I turned 35 recently and my mental gift to myself was a promise to start writing again. I miss writing. I constantly have a vague, nagging sense that I am forgetting something; I think it is that I have forgotten to write.
For years I wrote at a little blog. It wasn’t featured on any big websites and it certainly didn’t make me any money, but it was mine. A tiny little corner of the internet to call my own and a reason for me to take the time to write. But that blog wasn’t anonymous and rather suddenly, because the blog was tied to our family name, it became impossible to write there.
The first reason for anonymity had been nagging at me for some time. My parents, my in-laws, my kids preschool teachers read that blog. I am fortunate to have a great family, but I’ve had two major bouts of depression while writing at that blog and I needed to be able to write “I cried my eyes out and then went and ate a giant ice cream sundae” and not have my mom pacing the floor with worry that I might be suicidal.
Next, I had never intended to blog about work and while I still think that is a good policy – for we all know that there is no such thing as true anonymity on the internet – I am almost certainly leaving the career that I have spent the past 13 years of my life building and I need to be able to write about why that is so. It is an ugly horrible mess involving lawyers, disability, and general assholiness on the part of my employer. Yet as much as I hate my current job and have no passion for my (hopefully) former career, I don’t want my writings to easily come back to haunt me should I ever need to go back work in that field.
Finally, and most importantly, I wanted to be able to write about my beautiful middle child while still protecting her. Middle started out her life with all of us believing she was a boy until it became clear that she wasn’t. Her and our process of understanding that he was, in fact, she was a long one that I wasn’t sure of until one day, about six months ago, when she insisted on changing her name, declared herself a girl and that was that. We want her to be her true self and I am protective of her with a fierceness that I didn’t know I had. While everyone around us knows of her past self, perhaps someday we’ll move or she’ll ask to go to a school where no one knows and I want her to be able to have that privacy without her mother’s internet ramblings outing her.
If you’re joining me from my old blog or know me in “real life” I ask that you refrain from using our real names and all comments will be moderated just to make sure that they don’t unintentionally reveal too much. I will simply refer to my husband as “Husband”, and the kids as Oldest, Middle, and Baby. I tried to think of creative pseudonyms for the kids, but with Middle’s gender and name change I’ve had quite enough names to remember around here. You can call me Emily. Why Emily? Well, you see, when my mother was pregnant with me she had two names that she liked; my actual name and “Emily”. I love my real name and I think that it suits me quite well, but here I will be my alter-ego, Emily the name that almost was.