Sunday, December 1, 2013

I have no idea what I'm doing


I said it.

Of course I know what I'm doing.

I'm starting a blog under my actual name after writing under a pseudonym for seven years.


I have been struggling with what I could possibly say on this site, which means, as a friend pointed out, there are lots of things to talk about, but I'm probably worried about talking about them or ashamed or something. (I'm paraphrasing.) She was telling the truth and I knew it, but all I could do when she was pointedly pointing these things out was fidget, avoid eye contact, and wonder why I had run out of coffee at that precise moment.

I have plenty of stories and I just realized as I typed that phrase that some of them have been breaking my heart for years, which means I need to talk about them. Some topics you'll likely see me discuss here (at least eventually) include growing up biracial, growing up fat, moving from Santa Fe to Indianapolis when I was 11, being a lesbian, wanting to forge a career as a writer -- all of it.

To get me started, however, I'm going to participate in SmallBox's Think Kit, a daily blog initiative I heard about from my pal Melissa. Today's prompt is to document my year in photos. Here then is a collage of shots, not even remotely chronological, that hit some highlights from 2013:

Click to play this Smilebox collage
Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
This free digital collage made with Smilebox

(Forgive the obligatory advertising and music that likely plays when you view the collage. I am new to digital collages and also broke. Very, very broke.)

The photos, from the top left, are as follows:

1. The table set for dinner on the evening of my 40th birthday a couple weeks ago. I've since lost the four, but it's around here somewhere.

2. Devastating aftermath of clown murder. Just kidding. View of my hand after an evening of painting, which I hadn't done in probably a year. 

3. The photo with the cross is a shot of the panel at The Risk of Pursuing Your Passion, a Spirit and Place event that took place in November. It was a very good evening. Everyone on the panel had to make a choice at some point to leave behind a bad job or situation in order to do work they were truly passionate about. It was a pretty inspiring evening and makes me think a lot about the future I want as a writer and visual artist.

4. The four pictures underneath the Spirit and Place picture are: 

(a) Obligatory photo of my cat, Sammy. I have a second cat named Sophie, who is not pictured because she threw up on my bed last night and is officially in Polaroid time out. 

(b) A drawing I did called Kachina Businesswoman. The photo is of a set of postcards I had printed at Zazzle.

(c) A drawing I did (untitled purple girl picture) after discovering I could draw on my phone using a photo editing app.

(d) A drawing I did of Taylor Swift while playing Draw Something with a friend. I am stupidly proud of some of my DS pictures and tend to save them for my own amusement.

5. The big rain photo in the lower right-hand corner was taken a few weeks ago on my way home from an evening out with some friends from St. Louis who were in town to celebrate my birthday. We were on our way back to my apartment after late night milkshakes at Steak and Shake. It was raining really hard and we were listening to Ella Fitzgerald, whose voice is simply stunning. I was actually trying to photograph some pretty blue raindrops created by a sign near 45 Degrees (the bar/sushi place at the corner of College and Mass Ave), but didn't get the shot in time. I like what I ended up with anyway.

6. The bottom row, from right to left, is as follows:

(a) A cup of coffee at one of my favorite places to hang out, Henry's Coffee Bistro on East. The coffee is actually representative of a mood I was in. After not leaving the house much (lack of money, lack of interest in other humans, etc.), I finally ventured out of my apartment one afternoon and went to Henry's for coffee and a snack. The few dollars I spent on the coffee and a bagel don't represent much, overall, but they helped me feel normal again. As an unemployed person, I find I worry so much about money that I forget what it feels like to be real, if that makes any sense. For that afternoon, I was just a regular person in a coffeehouse, enjoying the overhead music and not worrying about the $6 I plunked down for a treat.

(b) A shot of Eagle Creek on the way back from Thanksgiving dinner with my relatives in Brownsburg.

(c) A wine cork I had to dig out of the bottle. A telling end to a difficult day.

7. Above the cork photo, left to right:

(a) A Words with Friends game in which I got to use all my letters to spell STRIVEN and racked up 86 points. BOOYAH!

(b) Me, standing under a photo of myself as a kid. The poster was part of an art show my dad, John Sherman, recently had at the Garfield Park Arts Center.

(c) Mural on the wall outside Henry's.

8. Directly above the mural, a photo of me having a very good hair day (trust me; that shiz needs to be documented) and my folks this past summer, a few months before their 43rd wedding anniversary.

So there you go. My first official blog entry under my actual name. Here's to a bright blogging future!


Marg Herder said...

So glad to see this happening, Chi! Can't wait to read more.

Jennifer Adams said...

Stupidly pleased and proud! Rock it, lady. Rock. it.