Here we go again.
A confluence of minor life events—a card we sent out, a drunken email I wrote to a popular website, the launching of a new happiness project—led to the unbearable, inevitable sentiment that I have to start doing this again. I want to start doing this again.
Our fabulous photographer took these moody photos, and I sat with them a while, annoyed at my kids' unwillingness to participate in the shoot the way I wanted them to (meaning not grouchily), but impressed with the resultant very particular November-2020-moodiness, and it hit me that the angst I felt the day of the photos was the angst of the card I had to send. The angst and the celebration. The moodiness. The beauty of a terrifically f*$ked-up year.
So I did what I always do in such situations: I drank a margarita. And I wrote. And over several nights I drank margaritas in front of the fire and toyed with layouts and pared down my words (there were so many words at the beginning!). And I spent so much money and sent out all these cards and I'll be damned if we didn't get a swift and life-affirming response. If we don't continue to get that response.
We have literally opened doors and launched businesses (well, business) based on the act of reaching out that that card represented. We had video calls with folks we haven't seen in seven years. We've gotten messages, emails, letters in response. We've gotten real with folks—family, friends, clients—in ways that probably wouldn't have happened without that opening gambit. (Loved that show, by the way.)
A little vulnerability, a little honesty, go a long way.
Another winter fireside margarita night ended in me responding to an email newsletter from a popular online community. A few days later, having completely forgotten (!!) that I'd drunkenly sent those words, I got an email from an editor...and then another editor...and then a notification that my response was being put into the world. Largely.
It was put into the world, and there was a lovely, humbling, tear-inducing response, and then it sort of hit me: I have something to say about my iteration of the human experience that resonates with other humans. Some ability to articulate it, or all these shades of grey that comprise my reality, that is worth sharing— or maybe just that I shouldn't hide.
(Too, I'm doing another happiness project this year, led by Gretchen Rubin herself, and the first months have been eye-opening and revelatory and my reappearance here comes from that, too—but you'll get plenty of that later.)
Or maybe just this: after all these months (a year's worth of months!) of quarantining, I need people. I need to connect to people. I need to talk to people, to feel people, to laugh with people, to hear people, to feel myself a part of a beloved community. And years ago, I made one. This one. Here it is. Here I am.
I'm back. Will you join me?
PS: I'm aiming for a weekly posting regimen, but it remains true that I have a full-time job (ha!), three young children (two of whom are home ALL DAY EVERY DAY), and now two kittens, so please have patience with me, and feel free to send gentle encouragement anytime. It's likely that my posting will be sporadic, but know that I'm aching to get back to this space in a meaningful way.
Pics by: Behzad Ghaffarian on Unsplash; family photos by Mayumi Trinidad; photos of photos by me.
J in Åkersberga
So excited to see you back! I've missed your writing!
Thank you, lady! I've missed this space, but it's just so hard to get to it in light of...life. But I miss this little community, so I'll keep trying.