It all started when I became friends with my mom on Facebook.
In college, I successfully concocted enough excuses so my mother and I could avoid the “Hey, can I be your Facebook friend?” question. However, the query recently resurfaced while we watched 4th of July fireworks, and this time I was fresh out of reasons. After all, my 25 year old sister had accepted my mom’s friend request a few weeks prior. I couldn’t be the last daughter hiding the skeletons in her computerized closet.
When my mother and I became Facebook friends, my first and only thought was that she would now know about this blog. I devote the majority of my Facebook footprint to trampling all over everyone’s news feeds with shameless plugs for Twenties Unscripted. Now, my mother would not simply know that I had some URL floating around in digital la la land, but she would also see my posts day after day, leaving the door to my sometimes inappropriate online presence ajar.
My parents and I have had a few talks about the blog recently. (Hi, Mom. Hi, Dad. I know you’re reading this.) They’ve become privy to the many musings that surface in my pea brain and make their way to the screen Monday through Thursday. So far, we’ve all managed to survive despite my online sailor mouth and feminist rants that I’m sure have more than raised a brow. Come on, Dad. I used to wear sweaters covered in truck designs. I cried for a Ninja Turtle bike. You didn’t think you raised a softie now, did you?
The point is we exist in the age of the woman confessional writer. My brand of candor, albeit sometimes difficult to stomach, is nothing new. The women who have written ahead of me, the women who write alongside me, and the women who will write long after Twenties Unscripted’s retirement are fearless and flawed. Their mistakes, lessons, triumphs, heartbreaks and setbacks are all fair game for the page. They have insanely strong voices, points of view and opinions about the world they inhabit that too often would prefer they cross their legs and close their mouths.
There is Mandy Stadtmiller, the kind of writer who you either love or hate, but can never seem to stop reading no matter your stance. There is Helena Andrews, whose memoir I ripped through last summer, her book laced with sentences such as “Two thousand and seven was the year we officially entered our late twenties – the starting line of the death march to menopause.” There is Jenny Lawson’s unbelievably caustic wit and Alida Nugent’s love affair with whiskey.
Then there are the many women who write alongside me, geniuses in their own right whose sharp tongues I completely admire. There is Noëlle (don’t forget the diaeresis, bitch) Cuvilly who is in the middle of penning her way through a delicious post-grad summer. There is Dana Sukontarak who drops scribed cyanide with sentences like, “Love becomes an ancillary function of your heart once you’ve had it, a drug like none other, electric jolts of passion shooting through a once emotionally vestigial organ.” There is Shakeima Boston who expels lines that make you think a little harder about reshuffling the ruins of your life. “While trying to get over and start over, I was creating a sanctuary out of what was suppose to be a temporary situation.”
And, then, there is me. The primary way I’ve made an ounce of sense out of the past few years of my life is to write about them. Observe it. Experience it. Write it. Do not sugar coat it; life does not come to us complete with preservatives. It is raw, rare and uncooked. Sometimes it is ugly, unusual and unfortunate. But, that is what it is. So, you write through it. You don’t pop it in an oven hoping it looks a little better before you serve it to the world. You present it fresh and organic; otherwise you are simply sucking up oxygen in the zoo of underground bloggers. Maybe you’ll look back and laugh or cringe. But, at least you’ll have a body of work to look back on.
P.S. I love you, Mommy and Daddy. Thanks for reading.