Blog is Dead. Long Live Blog

I've been planning to retool the blog. I wasn't called in to work today, so I have some found time, and here it is.

I've decided to change the name, because despite the fact that 'Relatively Faithful' was an incredibly witty title that I was proud of, it just didn't fit anymore, as I'm finding myself less interested in writing about religion consistently and more interested in writing about, like, whatever. It was a good run, but alas, blog is dead.

Blogs are irrelevant, but what isn't these days? Here's the first post of this resurrected blog:

I don't know if it's the fact that I'm getting older, or that a lot of big things have been happening during recent years, but I've been thinking about my family a lot during the last few months. My sister is prego in Las Vegas with what will be the firstborn of this generation of my immediate family, and my brother now has a job and a cool internship in New York City (which he also may well be evacuating as I write to avoid Hurricane Irene). Angel and I are going home to Ohio for a few days next week for the first time in a couple of years, and trying to plan some fun/nostalgic things we can do while we're there.

This morning I was wandering down to Rem Koolhaas's fabulous Seattle Central Public Library to try to find something to read, having just had coffee on an empty stomach, and I was feeling particularly optimistic and inspired thinking about where we all are at this point. It occasionally crosses my mind that each of us have gone through big changes recently, and that in our own ways we've all gone through some major struggles. But it really struck me today that each of us have actually totally blown up our lives and restarted during the last three years. It started with my sister almost exactly three years ago, deciding to divorce her ex and strike out on her own. It was a really brave, and I'm sure incredibly difficult, move, but it was a bad marriage and she's in a much better place now, as far as I can tell. She's remarried to a good guy, has a decent steady job, owns a great little house outside of Vegas, and now has a nice little family with his son and one of their own on the way. Then, last year, as I've blathered on incessantly about, I left behind the religion that had provided my community, identity, and career and had to restart from what seemed like scratch. Now, somehow, pretty much everything in life feels better. And then there's my brother, who might have made the most dramatic move of us all by selling most everything he owned, quitting his job in Ohio, and moving onto a friend's apartment floor in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan. As of today, I understand, he'll be spending his time working in a hipster coffee house and helping film a sort of punk rock documentary about the New York independent theater scene. Which, I have to say, is an incredibly long way from answering phones for a medical supply company in Dayton.

Maybe because all of us have drifted around quite a bit, and have all had our share of worthless jobs and misguided decisions (and non-decisions), I've never really thought of us as particularly brave, interesting, or exciting, but that perception's starting to change, and I'm finding myself thinking and talking proudly about my family quite a bit lately. I've always had a basic level of pride in the family story that I've constructed - we crawled up from Appalachia and the Midwest and we've managed to carve out a living and improve our situation every generation, along with maintaining our values, integrity and humor. My parents, I always tell friends, are the nicest people you'll meet, and the kids are all smart and funny. None of us have ever been rich, but we're salt of the earth types - unpretentious (well, except for me), hardworking and generally good honest people. Now I'm feeling like there's a new, courageous dimension to that - we're ballsy. We've actually taken some pretty big risks, and they're all paying off.

When you come from a dumpy small town you can get the impression that people from other places exist on a different level, and possess skills that you don't. That's reinforced, I think, by the (imaginary?) preponderance of assholes that (live in my own head? and) tend to run elite institutions, do famous things, come from wealthy families and live in cool places. One thing I think I've learned since living in the Big City though is that a lot of life is belief in yourself and a willingness to pursue opportunities, work hard and take risks. It's kind of crept up on me that everyone in my family has been able to step up and do that in pretty impressive ways during the last couple of years. We're not particularly remarkable, but we have come from humble beginnings and have been able to figure out ways to construct the lives that we want. In the moment, the risks seem stupid and struggles don't seem worth it, but it's great to see, maybe for the first time, that it's starting to pay off and we're all managing to get our feet on the bottom rungs of the ladders that we want to be on.

As always, Mathis rules.


Adventure Mom said…
Leah left her ex 3 years ago. Time flies!!!
Unknown said…
ah! You're right! I fixed it, thanks to the magic of the internet.