Freddie Mercury is responsible for the contents of this blog.
Well, not Freddie Mercury exactly. I saw the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” recently, and man oh man, Freddie Mercury was such an immense talent. I don’t believe we’ll get a performer of that caliber ever again. But besides that, what really stood out to me while I watched the film was the band’s creative process. Each musician, every single one, had a hand in crafting their iconic music.
It really emphasized to me how much being creative shapes a person. How the process of putting together a project from scratch, tinkering with it until you get it just right, can feel as vital as the oxygen we breathe.
I’d say the same thing about myself when it comes to writing. At least, I’d have said the same thing about myself until approximately seven years ago, when I quit writing my previous blog, Date Me, D.C.! If you’re reading this, that’s probably how you know me. My 15 minutes of Internet fame lasted from 2009-2011, and I wouldn’t change a second of it (of the parts I remember anyway — I spent a pretty good portion of that two-year period drunk off my ass).
In any case, if you’re reading this and you’re familiar with my hazy days of dates, drinks and despair, you’ll know I ended it because I knew I could have a dating blog or a serious relationship, but probably not both. I took that gamble and won — in 2013, I met the love of my life, R, and in 2015, I married him. We bought a house in Northeast D.C., filled it with dogs (it’s a small house so that equals two medium-sized mutts) and spend our days making each other laugh. And we’re happy! Truly, we are. R is as much a part of me as my right arm now. I cannot imagine life without him.
And yet. I had a life before Date Me, D.C.! One where I blogged nearly every single day. For SEVEN YEARS.
I started blogging my freshman year in college, before the word “blog” even existed (back then, we called it a web journal). I wrote about whatever passing fancy I had at the time — mostly stuff going on in my life. When I started going on dates after my second boyfriend broke up with me, it was natural that I’d blog about them too. I’d already had the habit in place.
I never expected those stories to take off like wildfire. But they did. It was the confluence of habit and circumstance — I blogged; the dating honed the topic. The result was some of the most creative days of my life. The constant thrum of rejection from all the dating made it emotionally fraught, no doubt, but the blog filled a need inside me that I couldn’t even put into words. That I got incredible validation from it in the form of all the people who read it made it all the sweeter.
Then I quit. I don’t regret that. But when I quit, I stopped writing altogether. That, I do regret.
I’ve long felt I have a novel inside me somewhere. Have you ever heard of the infinite monkey theorem, where the idea is if you have a bunch of monkeys in a room with typewriters, eventually they’ll type out the complete works of Shakespeare? I blogged for seven years and eventually landed on Date Me, D.C.!; I feel like I just need to keep typing for a while and I’ll eventually land on my next great thing.
So, here I am, in 2018, having just seen a pretty good movie, glass of wine in my hand, Queen’s “Keep Yourself Alive” playing in the background, dogs snoozing on the couch next to me. I don’t quite know where to start — I feel like what makes a good blog is a solid vision, and “I want to write more regularly” to me is not a vision. But that’s where I’m at. Possible topics I’ll cover include how not-well I’m taking getting older, my struggles with infertility, how I never have nor will I ever be truly “cool,” and why the truest sign of being an adult is that you always find ways to bring up your favorite grocery store (ALDI WHAT UP).
All of this is going to be so much goddamn harder this time. So many things are different than when I wrote my first blog in 2002. I’m crushing it at work, for one thing, and when you actually care about your job/put effort into it, you’ve got a lot less gas to run on when you get home at night. I’ve also got an iPhone, which is where creativity goes to die. I have lost countless hours staring into the black hole that is a smartphone screen. And the fact that this iteration of my blog is like its third draft, and for me that’s always been the most difficult draft to write.
But, I think I have to do this. I’ve never been more content than when I’m actively creating something. I need a project. I’ve gone far too long without my oxygen.
Let’s see if this monkey can get to Shakespeare, shall we?
P.S. No, Date Me, D.C.! does not currently exist on the internet anymore. I let the URL lapse because I am a garbage person. As part of this new venture, I intend to archive all the old blog posts on a page here. Stay tuned for that as I figure out how to navigate this new interface. I'm using Wix.com if anyone has any suggestions.