Hi!

I should start by saying that I’ve never written a blog before, I only read them when one of my really-good-at-being-a-millennial friends texts me a direct link, and – therefore – I pretty much have no clue what I’m actually doing.

That being said, I think it at least makes sense for us (you) to get to know each other (me) as a first step. So let me start with this:

I am three months out of a three-year-long relationship with someone I really, really loved. It was one of those big relationships. The kind where you imagine sharing a bathroom forever and the idea of all those short, little beard shavings left on the sink doesn’t gross you out. The kind where you learn shit about dumb shit like video games and “playoffs” because as long as he’s the one talking about it, it matters. He was my best friend, not as a replacement to any of my other best friends, but in addition to. An enhancement to. My best friends together are like a jumbo, greasy, amazingly full-caloric, extra salty jumbo pretzel – which will always, always be standalone amazing. But he was like the creamy side of cheese sauce. (Note: it is very, very relevant at this point to understand how much I truly enjoy cheese.) (Also note: this will always be relevant.)

But we weren’t compatible enough, deep down. We wanted different things; needed different things from each other. There’s this skincare (I think…?) commercial that’s on my TV a lot right now. But, of course, it hasn’t run during the past five commercial breaks so I’m just gonna acknowledge that I’m referencing it even though I can’t tell you exactly what “it” is. Anyways, this commercial lists out the number of times the average woman will have certain experiences in her lifetime. According to this very scientific and presently elusive commercial, the average woman will go through two major breakups. I can definitively say that this was one of mine.

However, this is NOT a primary fact about who I am. This is not a secondary fact about who I am. This isn’t even some tertiary fact, like a mini-planet orbiting my existence in a universe only visible by telescope. It’s just something that’s happened. That happens twice, on average, to every woman in the world.

And that sucks, for the record. I’m not gonna sit here and pretend like I’m one of those Rosie the Riveter kind of girls who can throw on a pair of overalls and chant ‘I can do it’ and just start kicking ass in this kind of situation. Breakups suck. But you know what else I’m realizing sucks? How consistently and easily strange women feel entitled to ask you about it.

Ok. To clarify, I don’t mean, like, odd women with twitches. I mean women in your life who aren’t your best friends, and aren’t strangers. You know them but you don’t know them. They’re a step removed from strangers. So I’m gonna reflect this relationship by just removing the “-rs” and calling them strange.

Pre-breakup and post-breakup, there have been times when strange women have barely taken a breath between saying hi to me and asking how “X” (my ex, shorthand.) is. Literally, it comes out like “Hey how are you how is X and is everything still roses and butterflies??” Post-breakup, those questions suck for obvious reasons. But now I’m starting to realize that, even pre-breakup, it sucked. Why?

BECAUSE I AM A FULL HUMAN ADULT WITH A LOT OF COOL, FUN, REAL, STRESSFUL, RANDOM SHIT GOING ON! Why aren’t strange women ever stampeding to ask me questions about THOSE things?? And why aren’t strange women rushing to share those same cool, fun, real, stressful, random things about themselves? Why do strange women come into contact with other strange women and immediately succumb to the lowest common denominator: dudes?

I don’t want to do that. I’ve never liked doing that. I have full confidence in strange women (all women, all people) to tell me, of their own will, the things about their lives that they want me to know. And now, since this is my first ever blog post and we (you) are getting to know each other (me), I’ve compiled a list that is way more demonstrative of who I am.

  • I’m a 29-year-old black woman living in NYC by way of Maryland by way of North Carolina by way of D.C. by way of Atlanta
  • To reiterate, I am 29 years old now! So young! So old! Really all just depends on what kind of day I’m having and whether I’m trying to save for retirement (I’m young today!!) or call “happy hour” a legitimate night out (Fuck. I’m old.).
  • I have a maniac, hypochondriac dog named Langston and he’s perfect in a very imperfect way – more on that in a later post.
  • When it comes to music, I love oldies, which I can generally categorize as anything that happened in an era that’s not now. Motown. NSYNC. 90s R&B. I make an exception for Bruno Mars ❤
  • I made a chunky knit blanket over the Christmas holiday. It actually almost looked like a blanket when I was finished.
  • My favorite city I’ve ever visited is Barcelona.
  • I actually genuinely enjoy watching football.
  • I’m an only child and my parents are actually cool. And fun. And inspiring. And dope.
  • I. Read. A. Lot. Of. Books.
  • …And I balance that out by watching A. Lot. Of. Bravo.
  • I’m in the process of querying for a literary agent. And I believe in good vibes. So I welcome any 🙂
  • I love seeing people happy. Truly, truly happy. And I use my 11:11 wishes to pretty regularly hope that more people can be lucky enough to feel that way.
  • I love wine, truffle fries, and cheese. (Told you that would come back again.)
  • I feel really, really fortunate whenever people let me see enough of their soul to give me the chance to believe in them. We all deserve to have somebody believe in us.
  • I believe words can change lives, can change the world, can change me. So, I write.
  • I have a best friend who has just been diagnosed with brain cancer. She’s going to beat it like a Cancer Black Belt. I’m going to be the greatest friend I can be.
  • Gun violence makes my head explode. Racism makes my head explode. Homophobia and Xenophobia make my head explode. Thus, my head has been exploding a lot lately.
  • I love naps.

There’s more, of course. There’s obviously so much more to me and to you and to all of us, which matters a lot and is important to remember, even though sometimes it’s easy to forget. Be it because we’re easily affected by the opinions of strange women (How young of me!)  or because our memories are already failing us (So. Fucking. Old.).

Now…how do you end a blog?

Xo Charlene (?)

(I’m sure I’ll eventually get better at signing off.)

 

 

 

 

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