alive & more midwestern than ever before

my self-imposed hiatus has finally come to a close. i guess. i needed a break to finish up a personal writing project, & i did that last week. i wish it was something really exciting, like a novel or a zine or something, but…it wasn’t. let’s not speak of it again.

i feel rusty at this blog-writing thing. part of it is that i have never really had a clear picture of what this thing is actually for, if anything. it’s not like i lead an action-packed life that actually needs to be documented on the internet for the entertainment & edification of others. but it’s also not like i need an outlet to express my innermost thoughts & feelings. i have not one but two real diaries i use for that purpose, which i write in using actual pens.

my first ever experience writing on the internet was in early 2000. i didn’t have a computer of my own at the time, because i had no money, no one that might have given me a gift had any money, & i still thought the internet was probably just a flash in the pan anyway. when i wanted to use the internet, i walked to the portland public library & enjoyed the free hour allotted to all portland public library cardholders. it’s difficult to imagine now. i wonder what else i would do with my time if i only used the internet for an hour a day now. i can’t imagine that i am capable of reading more than i already do (i three or four books a week, plus every issue of “bitch,” “the new yorker,” “writer’s digest,” &–i admit it–“real simple” magazines, plus the “new york times” every day). & i get plenty of sleep. maybe i would actually write a novel. or socialize.

“blogs” were just starting to appear in 2000. i don’t know if anyone used that word though. i think they were generally called either “websites” (by people who took themselves seriously) or “online diaries” (by people like me, who were 20-year-old girls). i started one because i had just moved to portland a few months before & i still had tons of zine friends scattered all over the place & i thought keeping an “online diary” might be a good way to streamline the process of updating my friends on my life. it was a diaryland site with a background of orange stars. so perfect for a 20-year-old girl! i’m not even going to pretend to be ashamed. at the time, i loved diaries & i loved stars because i was still at a point in my life where i felt tremendous amounts of goofy enthusiasm for things that were really simple & maybe kind of trite.

sometimes i miss those days.

in retrospect, i had boundless enthusiasm for all kinds of different projects when i was twenty years old. so it makes sense that my “online diary” turned into an exercise in documenting my adventures & i found my voice really quickly. i was working at a bookstore that was in the process of unionizing, i was volunteering at an anarchist infoshop, i joined the radical cheerleaders, i started a feminist art collective, i was planning regular anarchist protests (especially after the 2000 presidential elections), i was writing zines, traveling a lot, going to shows, stenciling, making art…i mean, it was a little ridiculous. & unfathomable to me now. how did i used to be that person?

my life is really different now…which is a relief, actually, because it’s twelve years later. my biggest project recently has been trying to get pregnant. it has been unbelievably stressful. part of that may be because i am the kind of person who can find a way to make a walk in the park on a sunny day or petting a sleepy kitten stressful, but…seriously. i think any ladies who have actually had to try to get pregnant instead of just waking up one day & being delighted to find that they got pregnant on accident know what i mean. it’s hard to fathom when you’re not in the midst of it, & it’s nearly impossible to explain.

in the meantime, i am trying to live my normal life. it’s utterly bizarre to go through the paces of adult living while simultaneously hoping that your pleasant & streamlined daily routine will soon be upended by nausea, physical discomfort, doctor’s appointments, & eventually a screaming, crying drool machine. & to realize that you will actually be upset if you have to just keep living a peaceful life of reading library books, discussing literature at feminist book club, going to bingo night, & traveling without thinking about car seats.

that’s right, i said bingo night! when jared first told me that he was thinking about applying to KU, i thought, “kansas might not be so bad. i bet they have a bingo night.” then i forgot all about it until a year ago. i discovered that there is bingo at the american legion on wednesdays & saturdays, & i asked around, trying to rustle up a friend to go with me. (needless to say, jared is not really interested in playing bingo.) it didn’t happen, & i was reluctant to go alone, so i forgot about it again. until last week, when my friend jaimie started going to bingo with her mom. they invited me to go with them, & now i have a raging case of “dabbin’ fever” (as it is known in the bingo vernacular). expect this to become a regular element in my writing here. in twelve short years, i have gone from being a heavily pierced feminist anarcho-punk who rarely slept but routinely called people out for their political transgressions to being a cape-wearing, “new yorker”-reading bingo maniac who attends water aerobics classes & suffers from baby rabies. i did not see that coming.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

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