Where To Begin


I want to do this writing thing, but I don’t know where to start.  Do I start writing short stories?  Do I keep blogging about the quips of daily life?  Do I make an outline?  Do I show you, the readers, everything?  Sincerely, I have no idea.

Honestly, I’ve never really been good at anything.  I’m not particularly athletic, I was an embarrassing cheerleader once upon a time, my attitude and general disposition are not increasingly enthusiastic, and I’m not creative in a hands on sense.  I am literally never going to make a wreath for my front door or use a hot glue gun without burning myself up in some tragic, over the top accident.  I don’t really have an ‘eye’ for anything other than brownies and how to break down a 2-3 zone.  If you’re looking for someone to fold your t-shirts perfectly, organize your linen closet, make a good pot of chili and a loaf of banana bread, I guess I would do in a pinch, but I’m not talented at anything really.

But, I can write.  I have voice.  I know it and I am pretty confident in it, but I am not that great.  For example, I don’t ever really think I could write a book because I have exactly zero work ethic.  So many ventures seem like such an awesome idea to me and then they get a little difficult or I get bored and I’m checking out immediately.  I can’t imagine this will be any different, and I know if I tried to write a book it wouldn’t be any different, but here we are, same old blog again.  I want to do this, and I want to do that, but really I only want to write it if it’s perfect on the first run and I don’t have to proof it and make it better, well, pretty much ever.

Unfortunately, that’s not how any of this works.  That’s not how writing works.  Nothing is perfect the first time, the second time, or the third.  Another thing is, it’s really scary.  The other night, I wrote something and shared it that actually had something to do with current events, something that I knew would be at odds with a lot of people.  When you write something in a public forum, you put yourself out there and you have to be ready for that.  But, honestly, a lot of things I write privately push me into looking myself in the mirror.  Sometimes I’m not really sure how or what I feel about a situation until I write about it.  Writing is powerful like that.

I’m not foolish and I don’t think I can change the world with my writing.  I don’t know that anything I ever write will be published outside of this blog.  I have to stop being scared if something is ‘good enough’ to post and just bore you all with everything.  You know, all 10 of you that read this (and that’s aiming incredibly high!).  But, if I get even single chuckle, provoke some thought, heck, make anyone feel anything, then I guess that’s the point.

So, again, where in the world do I even start?

This probably will not be well received.

Tragedy typically provokes two types of responses; compassion and fear.  I’ve been exceptionally careful about how and what I have posted on social media in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, France.  As a human being with an unbelievable capacity for empathy, my heart aches.  Hundreds of people innocently went out on a Friday night with no fear or inclination that they would never make it home.  These people were parents, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, coworkers, friends, and significant others with heartbeats, souls, feelings, thoughts, beliefs, favorite coffee cups, and so much more.  I have never been to Paris, and what happened yesterday did not change my every day life.  But, I care deeply about the senseless loss of human life.  I ache for those who are left with the void of losing a loved one.  I am profoundly sorry.

That being said, I am not scared.

I am not scared of radicals.  I am not scared of an entire religion based on the heinous acts of less than 1%.  I will not be scared into believing that 1.6 billion people want my death because of the images I am fed.  I know who and what the threat is and that it is real.  Very, very real.  I acknowledge the danger of an unchallenged, unchecked ISIS because I am neither foolish nor naive.  I will not use the loss of 129 souls for political expediency before their families can even begin to mourn.  Because it’s not about my beliefs, it’s not about how I feel about immigration or gun control or war.  I understand these are real conversations and conversations that must be had, but at this moment, these are the conversations of the removed.  These are the conversations of those of us who are safe in our homes tonight, sleeping next to someone we love, texting someone we haven’t lost, thinking about what we will do with our day tomorrow when we wake.

Because we will wake.  129 innocent, beautiful lives will not.

Today Is Okay.

Today we close on our first home.

For the last 6+ months, Chad, myself, our 55 pound dog Trevor, and our 3 ill tempered cats (Sophie, Sadie, and Zoey) have lived in a 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 1 living space, too tiny apartment.  It was the apartment I moved into when Chad and I started dating and I needed to spread my wings and leave my Mama.  I loved that apartment.  I hate the carpet in that apartment, but I loved that apartment and it has certainly served it’s purpose and then some.  But, like with everything else in life, it’s time for change.

We always joke that living so close together for the last half a year has been hard, but it really hasn’t.  The worst fight we’ve had was when Chad first moved in and it was, you guessed it, over something stupid.  Nobody really yells, I sometimes slam a door because I’m approximately 12, and most of the time my biggest annoyance is stepping in pee because someone is too lazy to turn the light on to aim properly at 3am.  The fact is, the best part of my day is coming home to Chad or him coming home to me.  That’s not to say we don’t get on each other’s nerves because we certainly do, but I kinda like the guy.  He’s my best friend.

I’m writing today because I can’t help but think about how much life changes in 365 days.  Today, we’ve been married for six months (actually, on the 18th), and we close on our first home.  This time one year ago, Chad rushed to the hospital as my grandmother passed away.  He and I didn’t live together, we weren’t engaged, we certainly weren’t married, and we weren’t even thinking about buying a house.  I didn’t cry that day.  Or the next day.  I didn’t cry until the morning of the funeral, actually.  I had a really hard time being sad because she was suffering so much in those last months.  I missed her, don’t get me wrong, but her labored breathing and tired, exhausted eyes were hard to look at and I knew she was very ready.

I know she would be extremely happy and excited for me today.  I know when we finally moved in she would worry about me being by myself and ask me when Chad would be home, though I’ve always been extremely independent and capable.  I was her littlest girl, the little wavy, brown haired baby that she would watch intently as I ran down the path in the yard and made it to our back door.  Even to this very day one year ago, I was that little girl to her.  That fact used to bug me, but I’m okay with it now.

Today is okay.  Today is happy. Today, I sign “Alena Hughes” to eleventy billion papers and become a home owner.  Today, I miss Rusha Dae and wish I could show her our house, even if only in pictures.

Today is an anniversary and a new beginning.

Today is okay.