BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Trying On Personalities

 

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I’ve been having a little fun with fiction. I’ve been trying on different personalities in the form of characters I’m writing. First person narratives are so different from third person. Getting into the character makes me feel like I really know him or her. Well, her. So far I’ve been working with female characters, probably because they’re what I know best.

Maybe it’s time to get a little bolder. I’ve written a few women, and they’ve been young. Far younger than I am. I suppose it’s because in my head I’m far younger than I am in my body. Teenage me is still alive and well, but fortunately she’s not in charge. Can you imagine? That would be a disaster.

Can I write older? I suppose I can try it, but it will be quite a bit more difficult. After all, I’ve been younger than I am now, but I’ve never been older. Of course I know older people, and I have my entire life, but it’s not the same as having that first-hand experience. Still, I think I’m going to give it a go.

Then there’s gender. At the moment I’m thinking in terms of simple binary, that is male and female. Again, these are the ones I’m most familiar with. Yes, I have met transgender people, and yes, the people I’ve met have been lovely, but I don’t know nearly enough about their experiences in the world to pretend to be able to write a convincing character at this point.

I’ve written characters from different backgrounds, from a former child soldier in South Sudan to an undocumented Mexican man full of machismo to a little girl living in foster care unsure of her future. None of these characters have been in first person, though. I think it would be enlightening to go back to some of these people (yes, I know they’re imaginary, but they’re still people) and write from their points of view. What is that scared little girl seeing and hearing in the dark in a strange bedroom far away from her family? How does his past haunt the Sudanese “Lost Boy” and does he feel survivor’s guilt? What, and who, did the Mexican man leave behind when he crossed the border? Was it worth it? Will he ever voluntarily go back?

It’s a fascinating exercise in empathy and creativity. At our core we share undeniable similarities. How these manifest, and how our differences separate us, are topics of unending wonder. I’m so lucky I can write my way into whatever personality I feel like choosing.


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Did I Really Write That?

I’ve been at this blogging thing since June of 2013, so a solid five years now. In that time I’ve published nearly 700 posts. Most of them have a fair number of words to them. Some, however, are quite short, and feature photos or a video instead of my usual ramblings. Still, that’s quite a few posts.

The thing about it is, I can’t actually remember writing all of those posts. It’s almost as if I was in some sort of stupor when I published them. Not all of them, of course, but I have stumbled across several that make me scratch my head in wonder. Are these really my words? Did I really say that?3d-clipart-question-mark-20.png

It’s not that I disagree with my past self, or that I’m embarrassed by anything I’ve written. At least so far I haven’t been. It’s just that it seems like the act of writing should leave more of an indelible mark. I ought to remember my words, as I remember the quilts I’ve made or the scrapbooks I’ve created.

Maybe words are just too common. Maybe it’s more like trying to remember meals I’ve cooked. Some stand out, for various reasons, but most just fade into the background to be forgotten. Maybe that’s how it is with words. Sometimes they stick, but other times they say their piece, only to be quickly forgotten.

I don’t mind, really. Sometimes it’s fun to see the suggested posts at the bottom of my screen and click on an old post. Sometimes it’s like seeing an old friend, but other times it feels brand new.


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Five Years of Blogging

The other day WordPress was kind enough to let me know that it was my five year anniversary of blogging. Happy Anniversary to me and BulgingButtons! And thank you, to each and every one of you who has read anything I have written. The kind feedback this blog has generated has been quite amazing to me.

When I begin, I thought I would be writing about my weight loss and fitness struggles. Here we are, five years later, and I am still struggling. In fact, I might be struggling more now than ever. Still, many of you have been with me since the early days, and have shown nothing but kindness, encouragement, and support.

No longer is this simply a blog about weight loss and the struggle it entails. It has become a reflection of my life in general. Family, relationships, teaching, and my world outlook have all found their way onto this website. My little corner of the Internet is where I plop things down for all of you to see. Sometimes I’m proud of what I’ve written, and other times I cringe a little when I hit the publish button, but it’s all authentic. It’s all from the heart.

Thank you for hanging out with me at Bulgingbuttons. Let’s keep supporting one another, and keep on keeping on.