Sunday, December 4, 2016

Hello Again, My Friends! (Plus a few photos from the past year.)

Hello again. It has been a long time. I don’t know what to say for my absence other than I woke up one morning about a year ago with a profound sense that what I had to say was not worth saying. I'm not being self-deprecating, like I’m unimportant. Just the opposite. The voice I had been using felt inauthentic. And if I wasn’t going to be authentic, what was the point?

I have always approached this blog—and, if I’m going to be honest, my life—with great caution, balancing on a thin line of neutrality. I’ve always wanted to make sure that I don’t upset anyone. So I have always been very careful about what I say and how I act, trying to keep my opinions to myself.

The truth is, I have also been afraid. Afraid of putting myself out in the world. Afraid of what people will think about the real me. So I tried to blend in.  And I must say, I’ve done a pretty good job of becoming a chameleon over the years, becoming whoever I needed to be to disappear.

But it’s hard to get anywhere when you’re slowly wading through life trying not to stir the water. And I've finally realized that I am not happy wading. There are places I need to go: it's time to swim. Hell, it's time to fly.

This past year has been difficult, even painful for me at times. But, that’s OK. Pain has it’s place as I’ve come to realize that no one, especially me, wants to get out of a comfortable chair.

I also know that I am not alone. So many people I talk to are unhappy, feeling trapped in their lives and frustrated with the world, wanting to make a difference but not knowing how. Like me, they keep pushing that boulder up that hill day by day because that is what you do, while at the same time, knowing that there has to be another way. I can’t push this boulder anymore.

There are so many problems in this world—fear, intolerance, anger, hatred, violence—and I am truly scared of the direction we are headed. So I decided I’m going to do something about it. And consequently, I found my voice again. It's nice to be back.

"I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples." -Mother Teresa

Photos from the year:
  1. A gust of wind one morning blew our backyard trampoline onto our neighbors front roof. (February 2016)
  2. Our Spring Break trip to Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico. (March 2016)
  3. A message I wrote on Mina's hand, so she never forgets. (March 2016)
  4. Another message I wrote on Mina's hand, so she never forgets. (March 2016)
  5. One of the three turtles my parents gave us this summer. (July 2016)
  6. Our new chickens, the Black sisters: Bellatrix, Narcissa, and Andromeda. (July 2016)
  7. Mina's cannibal jack-o-lantern... (October 2016)
  8. ...The sight of which made Nick's jack-o-lantern sick. (October 2016)
  9. From our trip to Georgia: vegan grits and gravy a la Rising Son. (November 2016)
  10. Also from our trip to Georgia: fried chicken and potatoes a la Rising Son. (November 2016)
  11. My office monkey. (December 2016)


  1. Welcome back Michelle! I'm glad you're finding your voice again.

    Reading through this post last night, I saw some parallels with myself. I've always been a non-confrontational person, aiming to not upset or offend. And I think my writings tended to be largely of no consequence: food, projects, and random thoughts, presented with some humor. Within the last six months or so, something that had been under the surface for a long time emerged onto the page - and one thing keeps leading to another. It's been interesting and a bit scary - stepping out into the open, unprotected, naked.

    PancakeDrama was the inspiration for me to start writing, to start my own blog and to post publicly (alright, semi-publicly). It was one of the keys to the evolution of where I am now. I hope it serves you in the same way.

    I hope you find your groove, the voice to say what you want, and the courage to say it. I'll continue to look forward to reading your posts.

    - Ori

    1. Thanks, Ori. I really appreciate your support. I agree with your comment. Exposing that side we try so hard to conceal is scary. Whether our audience is the world or just ourselves, honesty and reflection forces us to look at parts of us we'd rather pretend aren't there because that's what leads to growth and, even when it is obviously beneficial, change is scary. I've found that, as a reader, I also grow when a writer trusts their audience and takes that risk. I've read some very honest and raw essays recently and I am grateful that those authors trusted me. Thanks again for you support.