I spent last night contemplating some news (which I have yet to process fully), and realizing that I felt like I didn't have anywhere to put the things I was thinking. Rob had listened to as much as he could stand, his head already tired and full of job-application thoughts. I thought about calling friends, my best friend (Miami is too far away!), my mother. I contemplated putting up a new thread on one of the few message boards I sometimes visit. And then I remembered my blog.
Why did I start blogging in the first place? To keep track of my thoughts, mostly. When I was a new bride living in a new city with a new beginning to navigate, I created Urban Child Bride (dollybird.typepad.com, now retired). Hipster replacement was the tagline, as it summed up my ramblings about transitioning from life as a Victorian-literature-critiquing college student and aspiring art filmmaker to that of a (mostly-)city-dwelling wife and aspiring mother. But the topic proved too far-reaching: with that much freedom, I could write about anything. And so naturally, I found myself writing about nothing.
Baby in Broad bundled all of that wife-and-mother stuff under a more specific set of parameters: a thesis. I had this new-identity thing pegged. And yet, writing still proved difficult. I heard myself yammering on on a single topic, and promptly got sick of myself. What was the point of blogging if I was going to annoy myself while doing it?
What it took me several months of not blogging to realize is that the minute I try to categorize myself - my voice - I lose the ability to express it. Labels and theses are useful, but imposing them on oneself leads to trouble. Squeezing oneself into a role is about as useful as trying to wear a dress three sizes too small. The exercise itself suggests that the role is what's important, what's right, and that if it feels like it doesn't fit, we must change ourselves. Where did this giant tablet of bullshit come from, and how did I not notice it mixed into my chocolate pudding?
Over the past 5 months I have realized a number of things, some of which should have sunk in long ago - chief among them that there is no right way to be. There is certainly no right way to be me in my life. A dress is much more flattering when custom-made to a person's measurements. So I have dusted off my blog. I spent some time cleaning it up, and I posted a few things that had been held in Draft status for months on end. Beginning anew.
I think that people resort to quoting the dictionary when they feel that they lack the words to match the significance of their thoughts. "The American Heritage Dictionary defines love as..." Still, I believe in reminding ourselves of the meanings of words. Anew. "Anew" can mean "once more," which suggests precise repetition, an exact copy. But it can also mean "in a new form or manner." The same story, told anew, draws inspiration from its previous telling but is, nevertheless, distinct.
I am 20 weeks pregnant. And bewildered. Life - my life - beginning anew.