It’s been ten days since I posted. I don’t generally stay away that long. I’m in the middle of a very busy month, and I’m creating a lot of new content for school, which means my time on the elliptical, which is usually where I write my posts, has been spent writing stories in Spanish about Day of the Dead for 6th graders, or emailing parent volunteers about when and where to pick up the supplies to make sugar skulls, or working on the schedule for the big festival I’m organizing at the end of the month. My late afternoons are spent illustrating my stories, because I still have plans to sell this chapter next year, and I need my own illustrations if I’m going to do that.
It’s actually been, dare I say it, kind of fun.
I’m enjoying drawing again. It’s been a long, long time. And I’m getting my writing fix with my mornings pages, where I’m working through some stuff that I’m not quite ready to bring here (I’m sure it will end up here eventually), don’t you worry.
But I think about this space a lot. Maybe because I’ve been away from it. I missed my blogoversary this fall, in early September. I’ve been writing now for seven years. Seems hard to believe. And the fact that those words are all still up somewhere, for anyone to see. That seems even weirder.
So much has changed since I started writing. I’ve been thinking a lot about what brought me to this space so long ago. The wave of light was Saturday. I didn’t have a candle to light. That loss feels far away these days, but it’s still very much a part of me. Reading the posts about pregnancy and infant loss and remembering, I spent an hour or so ruminating over the fact that if it weren’t for my own loss I probably never would have started writing. Something was born of that tragedy; it wasn’t a baby, but it was a sort of a child, that I have nurtured and watched grow over the past seven years. It may not be a product of my DNA, but it’s made of me.
I think a lot about the people that I met through my writing. Many of them I’m still close to, despite my escape from social media, but I’ve lost touch with a large number of them. I miss them. I wonder. How are they doing? How are their kids? It seems strange to think of people I’ve never met this way, but that was the magic of those early years of writing. It felt like we were all in a community, together. A cohort of sorts. We were always scattered, but it didn’t feel that way when our online spaces were so easy to get to. Now most of those spaces have been abandoned. The writers have moved on.
I never consider moving on. Not really. Writing here is too important to me. Even though I’m not sure what direction this space will take, or what words will find their way on to its page, I know I’ll keep writing. It’s not a record of my life, really, since I don’t feel comfortable writing as much about my kids or my marriage anymore. But it is a record of something. Me, I suppose? The me that’s left when you strip everything else away.
Sometimes she’s hard to find, that just me. My days are so tightly woven with the needs of my children, the commitment to my husband, the hopes for my students, the inside jokes with my friends. Maybe this space is so important to me because it reminds me of who I am, when all of the rest of it falls away, and I can just be.
My period is about to arrive and my breasts have been exquisitely tender. The kind of tender that used to convince me that surely, this cycle is the one, surely this time I’m pregnant. I brushed my arm against my chest yesterday and the feeling took me back so fast I literally stopped in my tracks. Just stood, there, frozen in the middle of the parking lot at work, totally submerged in the memories of that time. It was so all consuming, the quest to get pregnant and the ectopic pregnancy, that it left a space inside me that I can still fall into. It’s more vivid and well defined than any space before or since, more so than high school or college, or early parenthood. It left a microcosm of desperation, fear, confusion, despair, frustration and hope, and if something pulls me into that space, it’s like I’m there again, back when everything was about that. Everything.
Now my life is so full of so many things. Now my biggest challenge is integrating all these divergent parts of myself into something whole, something that I recognize as myself. Perhaps that is why I keep coming here, to aid in the integration. To talk through the more challenging aspects, to figure out who I am, and who I want to be.
And surely, that is why I’ll keep writing.