it’s a big saturday night, 4th of july weekend, the pulse of fireworks exploding outside of my window (although, it’s the 2nd, NOT the 4th, people…). the world is out and about, merry making and carrying on and consuming large amounts of liquor. and why not? it’s a big birthday.
when the u.s.a. had it’s bicentennial, (that’s 1976 for those of you who ditched american history class), i remember being called to duty by my friend kim. big stuff, 200 years old, and we had to go to the village hall to blow up balloons. hopefully, not by draining our lungs, but with one of those creepy clown helium things. that was the same year that all of the fire hydrants in town were painted to resemble the founding fathers. as i said, it was a big deal.
now we’re toasting another birth of our version of freedom, which, as far as i can say, is a pretty fine bit of living. granted, the stores are too big, the billboards too plentiful, cars lacking the right amount of chrome, the road rage building at an alarming rate, and politics? lol, don’t even get me started!
but, it’s the big 4th of july weekend and in-between festive goings on, i’m also hanging around at home doing a bunch of work. tonight finds me wrapping up my day by dealing with writing my blog. i took a sip of courage by pouring myself a lovely glass of mouton cadet, cozied up in bed with my laptop and piping really loud music into my ears (don’t tell my kids). sorry, but i have to drown out those crazy firework boom boom booms to focus. as i’ve said before, writers have it tough: where does this inspiration come from? look at me: turning to liquor and b.j. thomas to get this done. pretty crazy.
so, before i tear off into a fascinating bit of fluff centered around the theme per the above title, i wanted to report that i’m fully aware of how cool this current way of electronic life is. as i was beginning to type away, i remembered that i have to upload an appropriate m. wood illustration to headline this blog. without getting up!
i dug around on my laptop for a good sketch. came up zero. almost uploaded a repeat drawing (not good, no excuse for that, after all, i draw for a living and that seems cheap), and almost uploaded another one of my five million architectural sketches. i couldn’t figure out how to ‘tie’ that in to what i’m going to write about, and then remembered: omg, it’s 2011 and i have all of these neat gadgets!
i grabbed a pen, always sitting on my bedside table, whipped out a sketch, grabbed a few markers and threw in some color, and THEN, (this is so brilliant), i took a photo of it with my iphone, emailed it to myself, (didn’t catch the retro “you’ve got mail!” announcement), opened the email, downloaded the file, cleaned it up on my laptop art program, and just now, uploaded it to this blog. without EVER leaving my cozy bed!
so, now that we’ve established the amazing bits of the hear and now, i will get to the point.
i’m going public. not in the way that linkedin and that fb game company are…this is a much smaller poof to the stratosphere of our crazy information hungry people. no, what i’m about to do is just a blip, but to me, really sort of amazing, exciting and terrifying.
my diary is going online.
now, this isn’t just my diary, as in, current. at this point, let’s say that this blog is kind of a daily reportage of my fascinating life. no, what i’m talking about is that i am going to take every single one of my diaries and transcribe them entirely onto another blog. well, actually, i’ll probably be paying my youngest daughter (fastest typer in the family) to do the work, or at least some of them. whoever and whichever of us is willing, it’s all going to live in the kookie world of the internet.
spare the drum rolls. really, it’s not that big of a deal, so i don’t mean to lead you astray.
starting in 1972, right up to the here and now, the minutia of my daily life as reported earnestly in each journal! can you even imagine the laughs? i mean, just the bit about blowing up the balloons for the bicentennial parade is sure to have top billing from the summer between sophomore and junior year of high school. along with a bunch of crushes on boys (nothing exciting there for the high school years: i couldn’t get a date to save my life!), fascinating details such as picking my dad up at the train station, doing chores during commercials, and intricate reportage about the health of our five dogs will all be in there.
i’ve been thinking about this for a long time. i’m not entirely sure why i’ve kept diaries for so many years (do the math: i’m 51). they’ve come along for the ride, from childhood bedroom (a plot twist to come was the life-changing move from one room to another, overlooking the pool!), to college dorm, back home (couldn’t get a job after college), to all four apartments, houses….i’ve lugged them all and each year the stack grew by one.
i guess they’re a big deal to me, lucky to have fabulous friends throughout my entire life, but let me tell you, the only friend who knows it all, well, is that big fat stack of diaries. purging my angst-filled teen emotions in a ruddy nasty penmanship, launching off to college thinking i was such a know it all, those single years in the city, omg! (that reminds me, i’ve made a note on my new blog splash page that the names will be changed to protect the innocent bystanders of my life, so no one worry or freak out. you are safe.) and then on to marriage, motherhood, divorce, ridiculous adventures after all of that, oh, and then there’s this whole work thing.
look, my mom is an anthropologist. i’m looking at this as a sort of historical, sociological, emotional, cultural dig. i grew up surrounded by curiosity and studying cultures and human behavior…pretty fascinating stuff!
i think i’m the most curious of all. after all, i’ve lived with me every single day of my life, i can’t shake myself! but i don’t think i have a sense of my own evolution. it’s fascinating to think that, by laboriously typing out day after day after day (except for when i skipped) for nearly 40 years of my version of my life, i can see it all in one place.
granted, there are some doozies that i don’t want to read, much less remember or acknowledge. i’m far from perfect. there are a few diaries, i know their covers this moment without blinking, that i’ve avoided re-reading. painful stuff. stupid stuff. or embarrassingly emotive stuff.
now, we all know that i have three children. and i’ve also said that, chances are, they all might help me type this stuff out, or at least, dictate to me while i type! who knows, i haven’t worked out the nuts and bolts yet, and am stalled on my july launch (i love using that word) as i loaned my first diary to my old grade school pal who’s mailing it back to me from wisconsin, and it hasn’t arrived yet. but, back to the kids. you may think: why on earth would i want to share my mistakes with them? why do i want them to see steps in the wrong direction, going back in time, their understanding the consequences already just by living through many of them?
well, i am an open book kind of a mom. i mean, i use discretion and have only let them tinker in my diaries that were written at their same ages (the deal was: don’t make fun of me, and of course, how could they keep that promise? i’m still getting teased about the rock necklace…). i don’t have any purpose for those books. they just sit there. why not share the wealth of my meandering through life, and especially in the painful parts, why not let my kids see? why not teach them to see the big huge scary pot holes, the hazard signs, the jubilant victorious moments, the vulnerability and insecurities i’ve carried with me always? why not let them see that this is just what life is: one day after the next. some better than others, some the kind that you wish you could erase, others the best that life offers?
so, i’ve set the challenge and i’m going to do it, even if i type with my eyes closed, laughing at my total nerdy adolescence, blushing at my first enormous crushes, shuddering at each red flag that i missed. or at least, the me before.
that’s my big question i think: have i always been me?
if you promise not to tease me too mercilessly, i’m inviting you along for the ride. we can figure it out at the same time. oh, and be kind when you see the accompanying music mix, per year, of the soundtrack to my life. it’s way cheesy. i said i was a nerd….
so, coming as soon as the postman delivers #1: