amore & tortellini

For some time now I have been a blogger without a blog. Or rather, a blogger who chose to ignore her blog. Life was big and busy, you see. Life was moving from London all the way to sunny Italy, and navigating every little thing that makes up a life in yet another foreign language. Life was finally getting the dog I’d been dreaming of ever since I discovered there were dogs on this beautiful earth (made beautiful by, well, dogs, and a few other things). Life was daring to go freelance and starting my own little copywriting biz. Life was love, the sweet kind I never thought I’d find, because who could see me and love me at the same time long enough to make me believe this is it? This is it, though. It’s the life and the love I have always dreamed of, and I am so damn grateful for the way things turned out.

So why am I back here, then? I don’t know. I’d be lying if I said I could still define what this little corner of the Internet means to me. It’s been years since my 15 minutes of internet fame, and yet I have never quite been able to shake it off; that feeling that my words matter, that my story matters, that I matter on a level that I secretly believe is reserved for the loud and proud. For those who know how to stand up and say ‘I am here’. But the problem is that I would still like to stand up and say, ‘I am here’ in my own way. And in doing that, I’d like to figure out why I am here. Because if in 2013 I was here to write short stories and get my friends – and then you who discovered my blog – to read them and give me some kind of feedback, in 2016 I was here for very different reasons.

My heart was heavy that year, and it was heavy the following year, too. I was going through changes at the speed of light, and I just wanted the world to stop spinning for a while. It was the first time I found refuge in writing (until then it had always been more of a creative outlet) without worrying about whether anyone else would read my work. I was no longer writing for an audience to find me. I wrote to clear my head and feel all the things I was afraid to feel during the day. I wrote to find myself. I wrote thinking, ‘This feels good’ and ‘My writing is so much better than it was three years ago’ and ‘I wonder if these feelings will ever go away and I’ll write short stories again’. The answer, in case you were wondering, is yes. And yes again.

In 2022, after a year in Italy, I finally opened this blog and marvelled. Before that, life kept getting in the way. The move was big, and the language was tricky. People were friendly, but I was quiet. I didn’t know how to be myself in Italian yet. (Luckily, my first language is Romanian, so learning was easy). I was many new things that I didn’t yet know how to be: in love, freelance, a dog mom, lonely. My first attempt at finding a friend failed, and it took me a few months to find another one. It took a few more months for me to feel comfortable among the people here. And it took about a year before I felt at home in every way. At some point, my new life didn’t feel new anymore. It felt easy and familiar. It felt like mine and ours. It felt like home. And then I came back to see if I’d still feel at home here, too.

The answer, as you’d expect, is it’s complicated. I’ve outgrown this space in many ways, and yet it still holds so many parts of me. Reading through it, I see my 21-year-old self, my 24-year-old self, my 27-year-old self (and, hey, did you know I’m turning 30 this year?) I’ve spent almost half of my life so far returning here over and over again to pour my heart out. To post fictional, ambiguous short stories and save drafts full of words I’d never share. So, yes, this is my home, but it’s a home that needs a little love. But I’m optimistic. I don’t think it’s going to be that hard. I mean, it only took publishing a short story to know that this is still one of my favorite feelings in the world. Writing, hitting publish, and hoping someone reads it and loves it half as much as I do.

So here’s what’s going to happen: I’m going to come back here more often and write whatever comes to mind. I’m a copywriter now, and of course my job is to write clear, concise copy that makes sense to people. But listen – this is my blog. And I’ve always liked things without a lot of structure, but with a hell of a lot of soul, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do next. What about you, reader? Maybe you’ve been here since I wrote There Is Another World, but It Is in This One and I got so much love it filled me up for years to come. Or maybe you’ve been here since I self-published Mindscapes after sitting at home for a long month looking for a creative project to focus on. Or maybe you just got here. (And maybe you’ll stay. Will you?)

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been here or how long you’ll stay. My only hope is that you get something out of reading me, just as I get something out of writing for you (and for myself, and for a world of possibilities I still believe in). I hope I make you smile, think, and nod a little. And I hope I make you feel less alone, which I think is the best thing good writing can do. So, pull up a chair, I’ll pour you a cup of coffee—and let us begin again…

P.S. If you’re wondering about the title—today I felt loved, and I ate tortellini :)

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