Saturday, April 26, 2014

This Is My 100th Post!

One hundred posts. Here we are. You and me and one hundred posts!

Soooo.... <swings arms awkwardly>

What do you wanna do now?
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For reals, though, 100 posts is sort of something, isn't it? This has truly become a living, breathing thing, this blog; this action of writing what is happening to me despite my conditioned resistance to peek between my fingers and watch.

Over these one hundred posts, I have gone from feeling so stiff and alien in my own voice on the page-- unaccustomed as I was to speaking this way after so many silent years-- to comfortably re-inhabiting what I think is my most natural environment: right here at the keyboard, where I was always meant to be.

That first post, 2 1/2 years ago, took me two full weeks to write, and it's only a couple of paragraphs. I was so nervous then, so afraid of getting it wrong. 

I didn't know what would happen if I wrote it down. I wanted you to come and read, and react, and respond, but I didn't know if or why you would. I wasn't sure I'd be able to create anything worth responding to. I wasn't sure what I was hoping for, really. I had no idea, then, where it was possible for this project to go.

But I did write it, finally, painstakingly; drafting and redrafting that first post so many times I'm amazed anything finally made it out at all. And then, gauntlet thrown, I had to go and write some more, and in my awkward way I began to spool out the stories of the accident and the injuries and those first few months afterward, and set the stage for everything that has happened since.

I kept coming back to it because you kept reading, reacting, responding. You, the readers who began this journey with me, and the ones who have joined it along the way. You were the unknown quantity in all of this, and you've been an unexpected and unfathomable gift to me as I've done this work and committed this writing to the screen.

And as I've come back, week after week, month after month, I have seen myself change, not just as a person with PTSR, but as a writer as well. I have confidence in myself and my writing that I never quite achieved as a writing student and certainly never thought I'd achieve in the post-grad school world. I've finally come into myself here, and let this essential part of my identity assert itself.

Since I started this blog, I have begun to call myself "A Writer" when people ask me what I do. I never thought I'd have the nerve to say such a thing. I certainly never thought I'd earn the right.

But here I've been, writing nearly every week, committing to a practice that has changed my orientation to writing permanently. And while I've been writing this blog for me, but I've been writing it to you, and that's as essential an element to the process as the laptop on the table in front of me or the cafe au lait at my elbow.

You've been so nurturing to me during this work. It has been such hard and vulnerable work. Thank you for the support you have given me both publicly and privately for what I've done in this blog. 

It has meant more than you can imagine.

I hope you will continue with me. I hope you will comment more. I hope we will continue to learn from each other.
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I hadn't planned to do a retrospective here, but it does seem sort of appropriate, no? 

Here's a Sherlockian one, based on statistics:

My five most popular posts have been, in descending order, as follows:

1. So Many Posts, So Little Time (although I think this one just had some bot-friendly keywords in it or something. It is not a particularly interesting post. I had to change my blog security after this one)

2. Here Is What Happened (my first post)

3. Superbetter (a post with some pretty astonishing, potentially world-changing information in the links. I'm glad it's been seen a lot. It was a good one!)

4. New Post... Soon (a post whose popularity terrifies me because it contains a video of my tiny children break-dancing at the cable car turnaround at Powell and Market in San Francisco. Which is really, really cute. But who the hell were all those people who looked at it and how the hell did they find it?! O.o)

5. Active Release Technique. OMG. (a post about... well, exactly what it says on the tin. And also the wonderful and hilarious Dr. John Beall, D.C., C.S.C.S., A.R.T.. Both of which deserve all the page hits they get.
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And here are my personal favorite posts, in chronological order. These are the ones I'd read if I were to do a public reading from this blog (and I think I'd really like to do a public reading from this blog, if such a thing were ever appropriate to do somewhere. Ideas, anyone?):

1. Some of the first few posts: First, Next, and Scars, for their unflinching clarity and context, and for the way they pulled in so many readers and held you here, captive. ;)

 2. The View From Here, for the description of the Viet Nam Memorial in Washington, DC and the allegory to PTSD. There is still such a vivid connection for me in that image that I get chills every time I think about it.

3. Braced For Impact I and II. One of my first major breakthrough moments that went beyond figuring out what was happening to me and allowed me to start making changes in the ways I responded to the world around me. A important pair of posts. An important time.

4. The A-Ha Moment. The one where I finally figured out a) how my brain actually works now, and b) what is, and what is not, actually under my control, so that I might use said brain more effectively to my advantage. This is known in common parlance as PAGE ONE OF THE MANUAL.

5. Happily Ever After. One of my favorite posts to write, ever, about a day when I... lived. Me. Lived. Just like that. And also my sister got married and there were pretty dresses and lovely treats and wonderful family and friends and beautiful scenery and decorations and everything else was perfect, too.
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One hundred posts. Thanks for reading them. I hope you'll be with me for one hundred more, and that the next hundred illustrate even more profound change and growth than I've experienced so far along this road. 

Thanks to you, it hasn't been a lonely journey. More than you know, that has kept me going, and I have never lost faith that it will get me to where I hope to make it in the end. 

And so I dedicate this post, in gratitude, to you.

xo

kate. the girl who lived.


6 comments:

  1. Good on ya Kate. Way to be. :)

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  2. Since my own blog has been up, I've come to see just how much that community really does make a difference. Given that, I'm frustrated with my lack of posting to the communities of others. Somehow, just as with my blog posts and other writings, I feel like I ought to wait until I have the perfect thing to say, or some large chunk of time in which to craft thoughtful, insightful, witty responses--which almost always means I never get to the response at all.


    Your writing on this blog is consistently honest, amusing, moving, and thoughtful, and that is awesome. As are you. Even when the more neurotic voices among us are quiet, we appreciate it. Keep it up.

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  3. KateTheGirlWhoLived04 May, 2014 11:42

    Thanks Crypto! And thanks for hanging in and commenting now and then!

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  4. KateTheGirlWhoLived04 May, 2014 11:44

    Yay Elizabeth! So happy to see you still here! Thanks for all your wonderful comments!

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  5. Thanks for the thoughts, sister. They are spot on, I'm fairly certain. I'm learning these lessons slowly, and it's so easy to slip backward into forgetfulness.


    The point about writing is performance is well made as well. The frustrating realization--and how odd it is that humans can have all manner of intellectual realization that is so hard to translate to belief and action!--is that the demand for perfection, for eloquent styling and wisdom and wit, is from myself. No matter how others praise, I tend not to believe them. If they like my writing, then either (a) they are personally attached to me and are praising only to make me feel better, or (b) have no taste. There's some internal vision of the ideal reader in my head, and she never approves of my work.


    But I am learning! Slowly, but it's happening.


    And as a last note, I'm already blogging about the journey! My blog, over at www.professorerrant.com, has been going for a few months. I'd love to have you as a follower.


    Thanks for the continued dialog; it's a challenge and a benediction.

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