Don’t start. I know. Long time, no posting.
There will be regular recipe stuff coming up soon, I promise.
The New Year is kind of like a blank page. You have a whole year to fill in, achieve things in, get things done. We set goals, reminders, fill in our calendar and tell ourselves “This year, things will be different”
They probably won’t. We all know that, too. But we keep trying. I kind of love that.
This year, as every year since I started blogging, I am going to try and blog more. I have been a little bit mad in the kitchen lately – everyone’s Christmas presents were handmade apart from the kids – and my excellent father buying me a breadmaker! That you can also make jam in! has not helped.
Rediscovering Vanilla Garlic has not helped. Discovering Cheese making recipes I can do at home without special equipment definitely hasn’t helped. Every minute I am at the computer I am full of all these new ideas.
I am starting a Bachelor of Business next month as well. I am chock full of all these THINGS I MUST DO, all these plans. I am filling up the calender, determined to see more people instead of being the hermit I was last year. I will clean out the spare room (which frankly is a disgrace). I will print off the photos from the disposable cameras we had on the tables for the wedding.
I will send my aunt the photo album I have put together for her. Really, I will.
I will also be writing more, here and elsewhere. THAT I promise myself. Even if I never hit publish, even if I send things off and nothing becomes of them, I will write more. I wrote something just before Christmas in about twenty minutes (The time it take to bake a batch of Parmesan Cheese biscuits, so technically 18 minutes), and I was thrilled with it. Not in a “Wow that’s a great piece” boasty way, but I felt about eight hundred times lighter getting the words out of my head. It was cathartic. I’d forgotten what that was like. Eighteen minutes to write something I barely needed to edit to be happy with, because I meant it. Because I lost myself in the clack of the keys, in the words tumbling from me.
There’s a Semisonic song called “This will be my Year” that always comes to mind when people get so excited about the turn of the calender to a New Year. We do not magically become different people when the clock strikes midnight. It is, after all, just the passage of time. There’s nothing mysterious about that. But with the passage of time and our relentless need to mark it comes the occasional focal point. I am using the barrage of New Year blog posts showing up in my reader, combined with the Pomodoro thing Jason Wilson has got going as one of mine.
I have been stymied the last ten years. The last four, I have realised it but not done much about it. Some of that is that I have been more content than ever. More happy than ever, and there has been more doubt, heartache and unadulterated joy in my heart. Happiness and sadness are time consuming. Before that, I lived in a kind of holding pattern. I lived by the calender. I filled my days and nights with ways to forget that apart from my family and my shrinking circle of friends, I had very little in my life. And it was entirely self-imposed. I felt stupid and guilty and ashamed of things I had done in the preceding years, and I cut people and projects off and out of my life so I wouldn’t have to face reminders of how badly I had behaved. How little of my potential I was living up to, and how powerless I felt to change that. I had stopped living that life probably four years ago, but I had not let go of it, because I couldn’t without letting go of all the walls I had built to hide it. A few Friends From the Internet helped, but I was still so unwilling to be completely myself in case I was found as wanting by others as I was by myself.
That changed when I met Jeremy.
Jeremy is a lot of things to a lot of people. All of them very different, not all of them positive. He is an acquired taste. There are people who adore him because they get him, and the things that annoy the living shit out of some people are kind of endearing to others. One thing he does to nearly everyone he meets is make them think. Because he pushes, and argues, and thinks out loud. He never stops, he is this bundle of energy and life and words and ideas and sometimes that is exhausting. A dear friend of ours summed it up in a way I hadn’t thought of before that was so utterly perfect. Jeremy has no internal dialogue. He lives his life and his thoughts so bare to the world. The way he draws the line between what he makes public and what he doesn’t actually impresses me, because he leaves nothing essential – nothing truly personal – out. It’s all there.
I have been living the opposite for so long. I will not talk about something that means anything to me until I have what I’ve come to call The Narrative down. The Narrative is how I present whatever the issue is to the world. The Spin, if I’m honest. And I’ve realised I very rarely am. I’m not deceptive – I don’t lie – (anymore), but I rarely give anyone the full picture. People get parts of how I feel. Some people get the cheery parts, and some people get the gloomy parts, depending on how they respond to me. I think maybe three people get the full picture. Jeremy, my father and my stepmother. They are the three people who deserve – and will accept – no less. And the last two have only really been let in since I met Jeremy. Which isn’t really fair to anyone, least of all me.
I am going to take Jeremy’s example, and live a bit more in the world, and not as if I am on a stage, performing like a monkey. If for no other reason than I am frankly exhausted by the constant struggle to get how I am feeling into The Narrative. Unlike Jeremy, I have always posted personal. I’ve copped it for that, and I railed against that for a long time. But you know what? It’s probably fair enough. If I put it out there, it’s public and people can respond as they will. I am done living for what other people think, and pretending – most of all to myself – that I do not.
Come at me, 2012.