Posts Tagged ‘new’

I wrote my first post here on October 19th, 2009 — “Dreams”. Seems like an unusual amount of chaos and disconnect and friendship and love and loss and complete and ultimate connectivity has taken place in the year since I hit the publish button for the first time.

I remember sitting, trance-like, at my dining room table looking obsessively at the blog stats — it reached 27 that day. I was completely blown away.¬†Twenty-seven people who I didn’t have to force to sit down beside me and look at my blog had read something I wrote. Someone even commented (okay, so it was my niece but I didn’t force her to do it — not really). Many things have changed since that day a year ago — many things have rocked my corner of the internet, my little corner of the universe.

I’m not one of those people who says, “I’d do it all over again and not change a thing”, I would change many things. I envy those who can look back on a year of their life and not cringe and wish for a do-over — isn’t that what learning and evolving is all about? Don’t we all have moments we wish never happened?

I also look back on this year and think about some of the truly beautiful people I have come to know and the truly beautiful experiences I have been a part of. There was dinner get togethers and lunches out. There was dancing at concerts and talks in coffee houses. There was discussions of books and laughter at movies. There were new people discovered and old friends found. There was a calm peace, a deep breath, and moments of leaping.

I’ve often wondered if I said too much here on First Pages — if I crossed the line in what should have stayed buried in my thoughts and what I decided to spread across these pages. I’ve read wonderful comments about how I said something that you couldn’t or wouldn’t — and I wonder… why? I’ve read comments that questioned my character. I’ve read comments that made me laugh and made me cry. I’ve read your comments and felt my soul fill up with the love and curiosity that I hope they were meant to have. And, on occasion, I have sulked away from this blog questioning my own intentions.

What I’ve discovered about writing, as an art form, in this last year (and please don’t confuse that statement with me thinking this is an art form here — merely a thought process) is that once a reader reads the words… the words become theirs, the meaning becomes theirs, the interpretation becomes theirs. And that’s how it should be.

I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to point out some of the posts that I completely embraced and made my own heart ache when I pushed the publish button, these may not have been the posts that received the most views or the most comments, but they are the posts that I go back to… when I need.

I think, in life — in blogging — in living each day, it’s important to look back occasionally. When we look back, we can see where we are going so much clearer. The past can sometimes cloud our thoughts and fill us with the want of a do-over — I guess, for me, I’ll never get that do-over — and actually, I’m not sure I want it. I will take a “let’s start from here” though.

I’m working on establishing a schedule for posts. I will (attempt) to post on Tuesday’s, Friday’s, and a weekend post. Of course, the joy of writing for fun is that you never know when the fun will want to be released. Also, I plan on putting up some poetry occasionally and I will continue to try my hand at flash fiction. I hope you stick around — you never know what might come out on these pages!

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I’m dating now. Wow — releasing that from my thoughts and onto this page made me break out in hives and a small pimple has just erupted on my chin. No… this isn’t going to become “Becky’s Dating Blog”. Chances are I’ll never actually write about a date — so, all you potential suitors… relax. Although, I can’t guarantee I won’t call up my best friends late in the evening and gossip like we are 13 year-olds just home from our first school dance. And the reason I would even say that I’m dating has nothing to do with actually going on dates — it’s just the feeling. The feeling that something new is happening. The feeling that butterflies are dancing around in my lungs, preventing me from taking a deep breath. The feeling that newness is wonderful and scary and awkward and amazing.

At this point, it doesn’t seem like too much time has passed since I needed my best friend to make that initial approach to a boy. The one where she asked if he thought I was nice and pretty. I would wait anxiously for her to come back to me with the news — back then it was easy… check yes, no, maybe. If the news was bad, I would send her off to the next cute boy. I think I was much better at being the liaison for my friends then they were for me. I remember coming back to tell them good news much more than they told me (I will say this is because of my cool wit and charm when I was speaking to the boys for them). Having a friend make that initial approach seemed vital then — we were all so awkward and afraid and unaware of what our own feelings meant. Having my best friend do my talking for me was the greatest thing in the world.

I picked my daughter and her best friend up from school recently. They’re freshmen now — a time when everything is new. When my daughter got in the car she asked if I saw “him”.

“Who?”, I said.

“Him”, she said, “my boyfriend — the one I was walking with.”

Well, the boy she was walking with was actually walking about 30 feet away from her, no eye contact, not even a glance in each other’s direction. When she and her best friend got settled in the car, the best friend started receiving texts from “him”, and she would relay the message to my daughter. This made me laugh — and it made me miss my best friend. The thought of doing this alone…

So, now I’m dating… again. I’m talking and meeting and learning and embracing¬†the fun and joy and horror of it all. But… I can’t help but wish my best friend was standing beside me. Helping me with that initial hello. Prodding me to say “hi”. Letting me know which boy is going to laugh when she says, “guess who thinks you’re cute”? Letting me know which boy has a bad reputation and which boy doesn’t do well in school and which boy smarts off to the teacher. Something about going at it alone this time around makes the knots in my stomach swell up even worse.

But, here I go. The newness, the awkward pauses, the nervous dinners. I think I’ll enjoy the talks and the walks and the laughs — but, mostly… I’ll enjoy the late night chat sessions with my best friends to tell them which ones like me back. So, if you promise not to panic… neither will I, and we’ll never have to speak of this dating thing again (unless I have your phone number).

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A new year is about to begin, I’m ready for a new year. I’m ready to create some new memories. We will ring in the New Year at Disney World — what better place to be at the start of something new (it is the happiest place on Earth).

I’ve made arrangements to go to a luau on New Year’s day. Seems like the perfect combination of sensory overload to kick things off in the right direction. There will be pineapple, and fruity drinks to be sure. A pig roasted in the ground and fire dancers — and perhaps the ever-present smell of burnt hair.

Every Christmas Eve, my family and I gather at church for the candlelight service. I know that singing Silent Night by candlelight should make me all weepy — that’s not exactly the feeling I would describe that takes over my senses — not normally anyway. Instead, this night every year has horrified me to the point of near anxiety attack. You light the candles, hold them up high, walk slowly to the front door — not blowing them out until you reach the door. A disaster waiting to happen — every Christmas Eve.

My mother was a very “made up” kind of woman, in an Elizabeth Taylor kind of way. She never went to sleep without applying lipstick and apply lipstick was the first thing she did when she woke up in the morning (yes, the complete opposite of me — Three Secrets Revealed). She wore panty hose all the time — even with blue jeans. She had enough jewelry to wear a different piece with every outfit, and she loved to shop — even if it was just to look. She had a set time to get her hair done every week followed by a manicure — and she single-handedly made the hairspray business a billion dollar venture (we won’t mention global warming).

So, every year, I strategically placed myself at her side. Making sure there was an adequate amount of imaginary bubble space so that the fumes of the hairspray never came in contact with the open flame. I did very well. There were a couple of close calls over the years (one in which, yes, she ignited her own hair) but nothing that ever caused any more damage than leaving the smell of burnt hair, wafting throughout the church.

There’s a distinct weirdness when you look around for the person you are supposed to protect, and they’re gone. I’ve had that sinking feeling of panic with my kids before. When I’ve turned around at the store and they were gone. Your insides convulse, your heart practically stops, your head spins — if only for the few seconds it takes to locate them. There’s relief at the thought of not having to worry, one day. Relief that you don’t have to stand watch — I hope that doesn’t make us inherently selfish.

Isn’t it funny how smells can bring back memories? There are times I can smell my grandmother’s perfume — as if she were standing right next to me. My children have expressed to me on many occasions how they thought they had smelled their Nanny.

I’m going to miss the smell of my mother’s burnt hair this year, I’m going to miss the stress of worrying how close she is to the flame, I’m going to miss … her. But, amidst all my missing — there’s sure to be twinges of relief, perhaps that is what scares me the most.

I’ll be at the candlelight service on Christmas Eve, again this year. And there is sure to be someone who gets too close to the flame — and the smell of burnt hair will hang in the air… just long enough.

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