April 14, 2014
Puberty take two began on October 12, 2011. In the past couple years, I’ve written 97 blog posts. Through them, I rehashed super awkward middle and high school memories. I explored my feelings on religion, getting ahead in the workplace, having kids. and reality TV. I took time to reflect and remember school picture day, friends that passed away, summers at the beach, and where I was on September 11, 2001. For a year, I kept a report card on my personal goals. Many times over, I passively-aggressively tried to lure ex-boyfriends back into my life. I processed the present day and used my past as a compass.
For those of you that don’t know, this blog had been a long time coming. For years, I wanted to write a book about a girl in middle school seeking to better understand herself. The only problem was that I couldn’t think of a plot, but had all of these little vignettes pulled from my own life. My dream novel quickly turned into a collection of short stories.
The more I wrote, the more I wanted to share these stories in real time. At dinner parties, I would bust out my laptop to read the latest– hoping for everyone’s laughter and approval. I emailed my stories to friends for their required positive feedback and encouragement.
When puberty take two came to life as a blog, I desperately needed to do something that was just for me. I was still recovering from a relationship that had ended a year earlier– and since then, I had done little besides sulk and go through the motions of the day-to-day. My job sucked. I hated living in Alexandria. I was in such a rut. This blog was the beginning of reclaiming my voice and putting my dreams on paper. Through it, I explored creativity and allowed myself to be vulnerable.
As an extrovert, I never realized how valuable personal writing could be. Puberty take two forced alone-time into my life– and even inspired me to take a vacation all by myself. Even though this blog is a totally public forum, its allowed me to have better conversations with myself. It’s allowed me to connect with my friends in new ways, keep up with people in other parts of the country and world, and allow my old acquaintances to stalk me however they see fit.
You’ve probably noticed that I don’t write with the same frequency that I used to. Some of that is laziness and other excuse-making. But mostly, I’m just tired of comparing my present self to the past me. In many ways, I’m working really hard to shed the old Colleen that is sometimes self-deprecating and self-doubting. And, I’m about to turn 30. My friends are buying homes, getting married, and giving birth to children. I just recently got a major promotion and am feeling professionally challenged. Now is not the time to backpedal to “man, wasn’t 7th grade the worst?!”
Just before starting my new job, I took a trip to the beach and, without hesitance, had an obligatory reflective moment with the sound of the waves. I looked to my left: no one. I looked to my right: not a soul. Just me and the ocean. So I screamed: “2014 is the year of Colleen. It’s time to let go. It’s time to move forward. It’s time to be the woman I know I’m supposed to be.” Now, I recognize this is fairly melodramatic and cliche– but its exactly what I needed.
So, everyone…thank you so much. With the sincerest gratitude, I want you to know that your reading and commenting on my work has changed my life’s trajectory. Your encouragement has meant more to me than I can articulate. Onward and upward!