Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Early Years

I guess I talk about myself on my blog a lot too, though I never really know how it reads. My sister can tell you if it's an accurate portrayal of the real me.

I live in a small town just a few miles from the small town in which I grew up, but I like what Sally said: those few miles relieve me of a lot of baggage. So I'm the one of my siblings who never really left home, the one living thirty miles down the road from Mom and Dad. I guess I left home for college and a couple years after that, then got married and settled down with my husband somewhere between his parents' and mine. I used to be afraid of spending the night at friends' houses--would always call in the middle of the night for my mom to come pick me up. I'm that much of a homebody. I still don't like to sleep in beds that aren't mine. These details feel sort of ironic because I'm the Marianne to Emily's Elinor.

Actually, I guess I did have a couple whirlwind romances with the wrong guy before my family set me up with my very phlegmatic husband. Now Emily is the one traveling all over the country making friends with interesting people.

When we were little, Emily's friends would come over to play with her, find her reading a book in the blue wingback chair, then come play Barbies with me. I didn't really like reading when I was growing up. In fact I'm not sure I understood any books I read until after college. I just carried books around to act like I was reading them. Crime and Punishment lasted all the way through my sophomore year of high school. I did just re-read it recently, understood it completely, and didn't like it.

What I always wanted to do, actually, is write. But since I didn't read, it didn't go well in the early years. I think it was after my first baby that something clicked in my head and I didn't have to re-read sentences over and over again for things to sink in. And since I had no time for writing, nor did I have anything to say, I put that aside for awhile in order to read. Reading quickly became my guilty pleasure.

Which brings me to now. I'm writing again, which is good, and I'm still reading a lot, but in the past year, since I started blogging, I've been doing so much of it online. I really am beginning to notice a concentration lag. So I'm looking forward to disciplining myself to sit down with real paper books, and to fill in all those gaps in my education from when I wasn't paying attention to what I read. Also, if you guys are game, I might throw some of my writing out for feedback--to find out why it's being rejected.

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