Dies Hier

Hello, old blog. It's been a while. 

I went backwards, reading my past 30 entries or so (which got me to 2013, wow) to see where I left off and try to piece together what's been said (and what hasn't). I realized that it's all just too weird and complicated to attempt a digital backfill, so maybe it's better to just start where I am right now. 

Where I am right now is Düsseldorf, Germany.  What I've learned one day (or is it two days with the time change?) in is that Germany is not fucking around. Germany brings you a goddamn plate of sauerkraut. 

They also just keep refilling your bier until you give them money and leave, and if you don't speak German and try to order anything to drink other than bier, they just bring you kaffee.  Which they will never refill.

Neither Jim nor I speak a single word of German and know not a single German custom (despite my having birthed three German-Americans, which buys you a lot less of a pass in actual Germany than you'd think), but we're figuring it out. Our friend from Berlin gave us this shockingly helpful book and so we knew to expect a lot of potatoes (no sauerkraut spoilers, thankfully) and to not expect, um, service

We'll be in Germany for a few days, and then head back to Amsterdam where we had a short and productive layover yesterday (two days ago? What day is it again?) during which I ordered a short flat white at the airport and walked away with what Jim's mom says is a perfectly valid Chinese name, so I'm going to keep it. #ThanksRutte*.

We're here for work - Jim's work specifically, but I work there, too, and I realize that I've not actually talked (here or on social) about leaving my old job at BlogHer way back in 2013. I haven't talked about a lot of things, but a lot of things kept right on happening anyway. 

We're going to Berlin on Thursday and while we're there, we're going to tour all of the old stuff that a U.S. girl born in the 70s thinks of first when she thinks Berlin - the wall, the Führerbunker where Hitler killed himself. As I understand it, the wall won't be terribly hard to find or see, but the Hitler stuff? Gone. A parking lot near a playground and some apartments.

Berlin is not backfilling. Berlin is very good at saying this, here, is where we are. This, here, is what we're doing. Keep doing THIS. I could learn a thing or two from Berlin. 

The past year - hell, the past two years -  have been the most amazing, crazy, wild ride and it's been moving so fast I haven't been able to do anything except hold on tight and see where it takes all of us. Some of it was really hard, some of it really amazing, and some of it is still working itself out (some of it probably never will). I could go back and hash my way through it all, lay out everything I wish I'd done and said differently, tell all of the stories so that I don't forget them.

I could explain what the hell happened to my domain name - why I changed it in the first place, and why it's back to the old one.
I could write out what getting a piece of mail that said my 15 year marriage was over felt like.
I could tell you about finding one brother and losing another one.

Or maybe I'll let myself forget some of it, and just start with this, here, today. The sun came up in Germany a little while ago, and there is sauerkraut to eat. 


*I'm well aware that no one gets that**. I hardly got it. Bygones.
**He's the prime minister of Holland. You know, Holland's Obama? Oh, nevermind. 



I got this text message today from my friend and great mentor:

Deb Write.jpg


I was telling Jim last night in bed that I actually miss blogging, it's been so long. Of course, I followed that up this morning with reading all of ShitFoodBlogger's tweets to him. Yes, I'm aware I'm doing Bedtime with Busydad wrong. 

The best I've got right now is that I heard this NPR piece about memory yesterday (or maybe it was the Christian radio station. They're always tricking me into listening to their shows, with their nearly-secular news bits and catchy and slightly emo pop Jesus rock) and it made me realize that I need an actual doctor/scientist/expert to explain to me why it is that I can't remember how many years I've been alive or the names of the three people who dug their way out of my Holiest of Holies, but I can right now without even THINKING about it recite the name of each book of the Old Testament to you, in order, or all the words to Cool It Now (even the raps, yo), or the entire 1988 McDonald's menu song (now in two breaths; getting old is hard). 

Audre Lorde says that everything can be used, except what is wasteful, and I suppose I'm still young enough that I haven't yet had to figure out how I'm going to need the lyrics to New Edition songs, but old enough to know that being able to recite all the books of the Old Testament out loud in order may just come in handy sooner than I'd care to admit. (I never did get my free McDLT for singing the whole damn menu song, though. I think I'll write a letter. I hope that counts, Deb.) 

What I do know, however, is that I can't start sentence with But anymore, which makes blogging quite challenging, and also that everything has changed so much since the last time I really, truly *wrote* on this blog that I don't even know where to start with it all. Our memories are terribly and hilariously subjective; each shift of angle, of experience, of perception changes them with radical unpredictability. I believe that you have to write what you know, and what I've always know is this pile of remembered shit I've drug around with me like the most unwilling sort of companion. 

I know it because I haven't been willing to let myself know much else. My husband gave me nearly nothing, and I held on to that almost-void with all the strength I had. But now (that was hard, but I did it) I'm one four-hour online parenting class away from not being married to him any longer, and I'm okay with that. Somewhere in this down/quiet-time I've found my peace with him, with all of it, and let go of that wonderfully familiar nothing I've been clinging to. 

I don't need nothing anymore.

I don't even want it.

That's a pretty big deal, for me. 

I have all these posts in draft - stories of this new life that we're building, new memories we're making in a new place with new people where the slate is clean for all of us, where we can decide what we want to be now, where we are equally as excited and terrified of the possibilities laid out before. It's hard to write it out, largely because I don't know a single thing about it yet...but I want to. 

I heard Jim say to one of his clients the other day (and I'm paraphrasing) that what bloggers have that no other form of media has is emotional attachment; our readers are a part of our narrative, they are invested in the stories of our lives. I remember what that was like, feeling like my story mattered to more than just me. I'm going to try to start writing this new story, with these new players, in this new place that I don't know, but I'm excited to discover.