I set this thing up, from its very conception (note the word choice) to be a gestation. I gave it an eight-and-a-half-month timeline, with a clear date of when I could expect it to be over. As I’ve mentioned before, I stole these particular dates from my own failed pregnancy two years ago (August 7th, the day I found out I was pregnant, to April 17th, my projected due date), but as it turned out, the dates themselves bear no meaning on what I’ve experienced here.
What I’ve experienced has been, in so many metaphorical ways, a pregnancy. I don’t think I knew this going in; I only knew that I was making it span roughly the same amount of time as a pregnancy does, because I needed it to have a beginning and an end, and I felt like being clever. But a pregnancy is what I got. Let’s look at the timeline.
Late spring/early summer 2010: planning ahead. I decide that, after all I’ve been through and all the ways its affected me, I am finally going to commit myself to healing. I have a vague idea of “starting a blog,” but instead of calling it a blog, I’m calling it a “healing/writing project in blog form.” I start asking my friends with blogs for advice: blogger or wordpress? How do I get the layout I want? Do you think anyone will find this interesting?
Late June 2010: conception. I set up my wordpress account. I am excited, but not quite ready to share with the world yet. I come up with a name: “Bakery Closed Until Further Notice.” It’s perfect. I tell myself to wait to announce my plan to the world until August 7th. Which means that for almost two months, I sat and waited, excited, fearful, anticipatory.
Late July 2010: heartbeat. I meet up with a friend from my high school journalism/yearbook days, and ask her to take pictures for me – for publicity, for a header, or maybe just for me. I finally realize that this is really happening. I am committed. No turning back. I am in this for the next nine months – and I don’t even know how to feel.
August 7, 2010: the announcement. I publish my first post. I learn that I can get my posts to publish themselves to facebook. Huge relief, as now I don’t have to figure out how to tell the world about my project – I can just focus on the project itself. I look at the 254 days ahead of me and take a deep breath.
August 2010-October 2010: the first trimester. Still not really sure what I’m doing, I take it one post at a time and try to get used to the idea that I am now a blogger. I am blogging daily, and therefore I start to look at my life in relation to the blog: if I go to this dinner, will I have time to post? If I have too many drinks, will I be coherent enough to post? What story should I tell next? What moments from my daily life will make good blog posts? I have a few readers – my close friends, Doug, my dad, and some old classmates who stumbled across my facebook links – but for the most part, I am still going solo. This is about me, and although I’m fascinated by the fact that other people are interested, and welcome the comments I do get, I’m mostly focused on myself and my journey.
November 2010-January 2011: the second trimester. Things really start to pick up as more and more people begin to know me as a blogger. I get some random comments from women I’ve never met, saying, “Hey, I know how you feel,” and I suddenly realize that this is not all about me. I am not the only person out there going through this. This realization makes me both ecstatic (someone understands!) and devastated (it’s so unfair!). I continue plugging away at my daily posts: it feels like I’ve been doing this forever, and that I will be doing this forever. It’s as much a part of my life now as eating, sleeping, or going to work.
February-March 2011: the third trimester. The end is in sight, and I don’t feel ready. I start wondering what will become of me once “Bakery Closed” is over – I’ve gotten so used to this part of my life, and am so in love with the friends I’ve made because of it. I seriously consider trying to keep it up forever, but have an inkling that that’s not what I really want, either. I start making plans for what will happen to me after my blog ends, and try to ignore the countdown ticking away in the back of my brain.
April 2011: the final few weeks. I am so ready for this to be over. (The phrase, “Get this thing out of me, now!” comes to mind.) I am ready for the next step, even though I still don’t really know what that will look like – another blog, another project, another chapter for which I am only slightly prepared. But I’ve taken this as far as I can take it; there is nothing left to say, and obviously I can’t exist in this state forever. I wanted to grow, to heal, to move forward, and I have grown, healed, and moved as far forward as I can within the confines of these pages.
April 17, 2011: due date. Yeah, I have no idea. But it’s two days away, and I’m ready to be there. I’m ready to meet my life after Bakery Closed. I’m ready to wear a different necklace.