Being a mom has messed me up.
Today–literally today–I’m 36 years old. When I was pregnant and 31, I decided I would stay home with my kids. I’d read articles and interviews about mothers in their 40s who were trying to re-enter the workforce and couldn’t figure out where they belonged after years away. Like every woman who has never had children, I was so knowledgeable about having children that I thought, “Well, stupid, just go back to doing what you were doing. Explain the resume gap by explaining that you had some kids.” [Italics are mine.]
See, I’ve always been a writer but it now feels less like an old friend and more like that skinny mom over in the corner of the library with the child who is actually putting away the toys he dragged out. Writing this post makes me uncomfortable, reminiscent of pulling on a pair of jeans that dried on the line instead of in the dryer. (See? I think I just mixed metaphors. Is it even called a metaphor? Sometimes I can’t remember.)
I began filling my writing portfolio in second grade. What started as a way to draw attention away from my poet-brother with an ode to the Easter bunny eventually led to a career as a paid writer. I have written speeches, newspaper articles, exhibit text, web content–all of it shared, spotlighted, microscoped. Never had a problem with it. But this blogging thing? Terrified. And I blame my children. It’s been five years since I’ve been a paid writer. They sucked those five years away from me and made me weak. They yanked me down from my mountain top.
Now, could it be that blogging, Twitter, and Facebook and their ilk have changed the world tremendously over the last five years so I can’t hide behind third-party publications anymore, and as an old-school writer I’m uneasy with the fact that I have to create my own platform, show my face to the world? No.
It’s the children. Always the children. They destroy confidence. In fact, I designed this site six weeks ago. I’ve been sitting on it for one main reason: I’m not sure I have anything useful to say.
But then I realized that what the world needs, really needs, is one more blog. So fuck it.