Frida Kahlo painted dozens of self-portraits as she keenly documented her internal and external life and each one was a masterpiece.
Today, I write my 100th blog about me, which does make me wonder about how self-absorbed I really am or perhaps I’m still trying to work out this weird old thing called life and my relatively benign role within it. I don’t think any of them could be classed as masterpieces.
My first-ever blog was in July 2012, but it was actually just a rehash of a newspaper column I used to write because I was scared of truly putting myself out there – methinks that has changed.
Back then I’d just finished writing a novel that went nowhere and completing a masters degree in creative writing that made me start to consider a life outside of the journalism sphere.
Four and a half years, and nearly 100,000 words, later, I know that I’m a tad closer to achieving a creative life that also pays the bills and I’m also a much better writer because of this blog.
OMV also gave me the vehicle to explore my grief as it was created at exactly the same time as mum was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s.
Little by little, I wrote down everything I was feeling – with an increasingly brutal honesty I now recognise – as I inched slowly towards some semblance of radical acceptance of her illness as well as to becoming a braver writer with something to say.
Over the course of 100 blogs, I’ve pondered a number of short-term flings that left me scratching my head, but thankfully not my pubes.
And I’ve written about one long-term relationship, which started out with so much promise but ended up being the worst one of my life. Bloody life lessons never stop do they? At least they give me plenty to write about.
Throughout each blog about men who’ve I’ve temporarily crossed paths, and other body parts with, I think I was forever trying to work out why it never worked out – not that it was always me who walked away.
Now, after thousands upon thousands of words trying to analyse relationships, I’m none the wiser about them but hopefully a little more insightful about me. My decision to name this blog Oh My Vagina now seems very prescient indeed.
And I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that my 99th blog was about me deciding to have a relationship with my vibrator from now on.
Maybe I’ve finally realised that I actually like my life just as it is – even though most people don’t understand how I can be so happy “alone”. The key, of course, is that I might be alone but I am far from lonely and I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. At 44, I’ve finally learned that my motivation has always been freedom and that I am enough.
I’ve written about drinking too much, not drinking at all, about people that I’ve meet on planes and the ones who we connect with on holidays. I’ve even written more than one blog about my teeth, my hair, my tattoos and my shoes. Hopefully that means that I find stories everywhere I look and not that I’m actually a little bit ridiculous (see photo above).
Soon OMV will be the biggest commitment I’ve ever made in my life as I continue to write down the (mostly odd) contents of my head as often as I can for no tangible reward other than sharing my experience of life through my words.
From the early days when I had a handful of readers, who were mostly my friends and family, to today where OMV has had more than 40,000 views and is chalking up 11,500 likes on Facebook. Perhaps, since I wrote my first poem when I was five, it’s one of those lifetime overnight success stories?
I’m still waiting on that message from a publisher keen to share my literary “genius” on a global stage, but every like, share or comment I get from my readers makes my heart sing just as much.
As I head into my second year as a self-employed journo, with a screenplay that has a producer interested, I know that the creative life I dreamed about 100 blogs ago is tantalisingly within my grasp.
I just have to keep dreaming big and sharing the journey – with its myriad lessons of light and shade – along the way. I hope you stick around for the ride.