So this is the beginning. The starting over.
My initial thoughts when putting this blog together were, of course, what is the purpose of it? I’m aware of the blogging community—the many voices already present, the specializations that it seems we are all supposed to have when constructing one of these things. I rejected that entirely with my last blog and I don’t see myself changing my mind with this one. I’m not trying to be the next blogging cook or book reviewer. I’m not going to give advice about fashion or home décor. I’m not working to break into the travel blog industry. I could dedicate this space to the discussion of sports, in particular women in sports and coaching, but that’s not all I want to address. I also don’t like being limited in scope. I blame it on being an Aquarian.
Truth is: I have no real objective here other than to write. I need to write more consistently in the way I put time in the gym or on the field. And so that is what this space is about. I’ve never taken to journaling. I take notes on ideas fairly regularly, but “dear diary” has never been a companion of mine. It’s part of the requisite femininity that I’ve always rejected—along with slumber parties, the color pink, and being cute. I’m not that kind of gal, and I’m not interested in containing these things I think to a private space. Some people have no problem revealing themselves at a level that is best described by my Texan acquaintances as “inappropriate.” I am deliciously, and apologetically, inappropriate. Although, I should note that I didn’t care for that designation in Texas. I’ve never been “inappropriate” in New Jersey, just weird. I prefer weird because I’m fully aware that I am an odd fit. I’m not quite the square peg, but I’m most certainly not the round one either. I should fit, but I don’t. But, I don’t stand out as grossly out of place. It’s a weirdness– a queerness of the classic and I suppose contemporary definition, and I have a perverse need to share it all with you.
That being said, blogging seems to work better, though I still fall off the wagon every now and again. I started playing around with it right after college, but I gave it up shortly after entering the Ph.D. program for reasons I’ll discuss some other time. I started back up again a couple of years ago in an attempt to find my voice, which had been effectively destroyed in the program, in order to produce something good enough to finally finish the dissertation. This spring I decided that while it was an extremely valuable space for the time, I didn’t feel like it was relevant anymore. There was so much in that blog that I no longer wanted to carry with me and the best way to let it all sink into the past was to shut it down and start again.
And so here we are. I apologize a little for the title. I’m terrible at titles when I’m just starting a project. It took me a very long time to come up with my dissertation title, and even then, it’s not exactly blockbuster material. If you know me, you know that I love purple. I’ve had two different purple bedrooms, a purple car named “Grimace,” a variety of smaller purple objects, and most recently, purple hair. I’ve always wanted purple hair, but back in the day (read: 90s), manic panic was the only option and I knew my mother wasn’t going to go for the dyeing the bathtub purple aspect of the process. I’m not sure what brought the desire for purple hair back, but I love it, and I’ve gotten such great feedback with it that I figure it should factor into this title. Initially, I wanted to go with the title “Auberginity,” however, it was taken. (Seriously.) So, I decided to play with it a little and came up with the Aubergine Lense. It sounds like the literature I’ve spent so many hours reading and studying, and it reflects the academic work I’ve done and that has become a part of the fabric of my being—in both good and not so awesome ways. That being said, I don’t love the title. Something seems flat, slightly off-key, but I’ll work it out as I go.
So, the only thing left is to get started. I set this blog up months ago and I have several failed attempts at first blog entries. I think I was just too preoccupied with teaching and grading—and coaching, to be able to focus my thoughts enough to find that rhythm with my words. Also, I think it was still too close to the dissertation. I needed not only a break, but to be really finished (read: graduated with diploma in hand). I tried to give myself time off, but that’s hard. It’s hard to shift out of the writing mode that is required to write a dissertation and it’s hard to hold yourself back when all you want to do is move forward with the writing and work you’ve held at bay for years. It’s also hard to forget the criticisms that have lead to the fear that my writing isn’t any good. No one wants to look foolish, myself included. I spent years hiding my writing, sometimes not writing at all, because I was afraid if I did that I’d have to face the truth that I was shitty writer.
But, I can’t not write, so I’m going to have to just do it and expect that some of it will be shitty and some of it might be interesting—perhaps even excellent. I had the moment where I had to step back and wonder if anyone will want to read this. And I had to work past the feeling that people won’t like my writing. There’s the chance that what I have to say might not be particularly compelling to some, perhaps many, there’s the chance of connecting with a few each time. That is enough for me.
I just started off my month long stay in Berlin ad Prague. The first week and a half is really about relaxing, being a tourist, and spending time with my best friend. After that, it’s serious writing time. I hope you enjoy it with me.