When I was a kid I used to pretend my eyes were a camera. I’d stand in place, turning 360º, blinking snapshots: the next-door neighbor’s trampoline; the split-rail fence along the side of our yard; my 5th grade teacher opening a birthday present; the arcade at Putt-Putt. I thought that by concentrating on the thing I was blinking the picture of, it would stay in my memory forever. Not unlike the lyrics to Mr. Roboto, but perhaps a little more deliberate.
I also tried keeping journals. I’d get a new notebook and start, in earnest, recording the mundaneities of my life. The writing was lazy and the details uninspiring. Even when I was pregnant I couldn’t keep my own interest, writing brilliant things like “I just wish I knew what it was going to be like after they’re born.” Or “What will they look like? Me? Bob? Both of us?” Ugh. It bores me just telling you about it.
But then, one year ago
today yesterday, I found you. I started something called An UpsideUp Movement and have been sending you words ever since. You keep me honest and you keep me flexing that so-called writing muscle which is, I’m proud to say, much less flabby than it was back in the days of my washrag journals. This blog has been sort of like a refrigerator filled with pictures — resting place for random, unrelated snapshots held up by fish magnets, some of which, had there not been a fridge to put them on, would have been relegated to that pile of stuff on the stairs that never finds a real home. Others belong in frames — on the new shelves — to be displayed for years to show off a moment in time of life that was.
I’m proud of [most of] the writing I’ve done here and I’m unfathomably grateful to all of you for reading and commenting and emailing. Without you on the other end of these words, they’d be nothing more than the ephemeral blink-snapshots of my childhood, or worse, the banal ramblings of someone who can’t tell herself a good story. And I love telling stories. You give me someone to tell the stories to and the inspiration to tell them well. Which I hope I have done.
I began the blog in the hopes that it would help me sort out the ambivalent feelings I had about moving back to Charlotte, the place I grew up and subsequently ditched as soon as I graduated from high school. It also served as a destination for Zoe and Lucy’s moments-that-need-to-be-written-down-if-only-there-were-someplace-to-write-them. Then it turned into a repository for those inevitable stories about fixing up your house, selling your house and buying a new house. Also, sometimes I get to show you cool stuff.
I started off just telling my friends about the blog, and along the way I made new friends — other bloggers who are part of a whole world I knew nothing about a year ago. It’s like I discovered a new civilization, thriving under the radar, yet staging a brilliant takeover of the entertainment, news and parenting industries. And what a world! All of you whom I’ve met in the blogosphere — you humble me, inspire me, teach me and entertain me. Thanks for letting me be in your club, even if I just hang out here on the periphery and marvel at your coolness.
So now we’re here, in Charlotte, in that house we bought, livin the life. Most of my ambivalence is behind me, and we’re settling in nicely. Happy, even, with the move (even though I miss y’all Durham alot — Hey Durham! Mwah!). But I’m renewing my lease here at the UpsideUp for at least another year, and I’m hoping you’re still enjoying reading it because I still have a lot to tell you.
Thanks for being there, friends.