Sunday, December 1, 2013
Why I Abandoned Her
This picture feels ancient. My life is so drastically different from when this photo was taken that it's difficult to believe that this evidence is only a year old.
It feels like light years in the distance.
The past ten months have been a tidal wave of change: a new job, a new house, a new band, new friends, and a new blog.
Today's Kickin' it Old Skool prompt asks that we post an old selfie from a time when blogging was "still fun for you".
Blogging is fun for me--now.
This selfie is an artifact from the blog I abandoned.
Herspeak had been my blog home for over four years. She recorded and gaurded my painting experiments and love notes. Together we promoted Girl Positivity, personal power, and excercising your right to a kick ass life.
Of course I felt guilty about leaving her behind. It hurt. I loved her. It was like putting down a pet.
So why did I stop?
There were a few reasons. The constant stream of hate mail being the first. The second reason was the dread of having to dig up a painful confession everytime I sat down at the computer. I was jealous of other bloggers who could breezily post pictures of boots and bits of their lunch. The creative lense was too narrow and I began to suffocate.
The third reason was Champagne Urbana.
I had been working for weeks on getting our shit together for Midwest Zine Fest: handmade books, stickers, paintings, buttons and coloring books. We pulled out of the driveway in the 4:00am darkness to make the journey to a rundown community library in Illinois. I had been fantasizing about this moment for months: rolling in piles of bright xerox paper and meeting a new gang of Riot Girl besties.
Instead, we were chased out.
There were the usual jeers of recreational Anarchists, nasty looks and insults so coarse that I won't repeat them. The other vendors touted man-murdering manuals and bomb building instructions. (Not hyperbole, people. Actual instructions for killing boys.)
"How can you call yourself a feminist if you're wearing fucking lipstick?"
" I like what you're doing here. Your work drips with sarcasm and irony. It's hilarious."
But my rainbow spread wasn't ironic. I was dead serious about being a proud woman with the ability to change her life. After being attacked for not including mulitcultural images in my coloring book by a customer who failed to open the cover, I'd had enough. Furious and crushed, we dumped our goods into cardboard boxes and left without looking back.
I felt like a quitter. But then I remembered that my blog began in an effort to connect with the world. I write because it takes me places my mouth can't. I write for the love of it. And there was no love left. It was time to move on.
My blog was dying, and Champage Urbana gave it permission to drift off to sleep and rest in peace.
My commitment to feminism and Girl Positivity hasn't gone anywhere: she is still in my songs, artwork and in the voting booth. A few months passed and the blogging dream was shedding its skin and showing a new face. The idea was simple: write Love Letters to your City and all the creatures in it. That's where your Love is.
So here we are, muffins. Cream City Dreamsicle. Thank you for your suport, your readership...and for making it to the end of a long and boring story. You deserve a drink with an umbrella and a bendy straw.
I hope you make yourself comfortable and stay for the ride.
Let's go places.