If I know anything now, it’s that everyone has been emotionally cheese grated. You included. I think that’s what bonds us.
…unless there is a pandemic, then ammo and sourdough starters bond us.
Experiencing real grief for the first time was my most recent of these experiences. Very poetically speaking, grief is life’s real double barrel can of whoop ass. Deeply mourning a loss is complex, disorienting, never linear, and two surprisingly twofold: there’s the mourning of the actual loss itself, and additionally, the loss of your own “old life.” It’s this lingering thing, trying to accept a new norm while aching to go back in time…prior to a diagnosis, painful knowledge, a death, a massive change. Lingering the way glass shards linger in a shattered window pane. They fall out unexpectedly-sometimes they just prick you, sometimes they bleed, sometimes they knock you off your feet for days.
There was this week, back in May. It was a gut wrenching one, but there’s always, always something golden to come when the refiner’s fire is burning, and in this particular case, it was the revival of Fluent in Blonde after three years of nothing-ness.
That week, I was attending to a long-avoided, bumpy item of business that marked the “old life” end. I’m not a crier, but I sat in a company’s large commercial building and quietly let tears roll into my mask. Uncharacteristically, and possibly for the first time in my life, I didn’t stop them. I didn’t wipe them, I didn’t make a joke about it to lighten the moment, I didn’t have to smile them away with a mask on, and I didn’t, “No, no, it’s fine!” them, either. I just sat, expressionless, with tears streaming and mask soaking.
After a man sympathetically helped me finish some paperwork, I stood outside and let the 100 degree wind dry my face without taking my damp mask off while dozens of people hurried in and out of the building.
I just stood there. Probably twenty minutes of standing next to an ash tray by a tree. I’m sure I was evaluated by some sort of security camera, looking suspicious. Holding a purse my graffiti artist daughter had scribbled all over didn’t help.
I had a good cry and a good stand, and maybe a slight out of body experience with an ariel view of the current state of my life. Maybe that’s just what happens when you’re close to heat stroke, but I was surprised- I felt relief. I felt a weight lifted that the events of the week were finally over, and I was still standing.
Next to some dude vaping, but still.
My scribble purse and I were ready to tap back into life.
Top of that priority list? Make sure I can provide a good life for my kids. There has been so much uncertainty the last couple of years, with an unemployed-during-a-pandemic cherry on top.
How was I going achieve this?
The entire drive home, I thought about it Fluent in Blonde, this blog I’ve had for almost ten years that’s been dark for the last few. I thought about how I’d already boarded up my windows years ago and been overwhelmed by the unexpectedly large readership Fluent in Blonde had amassed, particularly during a time I’d just wanted to hide from the world. How sifting through old posts felt like reading a dead person’s journal…this other girl living the “old life,” who was absolutely enamored with young motherhood, so in love with her family, jealous of the life I no longer live. I thought about how 8 years worth of posts had already been deleted. Coding, gone. Web design, gone. Graphics and media, all gone. I thought about how my babies are so much older.
I thought of my angel friends and angel parents. Real angels, truly. Not just their kindness, but the burden and load they taken on. They’ve volunteered to make their lives a little trickier or uncomfortable, taking my kids, making sure we’re all where he need to be, driving MY babysitters to my house. Making sure we have needs met, laundry done, and even Christmas gifts wrapped.
Those friends and family members are the only reason we floated through a dark couple of years.
I also felt hungry for the first time in a long time.
I thought about the area of town I was driving though. Every city has one-the rough area of town with hole in the wall restaurants that are either incredible, or you might die eating there. You know? Blow your mind or blow up your stomach. There’s no in between.
Like taqueria roulette.
I would have rolled the dice if I’d had my babysitter another thirty minutes.
So, I kept going.
Were there any other possible talents I could consider before I jump into a Fluent in Blonde resurrection? Is this what I wanted again? Vulnerability right as I’d got my feet under me? Any other alternate passion or talent that I could monetize that I’d consider first?
I don’t know that I have many talents, which was confirmed when my mom told me years ago that my talent was being a good listener. That’s a real grasping-at-straws filler “talent” if it’s one of the five senses you inherited in utero.
If you ask ME about my best skills, I’d say I’ve become fantastically talented at having full conversations in some sort of inception-derivative of English, a sentence inside a sentence. It’s actually my main form of communication with my friends when we’re out with our kids.
“I don’t think I can ARE YOU BLEEDING? YOU’RE FINE watch The Bachelor without Chris Harrison. Let’s YUCKY still watch it at the same time DON’T PUT THAT RAISIN IN YOUR EAR on Monday to see who the new host is WAIT, WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE RAISINS? THOSE AREN’T OURS and I’ll bring some Trader Joe’s treats.”
I’ve yet to find a way to make that profitable or come up with a pitch to Rosetta Stone, so here we are.
So, we’re in. We’re doing it. I’m even facing my ever-relentless complex about posting a couple photos of myself. This mama’s got to make a side hustle happen for my kids, so IT ME.
Fluent in Blonde. Welcome back.
Special thank you to a whole team of people got me up and going, with a big push forward. Thank you to extremely overqualified Eric Cannon for spending a month of multiple location shoots for my video header, and a half dozen people working on the beast of coding that was to implement across all platforms, with Crew Spencer coming in as my coding hero. Stephanie Barrett whipped out flawless photography for me with crazy fast turnaround, as always. Please know that I’m Catfishing you with these photos. Chelsea Allred is my hair color magician, and Chelsea Logeman is my extension magician, because, Catfishing.