Ten years. It’s been ten years since I started this blog.
Ten years since Rand accidentally named this site because he misheard me when I suggested “The Everywhere List”. Ten years since we registered the domain. A decade of writing posts – some good, some utterly embarrassing, some very, very outdated.
The wormhole created by a project that spans ten years of your life is no small thing. You go from being twenty-something to nearly 40. You go from being newlyweds to the couple that people come to for advice, because you’ve been together since God was a boy and everyone wants to know how you make it work (short answer: assume that your partner has the best intent, and acknowledge when you are hangry). Your hair changes a lot. You go from wondering where your career is going to wondering where your career is going (but you know, now you’re a published author with a James Beard Award).
There are days when I think I haven’t changed – that time has simply elapsed. As though the passing of a decade is no more significant than the passing of five minutes. But then I reread those early blog posts – me, a newborn foal trying to balance – and I cringe. It’s a deeply uncomfortable thing to be confronted with precisely how much you’ve grown. But then again, what’s the alternative?
Children are tiny mile markers for our own mortality, little walking reminders of the passing of years. The delta between 30 and 35 never feels that vast – but the one between 4 and 9 seems to stretch forever. Rand and I don’t have kids. And so different things become our reference points for the passing of time. Projects. Friendships. Crimes against Fashion.
Remember when you only had 10 employees? Remember when I wore those low-rise jeans? Remember how we looked when I started this blog?
I marvel at how young we were.
At how skinny I was and how round Rand’s cheeks were.
“When did we get so old?” I ask him, and he laughs.
But then again, what’s the alternative?
“I never agreed to any of this,” I say, annoyed, pulling the corners of my brows up, the way my mother used to, the way that I hated, to see if I can get my face back to where it was. But it just looks strange. So I let it go, and it all falls back into place.
Maybe everything is where it should be. I know I’ll look back on these photos, these photos taken today, yesterday, the day before, and marvel at how young we looked.
And I realize: I did agree to this. I agreed to quietly sitting at my computer during the day, trying to make something. And seeing him in the evening, smiling as he says “Hi, baby!” when he comes in from the shed where he spends his days, working on his next big thing. And on his face, he has this look. It’s the delight of someone who hasn’t seen you in ages and who has missed you terribly. Even though, of course, it’s only been a few hours.
Just a few hours. That’s all it was.
I agreed to the steady passing of time because it’s been with him.
I don’t blog the way I used to. I don’t blog with the hunger of a young writer trying to figure it out, with the frenzied panic of someone who needs to prove themselves. I’m still not certain where I’m going, I suppose – but I guess that doesn’t bother me so much anymore.
I still love this blog. I still love writing. I love everything it’s brought into my life. But after ten years? It’s hard. Stephanie Yoder wrote about it brilliantly on her own blog. A decade is usually the expiration date for things like this.
Days and weeks pass and I don’t write at all. Rand gets annoyed.
“When you write,” he tells me, “wonderful things happen.”
And I remind him that wonderful things have already happened. And maybe, maybe that’s enough. Maybe it’s okay to slow down as you get older.
“We’re not old,” he says, nudging me. “Go write.”
And so I do. And here I am. Perhaps not for another ten years, but for a little while longer, at least. Because honestly … what’s the alternative?