My blog is one year old today. It's hard to believe I've been doing this for a whole year. In many ways, I didn't think I'd make it this long. I'm proud I've been able to keep up with it, and on the other hand I wish I had accomplished more. I guess some small part of me thought that, maybe, I'd put it all out there with this blog and something big and momentous would fall in my lap - the book deal and the column in Bon Appetit and whatever else you care to imagine. But, it's ok - it really is - that those things haven't happened. Yet.
What has happened is that I've discovered things about myself I didn't know before. I've found that writing is more therapeutic than ever, that there are times when I have something that I want to say, need to say, so intensely that the only cure is to sit down and write it - all of it - until the thoughts are clear, or at least cleared out. I've learned that what I have to say means something to other people - even people who don't know me at all - which has been more rewarding than any of you who have commented or encouraged me could ever know. I've seen my husband be a supportive and loyal friend, allowing me the time and space to create what I've presented here even at his own expense.
I'm using my camera more. I'm taking pictures all the time, especially this month, even if it's just in 10 minutes stolen between work and dinnertime. I'm allowing myself the creative freedom to capture whatever crosses my path, while also pushing myself to try new things, get back out there, dance around the edges of some more formal place for photography in my life. I'm officially the user of a digital camera, and even though I'm not totally confident in my skills, at least I'm not blowing through film the way I used to. The instant gratification of digital is - well - dangerous.
I'm formally recording my life as a mom, Dora's life as my daughter, her growth and her development and her amazing milestones. I never wrote in the baby book. I didn't keep up with it as I should have. But I've got this - written words and images that I hope will someday have great meaning for her, or at least help her understand who I am.
I've developed a new connection with my mother that I didn't know was possible. Setting out on this project I had no idea how much of my writing here would center around my feelings of loss, my memories of my mother, my musings on what it means to have lost someone so important to me. Delving into that has been painful at times - and not just for me - but I am so glad I did it. She may be gone, but I believe that my words can keep us connected, can keep her alive in my world and my heart in a public and honest way.
So much of what I write here is about trying to understand the purpose, the place we're supposed to occupy, the direction our lives are headed. But, every comment I get, every time a friend shares this space with someone else, every time my husband gets teary-eyed at what I write, every time I finish a post and feel it's completed some new piece of the puzzle, I know I'm doing some small part of what I'm supposed to be doing. And maybe that's enough, for now.
Thank you all, so much, for sharing this space with me, for encouraging me, for being supportive when I needed it more than you can ever possibly know.
Here's to another year!