This is the 200th post on my blog, and in honour of that I thought it more fitting to write a bit of a reflection on the blog overall and the year in general rather than try and write a bicentennial worthy poem.
In this blog as in my life, I’ve worn a lot of hats and gone down a lot of different pathways. This year alone, I’ve been through more pain and suffering than I would have thought humanly possible, but I’ve also experienced such joy and wonder. It’s difficult to write about myself in a real sense, despite that being the abstracted topic of so many of my poems and stories. It’s perhaps because it all seems surreal, like too much has happened for any of it to have been true. But as I reflect backwards, I realise that if anything I’ve understated the trauma of living a year in my life.
I’ve been used, I’ve been loved, I’ve been a mother, I’ve been a fighter, I’ve won games, I’ve divorced, I was a victim of some awful things, I’ve learned how to cut open and sew back together human beings, I’ve loved some beautiful women and men, I’ve made some amazing friends, I’ve lost others, I’ve learned to stand up for myself, I’ve been kicked out of a house I furnished, I’ve written poetry, I’ve watched my son lose teeth, I’ve learned how to salute, I’ve grown to find joy in church and most important of all, I’ve grown a lot.
The best thing about this year, for me, has been the fact that I can look back and truly say I’m happier now than when it started. Which is quite an achievement really, considering. I think overall, the joy of life has outweighed the suffering and even if it hadn’t, at least I’ve been honest with myself and others. Someone asked me today what it felt like to be so vulnerable, to have so much of myself out there on the internet in words on a page, free and open for anyone to read. To be so freely giving of myself has meant that I am free to be myself, and so it’s been incredible really. It makes me so happy when people appreciate my work here, precisely because it is so raw and truly, deeply me.
When people read my blog they are reading me, and reading me very honestly. I’ve held nothing back from here, and yes I am vulnerable. But that vulnerability means that I am vulnerable to happiness too, and more so than I am vulnerable to judgement I’m intensely vulnerable to the kind words and sweet kisses given to me in thanks for what are merely pretty words, at the end of the day.
And I suppose that is what I’ve come here today to say, really. I’d like to say thank you to you, all my readers and friends and lovers and enemies and fellow authors. I named this blog Marie Athena & Company – because truly I wouldn’t be here, this body of work wouldn’t be here, without all of you. The good, the bad…at the end of the day it all merges together and as for me? Well I love all of you ❤