unmarried. a blog
"Tell the truth about what it's like to be human."
- Cheryl Strayed
On 6-4, I'll be 44.
Birthdays have become a reflective practice. It wasn't always this way. I used to party upon their arrival. I'd later dodge them. Now I reflect.
There's been so much change. So much shift.
But more importantly, I'd like to point out something that has been a continuous thread.
My writing has been the only constant throughout this life-ride however exhilarating and tumultuous. It's been a pathway to enlightenment, controversy, connection, celebration, and love.
It's because of my ability to better articulate myself through written text that I have been able to turn an art form into something that actually works. Not only for me, but for others.
Not many people know I started writing before I knew how to actually write.
At age four, I would tell my mother stories that she'd transcribe onto index cards that were later illustrated with crayons.
In second grade, Mrs. Koenig loved my "ugly witch" story and later Mrs. Magnotti captured my talent with publishing parties and a full range of open-mic opportunities at the measly age of ten.
She championed me from fifth grade all the way up to her death in my late 30s.
But, it took the death of one of my own students to process life. It was published in the New York Times.
And it took the birth of my own child to understand postpartum depression that was later published in Salon.
It also took many foolish dating fails to celebrate ignorance then featured in New York Magazine, YourTango, and countless other media outlets to understand how the coupling game went.
I wrote about being a wife.
That experience birthed a book and television exposure.
When writing about my marriage struggles openly at the onset of the 2023 year, I received more feedback than any published piece in any famous outlet.
But all correspondence aside, I spotted a note from a childhood friend.
At first I chalked it up to another pity email. Certainly polite, but certainly not wanting to dive deeper into what I was going through.
Or so I thought.
But his check-ins became constant.
His check-ins became everything.
He genuinely cared about what was happening to me.
And this gave me further permission to understand that what I was going through wasn't residing only in my head.
When he later revealed he was going through something similar I was surprised. But only because his razor sharp focus was on me; he was selfless.
His persistence to be an amazing friend.
His persistence stemming from being an amazing father.
His persistence of making sure those he cared for were cared for.
His persistence became something I wanted to be a part of.