I had this site built with a MailChimp widget because someone said I should. Months later, when I remembered I had set up that account, I logged in to MailChimp (yes, let’s all just say it as “Mail…Kemp”) and saw there were eighty-something subscribers. A little under half of them were spam, so I cleared those out, and then started typing to the forty-something that remained. Hi. I’m in your inbox! Hope you don’t feel violated! (Or something along those lines.) Now it’s a weekly newsletter.
Something about sending an email newsletter to a specific group of people, instead of typing on a white page to the internet void, feels more personal. Something about us being in this group together feels more intimate. So I went with a “Me Too” theme, and every week I type out a newsletter full of thoughts that have me thinking a) someone else may need to know that I too have those thoughts/experiences/feels and/or b) someone else must have had this weird thing/experience/feels too, right?
Yesterday’s newsletter, issue #7, seem to strike a chord with a few of you—I know, because you sent replies that started with “let’s be real”, which is my most favorite thing—so here it is. Maybe you need that chord struck, too.
(Subscribe, if you’d like.)
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I’m leaving this place behind.
2017, you’re so damn close.
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When I was counting calories (all day, every day), I woke up every morning with a sense of hope. A new day meant a clean slate, back to zero. My mind relished that hunger for emptiness. The day could go in any direction, so for a brief moment I held on to that sense of control. For that brief moment, the nothingness filled me up.
Years later: I can hardly remember that deep-seeded need for control zero. Maybe it’s the pain-amnesia our brain is so skilled at employing, maybe it’s the fact that it’s been so long since I’ve craved that nothingness, or maybe it’s a combination of time and healing. Either way, I’m glad it’s behind me.
Now: We just returned home after a long vacation. (OMG, yes, I missed this little gal like whoa.) We hit Jacksonville to visit one of my best friends and then Orlando to spend a week with my family. We did all the Disney things we love—this time with two kiddos in tow! I enjoyed every holiday/Disney sweet I love. (Yes, I DO think the waffles taste better because they’re the shape of Mickey’s head.) Years ago, this post-vacation day would have left me with an intense focus on getting back to those controlled, “nothingness” morning feelings. Now, all I feel is a little sad that I forgot to get a Mickey ice cream (but how?!), and that the week went by so quickly.
I experienced a lot of endings this year—both expected and unexpected—and as I look back at not only my personal run with 2016, but also society’s collective one, a solid “Bai” feels in order.
…to that hopeful sense of linear progress. Nothing goes straight from A to Z, and every point in between requires work. This election cycle, and all the other shit things that tried to knock down social progress, reminded us all of that, no matter what outcome we were hoping for. (To be clear, once again, I am/was strongly #WithHer.) Training a puppy will also teach you this lesson. Nothing is linear. Some days are good, some aren’t as good, and every one of them requires work.
…to our experience with long-distance marriage. It wasn’t the best or worst thing we’ve done; there were good times and there were really hard times. I’m glad we made the choices we did, and I’m also really glad that we live in the same place again.
…to my first true startup job. Oh, the lessons I learned. I wouldn’t change those many months for anything. Not a damn thing.
…to the freedom of living without care-taking responsibilities. HELLO PUP! We love you so much.
…to not doing, not focusing, not using what I’ve learned and know to be as true as these things can be. Hello to doing/writing the things, and putting it on the line.
What are you saying “Bai” to?