I was a waitress for close to ten years. And by “waitress,” I mean that I worked anywhere from the hostess stand, to the busboy station, to slinging drinks behind the bar. And for most of those years, I loved it. I love people, I love meeting people, and I’m one of the better bullshitters I know. It’s an art form, really.
During my stint as a waitress, I learned how to deal with people. I think every teenager should be forced to spend a year working in a restaurant in order to properly prepare them for the real world, where some people are assholes for no fucking reason, and rather than pee in their drink you simply smile and nod. It’s a good life lesson – being able to stare someone in the face that you hate, while not letting on that you’d rather be curb-checking them somewhere.
I realized, during my final stint as a server, that I was done. Just DONE. I couldn’t do it any more. Why? Someone had the audacity to ask me for a refill on their soda WHILE I was on the way to get them a refill.
HOW DARE THEY?
(I kid, I kid, I drink Diet Coke like it’s going to be extinct)
If I’d continued working there, I’d have ground my teeth into nubs by the end of each shift. I could no longer smile and make nice while I served up pizza, pulling in $30 for a 5-10 shift. It just was…it was over.
I’d begun to feel that way about blogging.
Gone were the days that I could pull up a blank WordPress screen and pour my heart out through my fingertips. Gone were the days when stories flowed. It’d become so much harder. I’d hurt too many, I had to censor myself, I didn’t always have a hilarious spin on shit, because, well, shit isn’t always funny.
I worried I’d become boring – I wasn’t doing much new. I didn’t want to become one of those bloggers who’d been around so long she had nothing else left to say.
And the in the New Blogging World, well, I still don’t fit in. In a space where Tumblr and Pinterest can capture the attention because oooh! shiny! who wanted to read WORDS? LOTS of words! BORING words? Was blogging worth it?
I couldn’t answer that.
I’ve been around long enough to have been able to see the metamorphosis of blogging – people had gone from using blogging as a means to tell stories and keep up with family and begun buying into the business of blogging. While I *do* run a non-profit now, it’s not like sponsors are piling up at my door, knocking themselves over trying to sponsor me. And frankly, I don’t know that I’d want them to, anyway. I like blogging on my terms. I’m beholden to no one but myself and my Pranksters.
But in a world where blogs are now businesses, and the “Word Of Mom,” has become king, where does that leave someone like me? Sure, I sell ads – I have to support the cost of running a non-profit, but I’m still waiting on my yacht or my all-expense paid trip to Detroit or Delaware.
I’ll be waiting a long damn time.
I considered shutting my blog down – I mean, it’s only a matter of time before I reach the end of the Internet – which, I imagine, will look a lot like a ball of hair – and why not quit while the quittin’s good?
I’ve been thinking long and hard about that.
And it came back around to this: I started writing because I needed a place to fit in; a place I could tell my stories, and a place I could make friends and connect with other people. I never expected I’d find a family in my Pranksters. I’d never expected to have a soul read my blog, unless it was some spambot named Robert trying to sell me some quick and easy pay-day loans or enlarge the size of my non-existent penis.
When I began Mommy Wants Vodka, I fit in on the fringes. My very first friends were my baby loss mamas and the infertile community – these two groups understood how it felt to be on the outside looking in. And today, my greatest friends are still from the IF/Loss community. They’ve been the sort of friends who have dusted me off, wiped the vomit off my proverbial chin, and reminded me that sometimes life is a hot bag of dicks.
These two communities are what lead to the embryonic idea behind Band Back Together: it would be a space for the IF/Loss/Special Needs community to get together and share stories – libraries of stories of people who had been through the same problems. In that way, we could be none of us alone.
In turn, I’d use my nursing background to create valuable resources for those who are struggling; to be used as a sort of reference, to learn more.
But being exclusive hurts my vagina, so I opted to invite anyone to share their stories: stories of IF and loss, stories of mental illness and triumph, stories of natural disasters and recovery. YOUR stories. We ALL have a story – it’s up to us to tell it. To reach someone in some far corner of the universe who may find your words and take some comfort that he or she is not, in fact, alone.
The shelves in my online library of stories at Band Back Together have grown and outpaced anything I could dream of. I couldn’t be more proud of The Band and all that we do.
All are, as always, welcome to submit their stories. Even you. Your story is just as important as the next person’s.
But it was thinking back on where I’d come from and where I’d go from here that I was reminded of my roots. How I do have the capacity to simply open up my blog and pour my stories out, whether or not I win fancy awards or get sponsored to visit Texas. How all of that bullshit about ranks and numbers and followers, it’s just that: bullshit.
I still have my words. I’m going to continue to write like no one’s reading.
And as I do that, I’d like to remind you, the Infertile/Loss community, that I’ve never forgotten my roots. June is National Infertility Month, and each month on Band Back Together, we choose to shine the spotlight on a condition (or conditions) that do not receive enough time in the sun.
This month, we’re shining the spotlight directly onto IF/Loss so that we can turn what was once hidden in the dark, back into the light.
So get your leather pants strapped on, and start your storytelling. You never do know who will be touched by your words and be reminded of our mission: we are none of us alone; we are all connected.