For some time now, I have been a blogger without a blog. Or, rather, a blogger who deliberately 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 since I discovered dogs exist on this beautiful Earth (made beautiful by, well, dogs, and a few other things). Life was daring to go freelance and start my own creative copywriting studio. 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’ve 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 could never quite shake it off; that feeling that my words matter, that my story matters, that I matter on a level I secretly believe is reserved for the loud & proud. For those who know how to stand up and say “I am here”. But the trouble is that I’d still like to stand up and say “I am here” in my own way. And, in doing so, to find 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 sort of feedback, in 2016 I was here for entirely different reasons.
My heart was heavy that year, and it was heavy in the year to follow, too. I was going through changes at the speed of light, and I just wanted to make the world 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 caring whether anyone else would read my work. I was no longer writing for an audience to find me. I was writing to clear my head and to feel all those things I didn’t dare to feel during the day. I was writing to find myself. I was writing and thinking, “this feels good”, and “my writing is so much better than it was 3 years ago”, and “I wonder if these feelings will ever pass and I’ll write short stories again”. The answer, if you’re wondering, is yes. And yes again.
In 2022, after one year of Italy, I finally opened this blog and marvelled. Before, life kept getting in the way. The move was big, and the language was tricky. The people were kind, but I was quiet. I didn’t know how to be myself in Italian yet. (Luckily, my first language is Romanian, so learning came easy.) I was many new things I didn’t know how to be yet: in love, freelance, a dog mom, lonely. My first attempt at making a friend failed, and it took me a few months to look for another. It took me a few more months to start feeling at ease around people here. And it took me about a year to feel at home in every sense. At some point, my new life no longer felt new. It felt easy and familiar. It felt mine and ours. It felt like home. And then, I came back to see if here would still feel like home, too.
The answer is, as you would expect, it’s complicated. I’ve outgrown this space in so many ways, and yet it still holds so many pieces of me. Reading through it I see 21-year-old me, 24-year-old me, 27-year-old me. (And, hey, did you know I’ll be 30 this year?) I’ve lived almost half of my life so far coming back here, over and over again, to pour my heart out. To publish fictional, ambiguous short stories, and save drafts full of words I’d never share. So, yes, this is home, but it’s a home that needs a little loving. But I’m optimistic. I don’t think it’ll be all that hard. I mean, it took publishing one short story to know this is still one of my favorite feelings in the world. Writing, pressing Publish, hoping someone would read it and love it half as much as me.
So here’s what’s going to happen: I’m going to come back here once a week and write whatever crosses my mind. I’m a copywriter now and, sure, it’s my job to write clear, concise copy that makes sense to people. But listen – this is my blog. And I’ve always liked things without much structure, but with a hell of a lot of soul, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do next. As for 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 one long month of sitting at home in lockdown, searching 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 around, or how long you’ll stay. My only hope is that you get something out of reading me the same way I get something out of writing for you (and for myself, and for a world of possibility I still believe in). I hope I make you smile, think, and nod to yourself a little. And I hope I make you feel less alone, which I think is the greatest thing good writing can do. Now, pull yourself 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 :)