- Today is my sixth year anniversary with this blog. I’ve been writing here for longer than I have ever shared my heart with another person, though I could easily say I’ve been sharing my heart with the people who still read this. All six of you (seven, if you count my mom). When I started this blog, it was because I read in a nonfiction writing book that a blog is a good way to build a following so publishers will take you seriously. Almost instantly it became a place for me to make jokes about myself and talk frankly about my mental illnesses. A couple weeks into blogging and I was Freshly Pressed and my numbers skyrocketed. I became a Recommended Humor Writer, and basked in the glory of validation. I posted consistently for a couple years and then inconsistently for much longer. I went from me writing about my mental illness so people knew they weren’t alone, to then writing in hopes that it would help someone, to then writing because it helped me and helped me keep my father in the loop. And then he killed himself.
- In some ways, I feel like this blog failed. Not because I wasn’t writing in it as often as I’d hoped, which I wasn’t, but because the one person whom I wanted most to read it bought a portable generator and gave himself a bad case of carbon monoxide poisoning. I’ve wanted to write about so many things since his death, about so many dumb anxieties and weird experiences, but I get halfway through drafting a post and then I get distracted by something else on the internet. Something else that tells me it’s okay not to write anymore; the person I’m writing for can no longer read. Something like… Twitter, mostly. God, that’s dumb.
- The dumbest things will make me cry, and when I cry, I get too overwhelmed by anger and grief and incredulity to write. I sobbed at the end of the new Star Wars… not because the zillion plot lines were too contrived but the shots were pretty, but because dad would have loved that movie. My sobbing made my mom sob. That made the people walking past us wonder if they’d stumbled upon the World’s Biggest Fans of Star Wars and we had to say, “no, no, it’s because someone we know died and he would’ve liked this movie,” which just made everyone extra uncomfortable. This brings me to my next point, which is crying about things I haven’t seen yet because I know my dad would love them, and then not knowing how to write about that.
- I am so excited to see Black Panther, but I also know that I will ugly cry at some point during it. My dad is missing this movie. Missing this opportunity to see so many black creators take charge of a project and bring something never before seen to life: a black population not once touched by the horrors of colonisation. He’s missing the First Black Superhero Movie that isn’t an anti-hero, like Spawn or, to some extent, Blade. He’s missing the first Marvel movie where the black superhero isn’t a sidekick. And don’t get me wrong, I fucking LOVED the Blade movies. I realized today why: I had a superhero who kind of looked like my dad. I loved Batman movies as a kid, but I was obsessed with the Blade films. I still am. I loved seeing a dark skinned hero because my dad was my dark skinned hero, and I don’t get to share this goddamned movie with him because he was so sick that he couldn’t bear it anymore. That is fucking sad, y’all. For like nineteen different reasons.
- My anxiety and my grief don’t rule me anymore, but they do make me feel differently about this site. The last nice thing my dad emailed me said, simply, I wish you’d kept writing on your blog, and that has made writing on my blog hurt so much more than it probably should.
So here’s the thing: I don’t know what to do about this blog. This wonderful place that has let me connect with my fellow neurotic weirdos all over the world, with chocolate chip aficionados, with all the people in my life on a different level… what becomes of it now? What becomes of the place where I want to write jokes about the things I value or the things that make me anxious, but where everything now seems so trite? I don’t know, but I thought that I should let the six of you (seven, if you count my mom) know how I’ve been.