February 24, 2013

And that’s the way it is.

The snow flew strong and yet strangely benign, almost immaterial on the scale of driving conditions.  Like driving in a snow globe. There was quiet in the backseat, as one child watched season two of Doc McStuffins on my phone while the other was immersed in a platypus episode of Wild Kratts on an old iPod. My husband and the eldest were in the other car, so it was just me, two kids, and a pair of headphones in the swirling snow with 100 miles of Interstate 89 ahead of us.

I was thinking about writing a blog post explaining why I haven’t posted in a week. No phone and no Internet due to a misunderstanding with the phone company, I thought, strangely relaxing if it hadn’t been for all the work calls I had to cancel. Who was I explaining to, really? No one had noticed I hadn’t posted in a week. The few hundred readers who come here have come to accept that I’m not so regular anymore. And then it hit me, as surely as the day shortly after my 27th birthday that I realized – also on a long drive – that I was ready to have a baby.

It’s over.

It’s been over for some time.

I’ve held on longer than most, a dinosaur of old-school personal blogging in a world of Tweets and Pins. The blog is dead, someone once wrote, long live the blog. I’ve seen bloggers fall by the wayside, disappear, reappear, even die. I held on because I had something to say here. But I haven’t said much here in awhile. I started this blog to be honest, brutally honest, and for a long time I was. But then my kids grew older, and I couldn’t be honest about me without revealing pieces of them. My posts became more and more shrouded, shielded, if you will. It was absolutely the right thing for my family, but it turned this blog into a place to tell sweet, funny stories about my kids. It became just what I didn’t want to write. Navel gazing has lost its appeal, but navel gazing is all that’s left with kids as old as mine are.

I’ve loved blogging. I’ve loved meeting so many beautiful people and having a room of my own. I started this blog when Benjamin was 10 months old – still nursing. That’s almost six years ago, or, to put it another way, the length of 36 middle-school romances. That’s a century in blog years. However, for the past year or so, I’ve been using my writing to speak meaningfully in other ways and in other venues.

This is not to say I’ll never write creative nonfiction or even memoir again. I’m writing essays now and then when I have a story to develop into a longer piece. If you want to keep an eye on what I’m up to, you can like my Facebook page, where I always post links to what I write. I’ll maintain this website, so you can also check in on the Stuff I Wrote section. I may even post links here on the blog from time to time, so that it blasts out to those of you who’ve subscribed through email.

It feels so strange to be writing this, even as it feels absolutely right. I didn’t understand when so many others wrote similar posts. You can’t hold onto the past. It’s a wrenching truth of the human condition. We grow older, and if we’re lucky, that means we change and find new ways of self-expression.

In the words of one of Benjamin’s favorite songs, “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run.”

Thank you, all of you who’ve spent so many hours here, who’ve had my back and held my hand. I would be remiss if I didn’t tip my hat here to Chani, whose spirit was threaded through so many blogs. You all know where to find me if you want to shoot me an email, and I hope you will keep in touch.

I won’t pretend I’m not crying here. There was a breathtaking intensity to it all, and I wouldn’t give those days away for anything. I can’t believe it’s over, that I’m ending it, just as I couldn’t believe I was breaking up with my first great love when I was sixteen, even as I felt myself doing it. Just because I was still in love didn’t mean it wasn’t over.

It’s been a wonderful ride. Thank you.

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35 Comments

  • Reply Ceci February 24, 2013 at 1:30 am

    I always read your blog, I never comment. Thanks for the ride! We’ll miss you.

  • Reply WendyElissa February 24, 2013 at 1:46 am

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear this! I always look forward to a new blog entry from you! Thank you for your honesty in your writing. You have made me laugh, cry, and to think about things differently. I hope to read more things by you in the future.

  • Reply Poker Chick February 24, 2013 at 1:48 am

    Have loved reading. Looking forward to seeing what else you’re write with all that time.

  • Reply alejna February 24, 2013 at 1:51 am

    Oh.

    I feel like a good friend is moving away. Sure, we’ll still write from time to time, but we can’t just hang out over a cup of coffee.

    I will be sad to see your blog stop. I am comforted that you will keep writing, though. I look forward to seeing where you go next.

    (Also, I feel like a dinosaur. A very stubborn dinosaur. Who still keeps blogging.) (The Very Stubborn Dinosaur sounds like an Eric Carle title.)

  • Reply Janet February 24, 2013 at 1:52 am

    Phooey. I understand but I’ll miss your writing here. I was always glad to see your name pop up in my reader and when it was , it was the first blog I went to.

  • Reply Selena February 24, 2013 at 2:00 am

    I’m sad. I’ve just recently found you and really enjoy your writing — your memoir inspired me greatly and changed my life.
    Good luck and thank you for sharing little pieces of your journey. 🙂

  • Reply Sarah Piazza February 24, 2013 at 2:51 am

    I wouldn’t have met you if not for this space. So it’s good, yes?

  • Reply Heide February 24, 2013 at 3:43 am

    I’ll miss you. And I’ll still hope I get to meet you in person some day.

  • Reply Melanie February 24, 2013 at 3:53 am

    This bites, but thanks for all the thought provoking posts. Best of luck to you and your family in the future.

  • Reply Tragic Sandwich February 24, 2013 at 3:56 am

    I’m sorry to see you go, but I completely understand. I’m glad I found your blog, because it led me to your book. And I hope that we’ll have a chance to see more from you, regardless of format and medium.

  • Reply Placebogirl February 24, 2013 at 4:36 am

    I have recently become a parent to a little boy, and I have been reading, I suspect, since not long after you started blogging. I am so sorry to see you go, though I understand it.

  • Reply MW February 24, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    I’ve been reading since pretty close to the beginning and I’ll miss you.
    Thanks for the past almost-six years.

  • Reply Lau February 24, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Thank you for all of your writing, and I very much look forward to reading more from you!

  • Reply Sarah February 25, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Just like several other posters, I always read your blog but never post. I’ll miss your insightful comments on life and your charming stories of your lovely family. Best wishes and good luck.

  • Reply Adi February 25, 2013 at 6:07 am

    I’ve been a silent reader for the last 2 years. I’m a single mom to 2 twin boys
    Your blog has touched me deeply. I thank you for giving a voice to all the little true things and details that are a part of our lives. I’ll miss you and the email posts I looked forward to reading. Good luck

  • Reply Jenn February 25, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Thank you. I too have been a silent reader for a long time…possibly since close to when you started writing. I have enjoyed what you have written and appreciated the depth with which you write. Best wishes to you and your family.

  • Reply boliath February 25, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Thank you for sharing your life Emily, it has been a privilege to read, I wish you well and will keep an eye out for your future work xx

  • Reply Coco Rogers February 25, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Emily, I remember the very first post I ever found by you. Despite the heavy subject matter, I was hooked. Your words are like gemstones, scattered over a path, beckoning with little sparkles as the sun moves.

    I know you’ll find your next path, your new writing room, and I will wait for that happy day. Not patiently, perhaps, but I will wait. You are worth it in every way.

  • Reply Kris February 25, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Will miss your semi-regular posts here, but I look forward to reading pieces in other places. Please do post links!

  • Reply Issa February 25, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    I get this completely. Mine is gone. I miss it and yet, I don’t miss it. The time had come. Good luck in whatever comes next.

  • Reply Brigid February 25, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Well, drat. There are few who have lasted in my reader, but you are one of them. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that you’re free to change your mind and pop in here every so often, but I wish you well in your next venture.

  • Reply fiwa February 26, 2013 at 12:38 am

    Let me just heave a big sigh of sadness. I wish I was as eloquent as some of the other commenters, but I’m not. I will miss you. I understand, but I will still miss you. I will wonder how you & yours are doing and what is going on in your lives. Thank you for your words and for sharing so much of your life over the years. I can’t even begin to express how much I enjoyed reading.

    All my best to you and your family.

  • Reply Liz February 26, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Thank you for your years of sharing. Your voice has been a power house. I will miss your blogging, but will be keeping up with your writing! Thank you for your courage to share the dark parts of life, so that others can see the light.

  • Reply Lauren W February 26, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Emily,
    I’m very sad to see you go. I may not comment often, and I may need to catch up on a whole month of posts in one glorious chunk, but I told you a long time ago that if you write it, I will read it. I’ve really loved your blog. I bought your cookbook and read Behind the Woodpile although I had read the draft at Wheels on the Bus. I look forward to reading your future work. Good luck to you.

  • Reply Liz O February 26, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Thank you for providing this way for me to keep up with you and hear your “voice”. Sending love for your journey.

  • Reply magpie February 26, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Getting to know you has been a great pleasure. So, while I’m not happy that you won’t be “here” anymore, I do know that you’ll be “there” and where “there” is. Cheers!

  • Reply Courtney February 26, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    I hate hate HATE seeing the tweeters and pinners win. Sigh. I know this isn’t what that is but whenever I see one of the bloggers I’ve followed for a long time write one of these notes, it’s pretty much what it feels like. GOOD luck and best to you and your family – I do understand how children growing up limits truth-telling online.

  • Reply Heather February 27, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    I jumped the gun and expressed my outrage a few weeks back. But for all the thoughts and ideas and viewpoints you’ve shared, thank you.

  • Reply Nandini February 28, 2013 at 3:32 am

    I will miss reading your stories about all the small and big things in life, but completely understand. I look forward to reading your other work. Best wishes, truly.

  • Reply Catherine February 28, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Oh, this is sad. I will miss you. And I was thinking of Chani throughout your post too.

    As you know my almost seven year old blog fell awhile ago, though I don’t think I ever bothered to announce it. Like the tree falling alone in the words, it didn’t even make a sound. Thank you for your fantastic writing and community building. I have to say – you are the only blogger I didn’t personally know in real life who I kept reading.

  • Reply Jacob SW March 3, 2013 at 11:49 am

    I’m sorry to see your blog go, but I totally understand.

    FYI, I’m keeping this in my Google Reader feed, so if you update it, I will notice!

    Is there any way to set up an RSS feed for the Stuff I Wrote Page?

  • Reply Painted Maypole March 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    xoxo.

    i never had the insight to call it “over,” i just faded away gently into that good night, I suppose. Although the other day I had two different ideas about writing blog posts. I miss this type of expression. Writing and reading blogs was a gift to me that I miss.

    Ever so glad we met here.

  • Reply Lilian Nattel March 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    I understand. I haven’t posted on my own blog for a month and not sure what to do about it. But I find twitter and FB too noisy, too busy, and I can’t find anything at all in that noise so I ignore it pretty much. That said, I hope you can post links to your writing here because I do subscribe, and drop me a line via email whenever!

  • Reply Vee March 11, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Well, I’ll miss you, but I understand. I’ve been toying with the idea of closing mine down. I just can’t make myself do it, even though I haven’t put up anything new since some time last year.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your work.

  • Reply Ashley R March 14, 2013 at 2:11 am

    I’m so sorry to see this blog go. Thanks for writing honestly and beautifully and always challenging me. I think I must have found you through Catherine, who is my friend in real life, and I have loved everything you write, especially about raising a challenging now 8-year-old. There are days when I didn’t think I would make it with my Calvin, and one of your posts would keep me plugging along. Peace to you.

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