On That Time I Broke Up With Tumblr (Which is Right Now)

I deleted my Tumblr account today.

It’s something I’d been thinking about doing for a while now. For a period of time — significantly in times of distress — I consumed Tumblr endlessly as a source of comfort and socialization. I felt fairly close to people on Tumblr until I would disappear, either due to circumstance or because I’m chronically behind on most TV shows. I would realize that while I liked these people, and while I felt a kindness for them, we didn’t seem to have a common bond outside of “reblogs the same sort of stuff.” The people with whom I did have a bond, I had on other social networks.

Also, a lot of the social issue conversation I have is no longer limited to Tumblr. It’s permeated into the outside world, into real life and newspapers and onto Facebook, where I can argue more transparently with people who barely like me.

I’m really glad Tumblr existed in my life when it did. But by now I’d realized that it doesn’t fit into my life the way it used to, and I never really felt the pull to use it — even when I was actively checking my dashboard.

But why delete it? 

I had two major reasons for not letting it stagnate.

1. It was an archive of my life in the weirdest way. I used Tumblr as a sort of public diary — like LJ before enacting a friend’s lock. I felt a safeness in it because no one I really knew was on Tumblr, and a lot of my aching personal posts were buried under piles of reblogged content. But some of that content simply… doesn’t need to be.

I’m not trying to erase history. I’ll happily share most of the information about my mental health, relationships, sexuality, etc, that one might have gotten from reading my Tumblr. But having it all sitting there, stagnant and out-of-date, bothered me. This feels like cleaning out the fridge, and it feels good.

2. I read once that as a person with an Internet persona (in this case, a writer), it’s better to not have a certain type of social media account than to have one that’s stagnant and ill-used. As someone working toward someday having a modest fan base, I’d rather be easier to access on a smaller number of platforms than have an abandoned platform full of out-dated information.

It’s still sort of weird.

The last few years of my life have been transitory in a significant number of ways, and I always feel really adrift when I try to reconnect with myself. I feel like I’m going through a normal sort of developmental process for my age (sentences I did not think I’d write about being 28) — I don’t think I’m a special snowflake over here.

I’m no longer the person I was when I needed Tumblr. I’m also no longer the person I was when I used to get drunk and think about how it might be better if I drown — so I guess it’s not all bad, changing and shit.

Privilege and the Value of Listening to Other Voices

I have two major conversational flaws.

The first is that I interrupt people in the middle of conversations. It’s not that I mean to — I’m not thinking to myself, I am better than this person, and what I have to say has more value. More often than not, I’m just excited and eager to get the thought I’m having out before I forget it. I’m very forgetful.

The second is that I try to relate by sharing my similar experience. Someone says, Hey, my mom just died. My first instinct is to reply, Oh man, my dad died once and it’s rough. My goal is to create camaraderie and trust: I know what you’re going through. But do you know what it sounds like to someone trying to talk about their feelings? Yes, but let’s talk about meeeee~. 

I’m telling you this because I think it’s important for you, Reader, to know that I’m aware of exactly what these feelings are, and how hard it is to work on them. Slipping up is easy, especially if you’re a voracious talker. Especially if your passionate on the subject. Moreso if emotions are running high.

But when you’re engaging people whom you have privilege over, you really need to back up and just listen.

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Bitches Baking: An Intro to the New “Cooking” Section of the Blog

I decided somewhat recently that man, wouldn’t it be fun to have a feminist cooking blog? I mean, it wouldn’t be different from any other cooking blog, I suppose — but I have a thing for flashing my feminist domesticity all loud and proud. It’s part of that whole this is what a feminist looks like thing, where A FEMINIST COULD BE ANYWHERE, LURKING, LOOKING LIKE A NORMAL PERSON IN THE CROWD.

So, anyway. Welcome to the feminist cooking section of the blog: Bitches Baking!

I think I’m very funny. You’ll probably come to hate that over the course of several (sporadic) posts.

Here’s a random picture of beer from my archives, because I couldn’t find a picture of food.

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On Ignoring the Straw-Bogeyman

I threw a pair of gym shorts in my bag yesterday morning. I can’t wear them, I told myself, but just in case. 

In the past two years, I’ve tried really hard to unlearn the unrealistic beauty standards I’ve held my body to all of my life. And that’s not a static process. I backslide sometimes. As I lose weight, I find new imperfections to nitpick.

Of all of this, the hardest to come to terms with are my legs. I’m 5’3″ and come from a herd of stocky women — it is not in the cards for me to have long, willowy legs. I could give you every detail I dislike about my legs, but that’s not the point here. The point is that I have a hard time showing my bare legs.

Wearing shorts out in the wild is kind of awkward, but at about 85 degrees I stop feeling awkward about showing off literally my whole body. But when it comes to exercising in shorts, I find myself self-conscious about the jiggle of my thighs when I move. Even knowing that literally everyone’s thighs jiggle does little to dissuade the voice in my head that says, “Oh, no, these shorts aren’t for you. These are for other people. Real people.”

So there I am, looking down at these shorts in the locker room, and I think, “If I could see just one other woman with legs like mine in shorts at this gym, maybe that’d be okay.”

Then I rebutted: “Stop it. What if someone else here needs you to be that woman with legs like yours in shorts?”

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It’s That Time of Year Again: Miles Turns Six

I have only written three birthday posts in Miles’ six years — four, I guess, counting this one. It’s somewhat weird to read back on them, both in observing the huge changes in our family over six years, but especially in the changes to Miles as a person.

He’s an entire person. He’s blossomed in school, becoming a strong reader for his age and voraciously interested in math. He loves games, both playing them and inventing nonsense games. We have conversations about feelings and complex topics, and he expresses wants and fears for his future. (He hopes he never gets cancer and wants to build the very first skyscraper in Lawrence.) He makes excuses for why he doesn’t want to do things, and creates weird, elaborate lies. Give him long enough on a phone, and he’ll start taking selfies before demanding to know why I don’t have more games. He can be reasoned with (sometimes).

To Miles, his life is endless possibility. He can and will do everything, and I sincerely hope that I’m able to help him find his way with all of that brilliance and verve. (He’s gonna be smarter than me. No question.)

Nooow traditional yearly photo-dump! Though this one is mostly recent photos, because my photos of Miles are so, so scattered.