy, and kinda still does, but I digress…) Rather, in the context of blogging, my successful procreation is important because it means I do not have to attend my place of paid employment for the better part of the next year.
I write a lot for my job. It’s generally dry and technical and more often than not it saps my brainpower and makes me want to do pretty much anything else than sit at a computer when I get home. With the sudden absence of the requirement to write about work stuff, I find myself hankering to string words together – in the small hours of the morning, typing with one hand while my daughter drinks her ‘boob food,’ in the mid-afternoon with the baby monitor next to me, hoping that after the 52nd time of soothing she will nap for more than one sleep cycle (only
45 20 minutes, who knew?)
And I guess this segues into the second reason why I’m now dipping my toes into the world of online introspection. I want to say something. Not because I have Something To Say (I’m not a narcissist), but because I’ve always loved wrangling words and constructing sentences and it’s the closest to art I can come as someone who is tone deaf and pretty useless with my hands. (Just ask my mum about whether I can cut in a straight line, or don’t bother, the answer is no and is the source of continued disappointment). I have a lovely life, but it is missing a creative element and the older I get the more I realise that I’m not really ‘me’ when I’m not creating something. I don’t want to die with my art still inside me, and what resonates with me right now is the art of exploring everyday life.
Putting something out there feels vulnerable and scary as hell, so if Brene Brown and a thousand affirmations on my Instagram feed are to be believed, that means I should definitely do it. Giddyup.