I wanted to start writing again in 2012, but I was afraid to start something I wouldn’t be able to finish. Then I kept editing my thoughts so what was left on the screen at the end of the day were words that sounded hollow beneath the glossy veneer of pretty photos. (I was convinced that I could be the next A Beautiful Mess, or Young House Love.)
Then things started happening: I organised a wedding and got married, we went on an amazing honeymoon to Paris and London, I settled in to my new job writing at BBC GoodFood. And sometime in mid 2013 I got pregnant. Even at that point I toyed with the idea of writing again; putting down words so I could remember all the milestones, when baby is the size of a cherry, a pear, a squash, a watermelon. But on 3rd January 2014, we got the news of the baby’s diagnosis, and in my vulnerability I wasn’t ready to put my life, or hers, so uncertain, out there again.
And so I sit here now, 9 months after Johanna was born and turned my life all topsy turvy, thinking: “Where do I begin?” So many things have happened that I wish I had already written about. Some memories have already faded at the edges, like our honeymoon, images of walking along the Seine and trying to stay awake at a Man U home game, all taking on the beautiful sepia patina of age. While other memories, like lying in the darkened ultrasound room and feeling hot tears slip down my cheeks at the words: “There’s something wrong with her heart”, are still razor sharp and cut deep like they happened yesterday.
Ivan and I were talking in the car about new year's resolutions the other day, and I said that I had none, all my hopes and milestones for the year ahead are Johanna's--when she'll walk, talk, go for open heart surgery. But as he probed further I shared about my three-year itch to blog again, and how I always had an arsenal of excuses to never actually start: too busy, too tired, too uninspired. The biggest excuse I gave though, was that with all that's happened, I simply didn't know where to start. He was mostly quiet through my self-pitying spiel, and when I was done, he looked over his shoulder where I was sitting beside our sleeping child and said: "Why don't you just start where you are now?"
I guess what’s important isn’t where to start, but that I begin at all. So this is me, beginning.