Well…I did it. I finally committed to creating my own, public blog. After a few weeks of internal debate (fraught with indecision over whether or not to make this blog public or private), I made the choice to go public. Which is why you’re able to read this, and, if you can’t, please respect the parameters of the restraining order…
I struggled with the public/private debate for a long time. This is not my first rodeo: I wrote and maintained a private blog almost 2 years ago to this day. It was an immensely fulfilling endeavor, yet I chose to keep my blog a secret from even my closest friends (more on that in a minute) and wrote anonymously.
Why anonymously, you ask? (I’m assuming here that you actually asked yourself, whether out loud or mentally, “why anonymously?” If you didn’t, please just go with it). Well, I’ll tell you. You see, it began with a tale of intrigue, lust, passion, and seduction…fraught with murder, lies, and deceit…wait, sorry…the Kardashians were on. I got sidetracked.
Honestly, my blog was created because of an idea which was born out of trying to find a new version of Christmas. For years, my holidays revolved around my grandparents, Marge and Phil. Every Christmas Eve, without fail, we would go over to their house on Christmas Eve, where there would be no less than 17 varieties of holiday cookies waiting for me on the dining room table.
However, the cookies were not the main event. I knew waiting for me in the living room was a roaring fireplace, at least 4-5 cousins from out of town, and insert-holiday-movie-here on TV. Plus more food. Glorious, dinner-spoiling food.
Without wanting to take up an entire post based solely on my grandmother’s holiday baking habits, suffice it to say that those December 24ths were incredibly special to me…the moment I loved most about the holidays. The anticipation of things to come. The knowledge that family would be waiting for you to arrive. The stocking still filled with gift cards and underwear. The intangible privilege of having family around you at Christmas.
But, like any good story, there has to be ups and downs. There has to be change. There has to be movement. And as my grandparents’ stories ended, mine brought me back to Erie, starting a new chapter in my life…a new, exciting, wonderful chapter. But a chapter that changed my holiday traditions for good.
Gone were the Christmas Eves at my grandparents’ house. Gone, too, were the dependable constants born out of tradition…the habits and rituals I had grown to love during the course of my childhood. The times, they were, a changin’. And suddenly, Christmas stopped being the same, hokey, cheesy, wonderful Christmas it used to be.
So, fast forward (or rather, rewind) to two years ago, Christmas 2010. I found myself desperate to answer the question: why had the holidays changed? And, more importantly, how could I make them exciting again?
I can’t remember how it hit me or when it hit me, but an idea suddenly came to me amidst all the worry and the fear that this Christmas wouldn’t, yet again, live up to others in the past. That I would yet again be disappointed with the absence of traditions long since forgotten. And then, it hit me.
Amidst the worry that my beloved Christmas wouldn’t measure up to my high expectations, I realized that every thought running through my head was extremely egocentric. My Christmas, My expectations, me, me, me. Hadn’t I read some time ago that we are the most at peace when placing others first?
I suddenly came up with an idea: what if I did something nice for someone else every day until Christmas? What if, for one short month, the focus was on being a better person, rather than how to re-gift fruitcake or who has the best Peppermint Mochas?**
So, I put my plan into action. I created a blog specifically for the purpose of chronicling my ups and downs in my new endeavor, and I set to work. Most of the time, my extra acts were small, nearly insignificant (i.e. buying someone coffee, leaving a close parking spot for someone who really needed it), but they were acts that I normally wouldn’t have given much thought to.
Some days, I really didn’t even want to follow through with what I had said. I felt lazy, unenthused. Who would really care if I was doing this? I thought. Couldn’t I just quit? But something kept me going. And by December 25th, I realized that I had not only had an enjoyable holiday season, but I had also felt more positive, more energetic, and less anxious.
I could write 10 more blog posts about that initial experience, but that is not the point of this entry. It was a wonderful experience. Perhaps one day I’ll fill you in on it, but I digress…
I’m not saying that doing good acts is a cure-all for feeling bad about yourself (Haagen Daas & brownies suffice for that). Nor should you believe that holding a door open for a stranger creates a clean slate for serious issues. All I’m trying to say is…like it or not, when we place others before our own needs, our own needs don’t seem nearly as bad.
My previous blog was written and published anonymously. I never told a soul about it, even though at times I felt like I was writing for nothing. But, I was writing, and suddenly, I had found a new outlet of expression. A fun outlet of expression. One outlet of expression that I’ve really missed over the past two years.
So, nearly two months ago, I began toying around with the idea of starting up a blog again. And now, two months later, here I am. And here you are.
And why are you here? Maybe you found this link on Facebook. Maybe you stumbled here on accident. Maybe you were trying to eat your feelings and Googled “Haagen Daas Ice Cream.” While you’re searching for the Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup, let me tell you why I’m here:
- I love to write.
- I love to make people laugh.
- I love to share about the common human experience which is known as “life” and/or “I forgot to zip up my fly.”
- I like the sound that my Macbook’s keyboard makes.
- Because Mark Zukerberg had a blog. That Facebook movie told me so.
- I can draw a mean stick figure.
In the upcoming days, I’ll be figuring out the ins and outs of my blog, and highlighting some of the features. In the meantime, thanks for stopping by! You can pick up your free puppy at the coat check.