Tuesday, March 31, 2009

About this blog (Introduction)

As an angst-filled teen, and later as a Literature major in college, I wrote quite a bit of poetry. I enjoyed stringing words together, creating lyrical turns of phrase and evoking emotion and imagery. Lines of poetry would come to me in flashes, in the shower or while walking to class. I would carry a journal with me to scribble these fleeting thoughts down to later expand into a full verse.

In the years since, I have scarcely put pen to journal page. One day last year, my Gram asked me if I still wrote poetry, and it rather shocked me to have to respond, “No.” I still list it on my resume as an interest, but in reality I had not been inspired to write in quite some time. It was like my life was on Prozac: flat, listless, content with just getting by on an even keel. It seemed that the highs of first love and lows of first heartbreak had been lost. It shamed me to be leading an uninspired life.

At one point after my husband left me, I was suddenly struck with a flash of inspiration. In a single, crystal clear moment, I had a notion that I could develop into a poem. I was walking home from the bus after work one day, and had a bottle of water in my hand. As the wind blew over the top of the bottle, it made a low, plaintive whistle. That sound seemed to precisely mirror the howl that was building up inside me. This first metaphor stopped me in my tracks. Over the weeks more came, and I grew used to the idea that it was alright to feel the pain brought on by my situation and even more so to find some joy in life.

One day I was wandering the East Village of New York City. I had grabbed a bite to eat at a vegetarian pub (yes, New York has everything) aptly named Kate’s Joint. As I left the pub, I realized a friend I hadn’t seen in years lived nearby. I thought why not stop by since I was literally “in the neighborhood?” I popped into the bar next to her house where I knew she was a regular and asked the manager if she was around. He said he’d just seen her go into her apartment, next door, and dragged me over to her building. He shouted her name through her open window, and she welcomed me in.

Her friend, a poet and bookstore owner who I’d heard much about over the years, was in town from Buffalo for a poetry reading. As we drank wine, and the poet rolled cigarettes on her knee, we talked about men and life and poetry. I told her, “I am just getting my fragments back,” and she understood what I meant. She read us a poem she had written that day, and I felt a warm sense of being at the right place at the right time.

These chance encounters – my Gram’s question, meeting the poet – have germinated in me for several months. As I begin to process all that has happened to me over the last year (or five or thirty years for that matter), I feel the need to put all those experiences and emotions into the written word. My goal is to reevaluate my life and transform it into an inspired, fabulous, love-filled one. So “From Nerdy to Thirty” is the story of how I hopefully accomplish that as a single, thirty year old woman.

Perhaps it’s self-serving. Maybe it’s vindictive. Hopefully it is therapeutic for me in some way, and ideally will provide some insight to others. I am a bit nervous opening up my life to the world, and I hope that the stories I share do not embarrass those involved in them. It is my intent to tell the events of my life honestly, as I remember them occurring. I may not tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but the version of the truth as seen through the filter that is my slightly off-balance brain.

I don’t think anyone involved (with one glaring exception) will be painted in a bad light. Just in case, I will use pseudonyms for the majority of the characters in this story. My ex-husband, for example, I have given the moniker “James” because he drinks Jameson. His son, who was named after him, I will call “Jamie.” It may be a bit confusing to follow at first for anyone who knows me, but I think it is the best solution.

It is my ultimate dream to have my story published, as a memoir, and maybe even end up on Oprah’s sofa. I know my story is not entirely unique, but I hope it is one worth telling. For now I am posting my chapters in a blog format. The feedback I receive is invaluable and will shape the story as it evolves. So I invite you to read, enjoy (or don’t!), and comment!

2 comments:

Sarah said...

I've definitely enjoyed reading thus far. Funnily enough, I also have a little journal that I carried around in a similar fashion. It's been a little over three years since I wrote in it...the span of my last relationship. I think you'll find that many many people will be able to relate to your words :)

emmablue said...

This is my favorite so far! How Katie Got her Groove bag with the help of Grams, SHOCK, water, wind, poets and wine.