Resolution

There's so much I've managed to not say here over the past few weeks. I've started and stopped my Retrospectively Introspective New Year's post like seven times so far. The long and short of it was that everything I had dreaded on New Year's Eve 2012 hadn't even crossed my mind on New Year's Eve of 2013 until I went and read the former year's post, because (I think) I have finally chosen to walk towards something rather than run from something. The running sure did make my butt look great, but it wasn't so great on the person I was. My butt looks like shit now, but I'm a better person. I am unafraid. I am happy. I am so stupidly in love. I am so stupidly loved in return.  I feel like an adult. The end.

Speaking of feeling like an adult, I got halfway through the 22nd anniversary of the last day I would be my mother's daughter/the first day of the rest of my life before I decided that 21 years had been exactly long enough for me to helicopter-parenting myself, and I just didn't need to check in with me anymore. I am past the drinking age, and have gotten most of my rebellious shenanigans out of my own system. I'm ready to wear sensible foundation garments and have a job to get up for in the morning, you know? It was what it was. I had a mother, I lost her on January 9th, and that was partly my own doing. Bygones and shit, yo.

I didn't write that post, for the first time in the nine years and two days I've been writing this blog.

I just now realized I missed my blog's 9th anniversary. On January 19th, I was staring out over the edge of the world, teaching little girls how to jump over the endlessness of eternity, gently lapping at their ankles, and teaching not so little boys how to make good sand balls and how get seagulls to actually eat the alka-seltzer. (They didn't.) (Yet.) It was lovely. I can't think of a single better way to ring in the birth of the thing that I couldn't have known would eventually lead me to this life on this coast with these people -- even if it was a completely unintentional celebration.

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Every January, I mark my own death and subsequent rebirth. I mark beginnings, I mark ends. I used to wallow in the ending and dread the beginning, and now I am in this new space where I can see them both right there in front of me, I can regard them, I can even be grateful for them, but I don't need them to hold me up anymore. I have new bookends in the story of my life; arms wrapped around me, binding the pages of my life together into something that makes sense, has an arc, and resolves.

Write

I got this text message today from my friend and great mentor:

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Sigh. 

I was telling Jim last night in bed that I actually miss blogging, it's been so long. Of course, I followed that up this morning with reading all of ShitFoodBlogger's tweets to him. Yes, I'm aware I'm doing Bedtime with Busydad wrong. 

The best I've got right now is that I heard this NPR piece about memory yesterday (or maybe it was the Christian radio station. They're always tricking me into listening to their shows, with their nearly-secular news bits and catchy and slightly emo pop Jesus rock) and it made me realize that I need an actual doctor/scientist/expert to explain to me why it is that I can't remember how many years I've been alive or the names of the three people who dug their way out of my Holiest of Holies, but I can right now without even THINKING about it recite the name of each book of the Old Testament to you, in order, or all the words to Cool It Now (even the raps, yo), or the entire 1988 McDonald's menu song (now in two breaths; getting old is hard). 

Audre Lorde says that everything can be used, except what is wasteful, and I suppose I'm still young enough that I haven't yet had to figure out how I'm going to need the lyrics to New Edition songs, but old enough to know that being able to recite all the books of the Old Testament out loud in order may just come in handy sooner than I'd care to admit. (I never did get my free McDLT for singing the whole damn menu song, though. I think I'll write a letter. I hope that counts, Deb.) 

What I do know, however, is that I can't start sentence with But anymore, which makes blogging quite challenging, and also that everything has changed so much since the last time I really, truly *wrote* on this blog that I don't even know where to start with it all. Our memories are terribly and hilariously subjective; each shift of angle, of experience, of perception changes them with radical unpredictability. I believe that you have to write what you know, and what I've always know is this pile of remembered shit I've drug around with me like the most unwilling sort of companion. 

I know it because I haven't been willing to let myself know much else. My husband gave me nearly nothing, and I held on to that almost-void with all the strength I had. But now (that was hard, but I did it) I'm one four-hour online parenting class away from not being married to him any longer, and I'm okay with that. Somewhere in this down/quiet-time I've found my peace with him, with all of it, and let go of that wonderfully familiar nothing I've been clinging to. 

I don't need nothing anymore.

I don't even want it.

That's a pretty big deal, for me. 

I have all these posts in draft - stories of this new life that we're building, new memories we're making in a new place with new people where the slate is clean for all of us, where we can decide what we want to be now, where we are equally as excited and terrified of the possibilities laid out before. It's hard to write it out, largely because I don't know a single thing about it yet...but I want to. 

I heard Jim say to one of his clients the other day (and I'm paraphrasing) that what bloggers have that no other form of media has is emotional attachment; our readers are a part of our narrative, they are invested in the stories of our lives. I remember what that was like, feeling like my story mattered to more than just me. I'm going to try to start writing this new story, with these new players, in this new place that I don't know, but I'm excited to discover.

Ancient Chinese Secret

I've found the solution to the work/life-slash-life/blog balance issues everyone is trying to figure out. Ready? The answer is simply this - don't update your blog. 

*** 

I got sick three and a half weeks ago, one day after Jim got sick, and up until this Monday, we were both more or less useless. I couldn't stay awake for more than 30 minutes and he was coughing so hard for so long that I started to smell his clothes for meth. I feel as though three solid weeks without a moment of rest from illness is unreasonable really, especially when it hits both of the adults in the house at the same time but leaves the children more or less unscathed. I'm pretty sure this virus we have is the reincarnation of Mao, doing his best to knock off the remaining adult intellectuals so he can take over the world. 

Or, you know, it's the 2013 version of Bruce Lee's samurai demon coming to take our asses down because Jim keeps telling his gwai lo girlfriend all the ancient Chinese secrets.

Secrets like this one.  

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You think you know ramen, but you don't know ramen. THAT is ramen. That is ramen with chunks of vegetables in it, ramen that burns when you eat it because you aren't supposed to know about this ramen. You're supposed to be eating the ramen you bought in the styrofoam cup at Wawa. This ramen is secret. It's sacred. (It's Korean.) It's amazing. It's like two dollah or something at Ranch 99. 

It's also the only thing that will make you feel better when you contract a raging sinus infection three short days after the 3 1/2 week pox was lifted off of your house, and I'm pretty sure now you have to tell someone about it or a creepy little girl will melt your face off in seven days. (Wait. that's Japanese. Shit.)