In high school, I was actively involved in the journalism program as a writer and, later, an editor. My favorite part was a combination of the camaraderie borne of long afternoons spent pouring over picas, seeing my byline printed out on actual newspaper, and the yearly county-wide awards where we usually swept the competition. My least favorite part was a toss up between calling businesses begging for money and writing the first paragraph of an article. Fullllll stop – yes, I just switched from fluid concepts and full events to something very specific. I’m already doing a fantastic job, aren’t I?
It’s the same now as it was in high school; I’m god awful at starting things. My journalism teacher used to tell me to start in the middle then, and work my way back afterward. He said that the beginning would just “reveal itself” naturally, like a burlesque dancer on stage. I did that throughout high school, starting on the second paragraph, and it served me relatively well. I won an award for straight news journalism, passed AP Language and Competition, and treaded through a creative writing course. In college, I used it as a fallback for countless Psychology and English papers, fiction writing assignments, and often times relationships as well. For me, it was easier to start after the questions, past the fluff and catching headlines. I went from introductions to deep secrets, straight into my thesis, right to the hard liquor. I could never start walking, I had to run. And I had to run five miles.
Eventually, it stopped working for me. My first paragraph didn’t flow well enough into the second, or I just left it out altogether. My relationships usually ended up toxic, by no fault of theirs or mine entirely. You just can’t start halfway through something and try to use a reflection as a beginning. So, after a couple months of shameless ignorance and delusion wherein I singlehandedly flung poop at every aspect of my life, I had a rather serious sit down talk with myself…and maybe knocked myself down a few pegs. I reflect now on it as an ending that I wasn’t prepared for, but, barreled through to a conclusion nonetheless. One day, and i don’t remember the specific day or anything else fun or anecdotal like that, I realized that for the first time since high school, I would have to start from just that, the start. I couldn’t pick up where I left off last, or just join a new group and act like I’d been there all along. I had to do something I, at that point, had lost touch with completely: starting something from nothing.
I try to tiptoe lightly past corny metaphors for the sheer cringe factor but it’s staring at me yelling, “USE ME ALYSSA USE ME” so, well, I rose from my own ashes like a pheonix. I started. And from there, so many other parts began falling into place. I have a college degree now, healthy (mostly) hobbies and passions, structure, laughter, and recipes for quinoa. I rewrote a story for my Advanced Fiction class (look, passions!) and I started from the first sentence and just…kept going. My professor told me that it was the best piece of mine he’d read.
Don’t get me wrong, my life is a serious work in progress. But instead of laying in bed, unshowered, and having an anxiety attack over the 50 things I could be doing, I’m doing them…and usually on time. WordPress suggests that in my first post, I should share what I want to do with my little slice of internets, so here’s my convoluted concept: I want to overshare with you. I’m going to talk about my own ongoings as a twenty something post-grad single woman in the United States during a recession. I’m going to share my insecurities and hopefully find some humor in them, I’m going to post pictures of food and the recipes I attempted during their creation, I’m going to give advice on what to pack for hiking day trips, and tell funny (i hope) stories about my daily life. I’m warning you now: I’m not married or in a relationship, so I’m going to be light on the love logging, and I’m not pregnant, so no cute pictures of my offspring. I will certainly talk about love and relationships, like how my parents are actively trying to hook me up with their friends’ sons (not that I don’t appreciate the gesture, guys). And I have friends with kids so I can talk about that and my struggles with the creation of a diaper cake.
Basically, the nub and gist is that I really want an excuse to flex my writing tentacles and I’m sure everyone is sick of me using my Facebook statuses (stati? I feel like it should be stati, that would sound more Latin-y) as a battleground of wit and food pictures. I like the idea of being able to share a bit (or a lot) of myself and maybe you will get a little back out of it. Or be able to relate to some parts and share yourself. Oh, and expect impropriety…everyone loves a shameful giggle.
Anyway, that’s all for now…and now you can see my new issue – ending things.