Sometimes as a creative, you find yourself taking a step back and re-assessing your evolution from where you started to where you are today. I remember a time when blogs usually meant an online journal of some sort. A place where you could share your life with others even outside of the beginning social media outlets like MySpace and LiveJournal. And then somewhere along the road, blogs evolved. Blogs became synonymous not with lives and truths, but with content and facts. And then they became bombarded with ads and websites changed drastically. Gone are the days of fan websites, now replaced with fan wikis (which are not as cool, in my opinion). If you want to share your life, look to social media. But things on social media are done to perfection. Everything is always nice and neat and staged; a once messy desk is cleaned off for a photo on Instagram; a messy room is cleaned for a quick FaceBook livestream.
I deleted my original blog back in 2010 and replaced it with a more sleek, professional author website and I told myself that I needed to present myself as a far more mature adult than I was at the time. I struggled with posts. I was never quite sure what to write about, how much I should share, what would bore people, what do people want to know about a person who is starting her author journey and still not quite sure with herself? I hid a lot of aspects of myself on this blog that I wouldn’t have hid if it weren’t an author blog. Even on social media, I thought I needed to sound like a person of authority, not some nerd who wants to talk about the latest superhero movie and window shops for retro-looking clothes.
In the beginning of 2017, I wrote a post about returning back to my author journey after spending three years as a publisher. But life happened, and I never did get around to doing that properly. But I did create a cohesive look and freshened my website a bit to reflect that. I also decided that if I was going to re-start my author journey, I should begin by deleting all of my entries from my previous author journey.
And so I did. And that was a bit scary! But also, refreshing. I thought previous me was kinda scattered. I was feeling my way through everything. This new blog won’t be so scattered (I have a list of topics I’d like to stick to and not veer from, no matter what) and I want to start telling my truths a bit more, in whatever outlet that ends up taking. Like on Instagram the other day, I posted a picture of my desk, despite the mess it’s in.
So what can you expect in the future? I’m not sure quite yet. I’d like to post some free flash fiction sometimes a bit more. Maybe post some writing tips and some creative lifestyle things. But it won’t be as scattered as last time. But I’d definitely like to return back to the blogging of my teenage years. I’d like to invite you more into my life.
My first blog post as an author was on December 23, 2010. I gushed about Tangled and my new dog that we had rescued from the pound. So I think it’s appropriate, seven years later and beginning again on the next phase of my author journey, that I bring her up again. She was a boxer with kennel cough, who, if we hadn’t come along, probably would have had her life cut short because she wouldn’t have gotten better being isolated in an outdoor kennel in the middle of a cold winter. We had never rescued a dog before. We had heard horror stories. I can’t remember why we decided to rescue a dog for Christmas that year. I just remember that we did and she ended up being the sweetest dog we’ve ever had. She had a calm disposition about her that immediately put you at ease. The only story of her past we knew for sure was that the warden had found her along a highway and she had been nicknamed after that highway by the people at the pound. She had separation anxiety. The first time we left her completely alone (even though she had another dog for company) was on Christmas, and we came back to a surprise. We weren’t sure she was going to be a good match for us. But we decided to really try and see. And it didn’t take long for her to realize that we wouldn’t abandon her. Ever.
Unfortunately, her life ended four months ago to this day. She ended up with an aggressive lymphoma that took her from us way too soon. The vet told us she would begin to have good days and bad days. And then she would end up with more bad days than good. For us, it wasn’t entirely like that. It was a moment by moment thing. One hour she would be great! The next hour, not so much. We weren’t sure how to determine a “good” day versus a “bad” day. Count up each good and bad moment in one 24-hour period and then say it was good if there were more good moments than bad? The lymph nodes in her neck grew larger by the day and at times it would cause her to breathe heavier. She grew more tired, but maybe it was because she loved us so much and knew we didn’t want her to leave that she kept fighting for us. During her last couple of weeks with us, she would manage to scrape up the very last of her energy reserves to bound in and act young again just to put a smile on our faces and assure us that everything would be all right. And in the course of just one month, we watched as the lymphoma made our middle-aged dog age drastically. By the end, she looked far older than just 7.
And even up until the end, it was she who was comforting us. Maybe she was telling us It’s okay. Thank you.
You never know how much of your house a pet takes up until they’re gone. Even though she was the calmest (and quietest) of the dogs we had, she left a huge gaping emptiness and silence. Our other boxer, Loki, who had grown up with her has been detached and somber. The only thing more heartbreaking than losing a dog is watching your other dog’s heart break at the sudden disappearance of his companion and you can’t quite explain why she’s suddenly not there. He realized she’s never coming back and his puppy-ish behavior has been zapped. He’s more mature now. The stress of losing his “sister” has been hard on him and he’s aged considerably from it. Gone are the days of him being mischievous all the time. Sometimes, you can find him laying on the couch alone, looking as if he’s about to cry. And I tell him, “I know how you feel, buddy.”
Grief is an odd thing. It affects people so differently. Some of us jumped right over denial and anger and went straight to bargaining. I stayed in anger for a long time.
One of these days, I’ll fully accept what has happened. But today, I ate a chocolate chip cookie (that story is for another day) and cried.