This summer has been transformative. I mean that in both a practical and personal sense. There has been far too much to list everything, but here are the highlights of the past three months;
- I moved from Northern Virginia, a place where I never felt like I was at home despite growing up there, to Philadelphia, a place that felt like home even before I could receive mail and pay rent here.
- The move, which seriously tested my relationship with my partner (as moves are wont to do) confirmed that I have absolutely found the person I need to be with for keeps. There were so many rough days and crying fits and moments of “why is this longstanding issue exploding right now in the middle of everything else? Oh right, because we no longer have the energy to ignore it.” But there has been a long pattern, in our relationship, of bouncing back from fights as an even stronger couple than before. If anything was going to break that pattern, this move was, and it motherfucking didn’t! In February we are having a commitment celebration and I am taking his last name.
- While working at a Jewish summer camp, I started talking to God again. In the midst of playing along with some prayers and Shabbat services, just to show respect and set a good example for the kids, I felt the presence of God in a way that I hadn’t since I was a child. I don’t know if that means God exists, or if this was just a kind of pareidolia that emerged in a place of love and community, but I don’t really care about those questions anymore. It just felt good.
- I became a biological uncle. I was already an uncle of choice; last year Grant’s brother decided his kids should call me “Uncle Lane.” But in July, my older brother and his wife had a baby. There was a time when I thought that, when he had kids, I would have nothing to do with them. Not because I didn’t want to be, but because we were estranged beyond the point of return. But over the past few years, we worked on our issues, cried things out and worked to rebuild that connection. Now he has a little daughter, and she’s my niece. I get texts with videos and pictures and updates. We are working to figure out when Grant and I can visit.
- I finished stories that I actually know what I want to do with. I’ve finished stories before, but stories that I was happy to be done with rather than excited to put out into the world. Now I have completed stories that I can’t wait to share. I’ll be posting updates on that, as soon as there are updates to make.
Hopefully this helps excuse my failure to maintain anything like a reasonable posting schedule. A lot of shit went down this year. Even when I had time to write, I really needed to use that writing energy to recharge and process everything that was going on. I ended up doing a lot of private, creative writing, which was amazing, but also not stuff I’m ready to share. (again, though, stuff that I will actually be sharing, at some future date. Stay tuned!) Everyone’s patience during this is really, unbelievably appreciated!
Another effect of these changes is that I want to shake this site up. I don’t know how, exactly. I do want the book reviews and Reviews as an Ex-Christian to continue (yes, another name change, now that God and I are on speaking terms “Godless Heathen” doesn’t feel quite right anymore). Possibly not on such an intense schedule, though. I feel like I want to make something else the main, recurring feature. I just don’t know what.
To figure out what, I’m going to try writing a short post every day. No rules about what it has to be, or how long. The only rule is that, before I go to bed, I have to hit that publish button. No perfectionism allowed. On weekends I take a break, and get to focus my writing energy solely on creative writing.
My hope is that this will force me to make decisions based on what I’m passionate about. From there, I’ll hopefully be able to figure out something more permanent.
My plan is to keep this up for a month. So here’s my first post, on August 20, and on September 20 I’ll make my final post. Then I’ll take some time to work out where to go next.
Thank you all for continuing to read and comment, even with my lack of posting. I appreciate you sticking around! Have an awesome rest of your summer.