It’s a truth universally-acknowledged that a girl in possession of a good blog must be in want of things to fill it.
But like so many universally-acknowledged truths– for me, it’s a lie.
I don’t want to fill this.
I want to fill myself.
I want to patch up the wrinkles and scars– empty trenches once filled with the things I had. Hollow pockets echoing the treasures I’ve let slip through the ripped seams of my heart.
There are scratches all over my body, visible and invisible, sharing space in harmonic togetherness, marking battles I never wanted to fight and chunks of flesh I never wanted to surrender.
When I went away– when I got far enough away– I thought I’d never come back to this story.
In these pages, I contort myself in front of a camera at the crack of dawn, trying to capture myself in the worst possible light. In these chapters, I dig through thrift stores and sculpture gardens, searching for magic.
For the blog, I tell myself. I need to do this for the blog.
It’s my favorite lie to tell.
The truth is, I need to do these things to to fill the spaces. The spaces that only matter because I am terribly, painfully vain.
I stare at myself, and obsess. I notice the shift of every piece of me. My arms are heavier this week than they were last. My voice is sharper today than when I first came home. My kindness is more hesitant than before I went away, and my hopefulness is more dim than it was before the dust took him back.
I am a woman, obsessed with her naked body, naked soul, naked heart, and naked mind. Obsessed with a naked life.
Then I slip a blog over it all, swish in front of the mirror, and wonder:
Does this blog make me look fat?
When I was away from it, I saw the lie of it. The way it hides the truth of the truth I am seeking, even though every word I write aims to be authentic and factual. It is still a cover, an excuse.
This blog is how I explain the ditches carved along my edges. It is a dress, covering my cliffs while I sometimes-desperately try to bridge them.
Coco Channel once said, “Wear a good dress, and they’ll see the dress. Wear a great dress, and they’ll see the dinogirl.” (Or something along those lines.)
I want this blog to be a great dress.
I want to see the dinogirl.
I want to know what her life looks like naked. I want to fall in fascination with the spaces of her that once were filled, and the bridges that can’t be built. I want to love the dirt in her trenches and the roar of her cliffside.
I want to love the first things she loved, and consider the possibility of all the frightfully wondrous things she’ll love in the future. I want to know her and explore her.
And I want you to know her, too.
I don’t really want to care if it makes me look fat, or wicked, or dark, or mean, or angry, or sad, or happy, or brilliant, or anything. I don’t want to care how I look.
I want to care about how I am.
But I worry. I get lost in my worries, lost in the mirror. I wonder about what is being reflected, what I am reflecting, and who I am reflecting on.
If you read the words left for me while I was away,
I seem brave.
But I could have filled a prison cell with my tears.
I seem like I lived a fairy-tale love story.
But my slippery-sheer nightgowns tell a story you don’t usually read to kids.
I seem like a warrior.
But doesn’t anyone remember that I didn’t fight at all?
I seem good.
Am I? Or are we seeing the dress instead of the girl?
I want this to be a space where I can try on other dresses. I want to know this is a place where I can write the sort of fiery post that would explain why my blog is blocked in Turkey.
I want to tell you about the things in my life that slip, and growl, and grit, and ache– as I learn about them. I want to know the salts of my edges, as well as I know the sweet sound of my center.
And I’m going to.
This year, I’m going to earn this badge. In the truest sense of the word.
Here’s to never wondering if this blog makes my heart look big, or small, or lumpy.
Here’s to shouting my pride, and prejudice.
Here’s to never deleting a word that tells a truer story.
Here’s to loving the spaces between my words.
Here’s to blogging naked!
Alison– my birthday-twin and soul-role-model— told me my blog was blocked in Turkey. I laughed aloud at that because Rarasaur blog has always been Little-Foot-friendly. But then I started thinking about what I often wondered about in prison– what this blog is to me, and how I chose to wear it.
Do you ever wonder if your blog is doing what you want it to do for you? If your space is safe enough to share any of your thoughts? Do you blog naked (metaphorically or literally)?
(If you decide to leave a comment, be sure to wish Alison a Happy Birthday, too. Or go to her place and say hey there. She turns wishes into realities all the time, so who knows what wonders she’ll cook up with the ones you offer!)