Where in the hell have you been for the last year? You write for seven years and then just stop. How does that happen?
I don't know. To be quite honest, in looking back, I don't know what in the hell I've been doing for the past year. All I know is I got to where I didn't want to write. Or, to be more honest, where I didn't want to write for an audience, even if that audience doesn't really exist.
This blog started out, as I've said before, as my electronic journal, a fail-safe one that couldn't be lost in a hurricane--one that I'm keeping for myself and for Emmeline, one day, although she will probably be horrified to find out what a weirdo her mom is. Then, a few people started reading it occasionally. And then a few more. And then it got to where I actually became friends with a few people who read it, and who blogged on their own. And then some strangers started popping by on a regular basis and commenting. And although it was wonderful to have people enjoy reading what I had to say, it also just started to feel weird. Like I was writing for other people instead of for me. And my self-consciousness got in the way, and I started feeling like I needed to censor what I wanted to say. And it just felt like it was time for a break.
Don't get me wrong; I have no delusions that there are people out there who have been pining away for my posts, cursing the gods and wondering what happened to me. My regular readership was probably about 6-7 people. Hell, I can't even get most of my own family members to look at my blog. (Hi, Mom!) Although, I will say that I was surprised when I logged into my Google account for the first time tonight in probably six months and saw that 327 people came here last month. I am, however, willing to bet that the large majority of them are the derelicts who can't spell girls and ended up here by accident looking for porn, as usual. Who knew that having "gris" in the name of your site was such a porn search generator? And if someone is searching for porn with girls AND grits, then they must think they've hit the jackpot with my site.
As I'm sure I've mentioned before, after Katrina, life in New Orleans kinda sorta sucked for awhile. In addition to accepting the unbelievable as commonplace, it was damn lonely. Don't get me wrong, the camaraderie that everyone felt here for one another was amazing. The guy standing in line with you at the grocery store became your new best friend as you shared your flood stories, as did that guy who worked on the 11th floor whom you'd never spoken to before, after four years of working at the same place, the clerk at the gas station, and any other random stranger you might sit next to in a bar. That part was one of the most uplifting things I've ever been a part of.
But there was also loneliness, and a lot of it--at least for me. As someone who had no family in New Orleans, other than my husband and daughter, I oftentimes felt jealous of the huge connection that all of the locals here had with their families. They all had dinner together every Friday night, it was nothing to drop your newborn off at your mama's house for the weekend (sooo jealous) so that you could go out with your friends and have fun, etc. Through the pre-Katrina years, I made a lot of friends here--friends who I now call family. But after Katrina, they all moved away.