A recent work photo, where I was asked to bring something I love and I brought my NPR tumbler
Tonight my roommate and I went down a Gawker rabbit hole, which led to an Emily Gould mouse hole, which led to a “Why don’t I write super personal blog posts anymore?” ant hole.
Refreshing myself with Emily Gould reminded me of the late-aughts heyday of personal blogging, when I and many of my peers spilled our guts through our tiny real estate on the web. But as the years went on, many of us went on to careers that took priority over our blogs due to financial reasons. We also grew out of our twenties, having accumulated spouses and children on our exit, and not finding the time, energy or the inspiration to write about the nitty-gritty of our dramatically different personal lives.
But today…today I decided to write an good, ol’-fashioned Dear Diary post.
And it was way more difficult than I thought it would be.
You see, I’m seven years older than the 25-year-old girl who started this blog, and my life just isn’t that juicy. No more broken hearts ripped apart by artistically-inclined yet emotionally-arrested young men. No more rambles about WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!?! and WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY?!? No more moody pieces about being a young person finding her way in a big city.
Now I get up every day, I hustle for my writing career, I see my friends, I enjoy my great city, I have a supportive partner, I talk to my parents and grandmother on the phone several times a week, I travel and I’m happy. None of it is particularly exciting, and I’m ok with that. I’m not idle, but I’m also not living a life that is necessarily story-worthy.
Or maybe I no longer know how to find a story?
Or maybe I no longer want to dwell on my emotions?
Or maybe one outgrows navel-gazing once they enter their thirties? Or maybe I’m at a place in my life when I would be talking about marriage and babies, but I don’t have those things, and I’m not sure I ever will. And even if I did, I’m not sure I’d make my blog a receptacle for their stories. But I’m also not going to write about how I choose to be unmarried and childless because I have not made those choices yet.
In other words: What do early thirty-somethings blog about?
Instead of listening to new bands, I solely listen to NPR now.
I volunteer for political candidates.
I go to community meetings.
I enjoy taking walks, for crying out loud.
WALKS. WHILE LISTENING TO NPR.
I’m not complaining. I fucking love this life. I’m not void of concerns and worries, but I no longer get tipsy alone and dance to shoe-gaze shit while weeping over why Joel picked his band over me, or why Bruce picked his comedy sketch group over me (ok, I still get tipsy alone once in awhile, but I dance to Otis Redding and weep because it’s Otis Redding….oh, and I NEVER dated dudes named Joel or Bruce. I made those names up. Joel and Bruce are douchebag names.)
But writing about getting tipsy alone and obsessing over Joel or Bruce was fun. Or at least it was fun to read. It certainly wasn’t fun to write. Actually, it’s not fun to read either. I look back on those writings and I’m like, “Lauren. Loser.”
Instead I write things like this: “This morning I went to a meeting and at the end of the meeting I couldn’t find my keys. As a person who is pretty on top of her stuff, I was surprised that I couldn’t find them. I figured I must have left them in the car, which would have been weird for me. I went out to the car and not only were my keys in the car, my car was running. WHY??? I’M TOO YOUNG.”
THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED THIS MORNING.
Oh, and my knees and back often ache.
Bruce is definitely a douche bag name but Joel I’m on the fence about. This piece reminds me of those posts about what an older me would tell my younger self. It’s all about the little things and things outside myself that, whether or not I’m aware of, I’m connected to. You’re a damn fine writer and maybe it’s time you wrote a book. A hefty tome.
Thanks, Jason. 🙂
Delightful read. especially the ending!!!
Your super-personal blog posts are why I started reading you (and still d0). We all can relate to genuine humanity in writing.
You still have personal posts in you. Sure, they are not the same type of posts that you had in your 20’s, but you’re still a person, after all. 😉
Girl, *I know.* I read back over my last few posts on AE sometimes, and I’m like…wow. Feels. She had LOTS.
I’m not sure why I (or all of us?) feel less compelled to get super personal on our blogs. Is it because content is shifting to micro-sized and feed-like? (Instagram, Twitter.) Is it because we’re grown-ass adults now?
I miss the confessional nature of blogging – as a reader. Occasionally, I miss it as a writer, too. But, it’s like the URGENCY to spill our guts has waned. Collectively, I mean. So what I’ve been thinking about lately is: what was it culturally about the late aughts / early tens that caused that? Because memoirs were big, too – and even those seem to have dropped off somewhat. Are we simply experiencing confession fatigue right now?
Just read your piece about tiny houses and it made me laugh out loud — who doesn’t wonder the same things? Really? 250 square feet? Even with someone you love dearly, it would certainly lead to homicide in my case. In any event, I then stumbled onto this blog and now I’m smiling because you’re obviously growing up, out of self-obsessiveness and on to adult hood. It doesn’t have to be boring, or filled with angst, it’s just different.
Prince would have said “hey, keep yer pubes out of my nuts and berries. That’s nasty. Girl.”
Sorry. Wrong blog entry.