I still have trouble believing it.
I think I realized how long it’s been when Aussa prompted comments with a “How long have you been blogging?” question, in one of her posts.
Then I was reading Rara’s blog and saw her mentions of being 29 years old. Looking back, I slowly realized that I started blogging when I was 29, too. I had tried to think of what was happy when I was 29. I thought of my daughter, when she was born, but that was a year earlier. She brought such joy, but 2003, the year I began blogging, was filled with sadness and sorrow.
It was a time of fluff– lots of users did these quizzes, posting the result. Although some users wrote about their lives in the old journal/diary style that was common for the time, others were writing in the same style, for fictional characters. I’d been drawn into LiveJournal by LARPers (Live Action RolePlayers). The organization they were part of was known as the Camarilla (at that time), and so users were writing diaries as development for their characters– usually vampires and mages, for a horror-based setting.
I will save tales of woe concerning them for another time. Know simply this, dear readers, was that so very many of them blurred the line between fantasy melodramatics and drama in their own personal lives. And it brought out some of the worst in me. I’d already been with them for about three years, if I remember right.
Anyways, I continued on with the meme fluff at LiveJournal until November 18th:
I got a job for the holidays! It’s work with Noerr Programs (www.noerrprograms.com) working as a Santa at the Columbia Center Mall. It’s full-time hours, Monday-Thursday, 10-8, $10/hour. My final interview included two hours on the floor playing the actual role and I got a photo of my daughter on my lap, which was actually sent to the regional manager, which I’m sure sealed the deal. I’m very excited.
Not to mention I can get off the dole for December and be rid of my case manager at DSHS for a little while…
This was the first time I gave a hint to the ugly reality of that year. The year previous, we had been homeless and bankrupt, and so we had stayed with a friend, whose marriage was ending while we were there. We had moved to a fourplex, which brought horrors detailed in the 5 Truths, 1 Lie meme. Both Cimmy and I were in welfare-to-work, because we were valiantly trying to be self-sufficient. This dragged on until Cimmy had a nervous breakdown in the middle of the DSHS office, and Rhenda Stewart (the “battleaxe” of a case manager I mentioned in the quote) wormed it out of me that I was on psychiatric medicines, and then they pushed us to apply for Social Security disability benefits.
I had worked as a mall Santa before, but I didn’t get the job that year. I had been walking the mall and an employee at the Pepperidge Farm kiosk tried to give me a sample, and I just couldn’t manage with that fake beard. Noerr normally insists Santas have real beards, bleached white, but I did not have a long enough, full enough beard at that time. This was my post on December 5:
Well, I found out the Santa gig won’t pan out… I got grounded because of a background check, and they just kept me hanging forever. I had to play phone tag between my case manager and the set until I finally found out the background check would take too long (and my case manager called me to tell me this… no, my employer couldn’t tell me that. Meanwhile, I was five days without money). I wish they would have just been straight with me. I had to reapply for benefits today, and the whole thing just rather cheesed me off.
By the way, Princess was only a year old in that photo. Cimmy was worried she might freak out, as young children that age sometimes do, but she was fairly calm and serene. She told me today that she knew it was me with my kind, smiling eyes. (Tell me, how many of you are saying “Awww…” right now?)
Now what does this have to with the Hero’s Journey? Well, this time I started blogging– I was already past The Ordinary World (outer), and the Limited Awareness of the Problem (inner). This was well into the Call to Adventure, with its increased awareness of the need for change, but also the Refusal of the Call, with fear and resistance to that change.