Sunday, September 25, 2011

today is ashley's birthday

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Well actually, last week. My birthday was last week + a few more days before that. So maybe it's odd to point out my own birthday, especially as it is belated, but I have been thinking a lot in my recent bloggy silence, and most of that thought has to do with the dates on the calendar, and the age that I've just become, and the days that made this year up - and at the end of that: who I am because of it.

As I counted the days of 2011, I realized that I could tell you about this year with wholehearted sarcasm, if I wanted to. In fact, just this morning my pillow and I constructed a lengthy blog post about the ironic bitch 2011 has been. But I decided that classy women don't swear in public, and they certainly don't complain at length, so I am biting my tongue and eating my repressed feelings in the form of Cheesies and ice cream cake (though, not together). Oh, I am also not writing. You may have noticed. If you didn't notice, don't tell me; 2011 also deconstructed a lot of things and I will joke about you in public to make myself feel better.

Anyway.

This birthday marks a decade - and in that, a decade of endless decision that I'm going to write books; that my voice will matter and that this world will unfold for me and my pen like a willing oyster filled with open doors. I imagined that I would feel accomplished in my own right by now, or at least have a morsel of my proverbial shit together. Instead what I've encountered is writers block, blank pages, stupid boyfriends, stagnant ideas, and bad advice. I don't know how to stop tripping, or being alarmed by the fact that I trip, or being shocked that the general public are excited to walk on doormats.

I don't know how to write about life when it's inmyface; I don't know how to not write about myself. Poor phrasing, I suppose, as all writers write from their own perspective. But I have left behind the desire to share my thoughts with the world. At least, for now. The reality of the decade is looming, in more ways than one. I am feeling the need to withdraw to a place devoid of public scrutiny. Maybe then I won't get random text messages telling me I talk about ________ (insert topic) too much and must be a desperately sad person, or emails that spell out certain Bible passages at length, or a growing list of advisers giving advice on things they were neither invited nor qualified to give. Maybe people will stop reminding me of all the ways I am not meeting the status quo. My biggest hope, even more than those, is that I will figure out a way to stop caring so much that these people exist at all; that they see what I put out there and define me first, without bothering to know. I need to figure out a way to stop caring.

Luckily for me, New Year's comes in September; when the leaves change, when the air gets crisp, when my life gets a little older. In so many ways, my birthday this year was a needed catapult to changing winds. I am ready to shed this decade and start a new one; I am ready to leave these past few years on the pinboard of "times I pulled the short straw". And until I can write about something good, I won't be writing. I have made myself into someone that cares what people think and the wrong people know it. I accommodate beligerance on my behalf, absorb rudeness, and tie my responsive mouth shut.

I don't want to write because I don't want to give myself out like that anymore; at least until I know where the boundaries are, so I can tell people to fuck off if they're getting too close, because I don't know how.

Oops. There goes my class.


Maybe this is the good thing about the decade mark: it's time to do a little housekeeping, define myself for a change; take my heart off the dartboard. Happy birthday to me.

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