Sep. 23: Buh-bye, blog.

I haven’t posted since March, and for good reason: I’ve got nothing to say.

Yes, I realize that’s never stopped me before, or at least not often. Once upon a time I posted several times a day, and probably 95 percent of those posts were total wastes of bandwidth. Possibly 97.

What happened?

In 2010, my dear friend Loveliest Lori had a health emergency of which I opted not to share details publicly, and given that it was all I could think (worry) about, I simply stopped posting for a while.

I don’t dare blame Lori for my blog’s demise, because—as she reminds me when I accuse her of sleeping soundly while everyone who loved her freaked the eff out—SHE WAS IN A COMA. (“Coma” is her “cancer card,” a card I myself have occasionally been accused of playing too much. But Lori’s “coma!!” responses are just fine with me. I mean, who would seriously suggest someone plays a life-threatening condition card too much?)

I laugh. Ha ha ha. (That is sarcastic ha ha ha-ing. in case you didn’t catch it.)

I know who. Someone who was, for as long as I can remember, one of the most important people in my life, until she decided I was toxic and her life was better without me and my children in it. (Can we say “narcissist”? We can!)

I couldn’t write about that situation much either, not because I didn’t have permission, but because I was heartbroken, confused, and unreasonably protective of her, STILL. Y’all would’ve grown tired of my never-ending whining and tuned out anyway.

I held the hand of a friend whose husband fought cancer for a year and, while the experience so affected me and her other friends, the story was not mine to tell. 

The reasons behind posting infrequently just evolved from situations like these. I got used to posting carefully.

Eventually I started censoring my blog posts more than I wanted to, which got me wondering why I even had a blog if I was censoring myself, which had me asking myself who I was censoring for, which made me start feeling incredibly self-centered, which is a personality trait I detest.

Blogging can be a pretty self-centered thing to do, after all. I mean, it sometimes seems very HERE’S WHAT I THINK AND AREN’T I BRILLIANT FOR SHARING THIS WISDOM AND DON’T YOU WISH YOU HAD THE COURAGE AND ISN’T MY LIFE SO AMAZING AND AREN’T I SO CLEVER BLAH BLAH BLAH. Don’t get me wrong; unprecedented understanding can result from the process of writing out thoughts. Lately, though, it feels like there’s potentially an even greater benefit (for me) to write out my thoughts without publishing them for the world to read, and I guess that’s why I feel like my blog has served its purpose and has quietly—pfffft—faded away.

I started Stuff Jen Says while pregnant with Katie 16 years ago as an easy way to share our family news with friends. It blossomed into something so much bigger, for which I am occasionally proud (my cancer story, for instance, if it’s even the slightest bit helpful to anyone facing it themselves). My blog brought me a brush with fame: meeting and “helping” author Pamela Ribon write a book. It allowed me to share things that made me guffaw. It allowed me to share things that enraged me. It helped me make friends. It might have helped me lose a few—it’s not all been good, that’s for sure. But what my blog absolutely could not do is survive my tremendous worry that I had become that person who believed every thought that entered my head was worth sharing. I really, really hate that person. I could not bear being her.

So I’m calling it. OK, I’m kinda calling it. I won’t completely give up on Stuff Jen Says, but I’m not going to feel guilty for not posting anymore. I may occasionally post haiku, or funny Jack stories, or links to Broadway musical awesomeness. And who knows? Maybe someday my blog will find a life again. But if it does, or if it doesn’t, whatever’s meant to happen will. I’m sure of that.

What I want to make clear is that I’m not writing this as a ploy for attention or a way for my vast audience (cough!) to plead with me to revive my blog. After 16 years, I can’t just let my blog die without explanation. So… there it is. I offer up my biggest thank yous to the comments, encouragement, and support y’all have given me here over the past 16 years. There have been moments that this blog has been an absolute lifeline for me, and I’ll always be grateful for that. 


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