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For historical purposes, an inevitable ramble of a list, housekeeping, et al:
1. I could go on for days and weeks about how many times I’ve meant to complete the simple, 2-minute process of setting up something like This. If you’re here you know how rare it is for me to eek out a text message that is not prefaced by “1/2” and how my emails spiral into convoluted narrative, so I will make an earnest effort to stop myself here. This is about putting words to post and page, about the hardest part of writing. That tricksy bit is, of course, the writing. This is here now because I need it to be, because I am wired for note-scribbling and processing, and because for years I’ve had an arsenal of half sentences that are all UM HELLO? What has or has not come before this and why can’t matter now, though of course it does.
2. There’ll be a lot of that here. The things that don’t matter because they do, do because they don’t. The crude and beautiful process of it all, and a steely belief that there is an “all” to be had here, down in the wreckiest, most uncertain corners.
3. Hence the title. Joan Didion’s “Goodbye to All That” came before me, into my head, and never left. She said goodbye, I say hello. (I’m fairly confident that will be the last time I make a Beatles reference, accidental or otherwise. I’m that asshole that sometimes gets tripped up singing along to a Beatles song because it’s different from the Across the Universe version. Go ahead: color me shameful, inexcusable, unfit to live. It’s cool.) I’m a classic mess of an early-twentysomething, dumbfounded as to when this contentment thing got so utterly complex overnight, ever perched somewhere between nostalgia and hollow fear and revelation, certain, in the words of the inimitable Joan, that nothing like this has ever happened to anyone before. Moving to New York (Brooklyn) a little over a week ago has made this comparison almost comedic, but no less affirming. (And that moment when she eats a peach on Lexington Ave? Have been having those all over. Only, like, with pears. And nectarines. And on Nassau Ave. But you know.)
This time of my life seems to contain the most of everything–including pain and frustration and sometimes sheer terror–but I don’t ever seem to be short on living. Most days, it’s almost thrilling. And the good stuff, my god the good stuff, that’s here too. No matter what, I wouldn’t take any of this time back. It’s critical, even when it hurts like hell.
4. The URL is twofold. (Wait. You WEREN’T waiting on the edge of your seat wanting to know about THEURLWHATABOUTITHUHUH?! Oh. Well do you mind if I? I already kind of had something…Ok, I’ll be quick.)
Fold the first: Some ho took my desired url, hellotoallthat. On to: When I was at the MAAC museum in Guayaquil, Ecuador, I was stopped in my tracks when spiraling floor tiles spelled out the following: “Gritar o contemplar, son consecuencias de un mismo impulso.” Literally it means “To shout or contemplate, they are consequences of the same impulse.” I said it aloud, wrote it down, carried it with me everywhere in a silent chant that became almost wordless. It was perfect. I went back to the museum a few days later to find it actually said “Girar,” which means “to turn.” It was a mix of things, seeing that my new raison d’être was well, nonexistent. But I’ve learned to love the whole story of it, from the misread to where it is now; still resonating, like so much, even more all the time. It just sort of fit.
5. On a supremely more superficial level, I was ready to leave that word I never said without a cringe or a footnote behind: Livejournal. I mean, I’m 21 now, the innermost observations I pour messily out into the internet are legitimate right? Totally. In college, “school” became “class,” so that became BLOGGING. Watch out. THIS BOAT IS REAL.
Turn up the boombox, put on your hightops, I guess it’s time I hit the publish button.