So… this is my first entry then. It better be good.
I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a long time but hadn’t reeeeally considered it until a friend in work suggested it a few days ago, and once the idea had entered my head, I got the bug immediately. That conversation my friend and I had over lunch was 2 (!) days ago, so you can tell I grew a little obsessed with it. The first thing I asked myself when I realised I wanted to do it was: why on earth NOW, so suddenly, and almost… urgently? What happened between those vague plans to do it someday – not really believing that it was ever going to happen – and two days ago when I thought, feck it, why not? Frankly the question was merely rhetorical, and I only asked myself to make sure I remembered the answer and gave myself a chance to learn from it: it was validation, and permission to do it. Somebody I like and admire (and has a content background, because obviously I can’t believe just any old randomer, and let’s face it lads, content people are a pretty judgmental crowd), said, “You should do it, what you have to say has value in the world.” As simple and clichéd as that.
“The WORLD, no less”, you say? Well, I don’t know, to be honest. Who is your assumed audience when you publicise aspects of your life on the internet? And how much sharing is over-sharing (I do ask myself that, because my Facebook activity seems to suggests that this might be dangerous territory for me)? A very good friend of mine – a psychologist – told me years ago that he wished I had finished my college degree with a lower mark because the mark I got would only validate my god-complex. So there you go, god-complex, narcissistic (I would like to insist you don’t misquote this to say “narcissistic personality disorder”, that’s a different kettle of fish altogether), and yet shy to start a blog; now what do you call this? Neurosis, I believe.
Having said all this, there’s one more point I want to mention, because I watched a really interesting piece on Upworthy recently and I’ve been thinking about it since: Most women are taught to make themselves shrink. Women diet to keep themselves small, and they inadvertently teach their daughters that being small is what they should strive for. They essentially starve themselves to take up less space (here’s the moral of this story girls, eating loads is a feminist tactic of subversion). I didn’t grow up like that. After a few initial hiccups (let’s call them men, in this particular case), ours was a female household – shout out to my brothers: correct me if I’m wrong! It surely couldn’t have been easy growing up with me and my mother, both of us dominant and stubborn. BUT: I also grew up in a western European society that liked to tell girls what to look like. For most of my puberty, I actually tried to put on weight, and once I’d hit 20-something, I tried to lose it again.
But to come back to my original point: the women in our family tend to grow out rather than shrink – me included. Once the men were gone, I wasn’t made to be quiet, or told to stay small, or not voice an opinion, and in fact I have no issues with it for the most part. And still, writing a blog… Why was I so shy about it, and why was it so hard to believe – before the encouragement I got – that the small everyday things I do to make our lives nice and interesting and cozy – are worth spamming the blogosphere with? There are a lot of crap blogs out there, and a few that I truly admire, but do people – women, men, everyone in between –, ask themselves the same questions? What do I have to say that wasn’t said before, and that my own words would make worth repeating?
Here’s where the author says: “I have no more profound insights than the next person…” and everyone nods and says: “Isn’t he just so smart in his irony, but he surely knows more than us”, the point being: He is a He, even in my mind. The author is male. If I were to translate “the author” into German, I would say “Der Autor”, “der” being the male pronoun. I have a degree in literature, and Konstanz University being what it is, there was a lot of feminist theory around. And yet, the default author is male, to my mind. Women are an exception.
I haven’t done my research on the genre yet, so I don’t know how long a blog post should be, but I have the feeling I’m starting to test your patience (I promise NOT to read Rousseau’s Confessions, or if I can’t help reading it, not quote from it), so to wrap it up: What is this blog about?
I don’t have a clue really. My contribution to the feminist cause is eating, we’ve established that much. I also like to grow and cook my own food and honour my two (three?) home countries’ influences: Romania, Germany, Ireland. I have a fiancé (although I call him my boyfriend as I don’t like to be defined by this particular role (yeah)), a (male, idiotic) dog and a (male, mean as hell) cat. I also have a garden and I like to make things. All these people (yes, animals are people too) are a huuuuuge part of my life and I could not live without them, but I like to think that there are parts of my being that are self-contained and live in literature, pop culture, my (shameful) love of Sting, teaching myself skills, generally educating myself, and trying not to be an ass. Which is to say, there’s going to be gardening tips, recipes, some “gallery opening and such” reviews (you can scoff here), and some pictures of Wicklow.