the smell of my desperation has become a stench

A dozen years

Yesterday my website turned 12 years old. Today it started its period and was like WHOA WHAT IS HAPPENING. Didn’t think I’d have to sit down and have that talk with it just yet.

Hey, website. Go google some questions. But be sure to put a helmet on first.

twelve

Whoever’s search history this is, you should probably stop eating so many leprechauns.

There isn’t much time to celebrate. I think Tyrant and I are going to eat a piece of cake later today, but that’s after I start packing up clothes and books and equipment to move to another home:

twelve_2

Last month I sold this house, this beautiful place that I once thought would be the scenery of my future. In about a week I’ll be living elsewhere and the girls and I will continue to make memories there. Getting this house ready to sell and the laborious process of making sure it was clean enough for showings and then packing up both dogs, Marlo, my cousin and Tyrant, sometimes Leta, all of us in one car wandering around until we got the call that it was clear to return, it’s made me very eager to move forward and leave behind this phase of my life.

There are very good memories in these rooms. I will honor them by being grateful that I was allowed to live them. As I walk around and assess what needs to be put in boxes and how things will fit in the new space, I’m not really feeling a sense of nostalgia. This change is a natural consequence of divorce, and I’d been afraid that when it came time to face this stage of it that I’d be crippled with sadness. But these are just things. These are just walls and floors, and if the last year and a half of my life has shown me anything it’s that a really beautiful house is not in and of itself happiness. It’s just a location.

I could be here, I could be in my mother’s basement. I could still be in that 400-sq-ft apartment in West Hollywood and I’d have to wake up and decide if I’m going to take what’s going on in my life and make it better, if I’m going to get up and out of bed every day to provide security and safety for my kids, if I’m going seek out happiness. There is so much in life to look forward to, and owning a giant kitchen and sprawling hardwood floors pretty much has nothing to do with it.

Metaphorically this move is a perfect celebration of what my website has given me, a place to process and articulate the joy and the pain and the journey of evolving. I can go back and read about my single life in Los Angeles, the sadness I felt when I left California, the awkward nights of living in the room underneath my mother’s kitchen. I can see the bewilderment of early motherhood. I can read about a marriage that lasted a decade. I can browse photos of the first house I ever bought, the cover of the book I wrote, the months my cousin GEORGE! lived in my spare bedroom. I can relive the moment a rattlesnake almost killed my dog. 12 thrilling years that resemble the sine curves of a roller coaster.

And now I’m moving into a home by myself with my girls, another wholly new experience that I know pretty much nothing about, one that is sure to be as winding and deranged as the entire journey that preceded it.

I hope you’ll join me on this part of the ride as my website enters puberty, starts slamming its bedroom door in my face and secretly starts sexting the delinquent neighbor who rides a skateboard. They grow up so fast these days.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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