Everyone has something they need to do every day. Some people need to run, some people need to pray, some people need to plot, some people need to sit in a tree. We all have daily needs beyond the obvious food, water, and sleep. My mother's cat needs to yowl beseechingly at the closed door until someone gets up to open it. My box of tea with the festive holiday lemur needs to fall from its perch every time I look at it. I need to write.
Fine, I don't need to write. I won't die if I don't write each and every day and 2012 and 2013 prove that most conclusively. But you won't die without water for a few days either. You'll just get really, really uncomfortable. If I don't write, I get itchy and anxious and can never quite understand what's wrong with me until I sit down at my laptop and learn for the 9,472nd time in my life that my brain calms down when I start putting words together.
That's why I started blogging in 2005, back when the internet was fresh and shiny and full of primary colors. It was a reason to write every day and Twitter hadn't been invented yet. But in the days of people as brands and monetization and micro-blogging, I feel like crawling back to my blogging roots. They're warm and comforting and I need some comforting that doesn't come from the bottom of a bag of potato chips. I started blogging to write daily. I kept blogging because of the stories and connection.
Sometimes I fall into the trap of feeling a grave need to go all Useful or Here's How You Can Do This Thing. But that rarely feels right to me. Who am I to tell you what you need or how to live your life? It doesn't necessarily make sense, as I tend to love those posts from other people (TELL ME HOW TO DO THINGS, PEOPLE) and I know that if something doesn't make sense or feel real, you can always make hasty use of that handy x at the top of your browser. Nevertheless, the only authority I feel I have is to share my story, my struggle, my joys and if you can parse something useful out of it, that's a bonus for everyone.
But I haven't written much here the past few years. Stuff happens. Fathers die, hurricanes blow, you move out of one apartment, you move out of the one after that. My life got fractured. But that splintering was a blessing, because it's given me a chance to look at what parts of myself I don't need any more. I'm in the process of re-learning who I am, without all the bullshit I've carried around my entire life.
I write for the same reason other people sit in trees or pray - I write to find out who I am today.
Blogging daily until the end of November. Let's see how long I can go before resorting to pictures of cats.