I walked around for most of 2018 with a shiny pair of invisible handcuffs tying my wrists together. I couldn't write. I didn't write. I wouldn't write. I stopped knowing what the pitter patter of laptop keys beneath my fingertips sounded like. I flew across the world for work and prayed that I would unearth some stroke of inspiration in Adelaide, South Australia. Instead I sat on the couch most nights watching Masterchef as my eyelids grew heavy. Somewhere along the line, the adrenaline rush ceased. I stopped believing in magic, the allure that accompanies tossing words into the ether and watching them stick with someone you've never even met. I fell out of love with the cross-country race of writing online. I craved the quiet blessing of savoring some experiences for myself.
But, I also grew up.
I tapped into other dimensions of myself. My full-time career kicked into high gear. I left the country for the first time alone and got lost wandering through the streets of Sydney. I found solace and joy in new, different arenas of my life. And at times it felt like my writing relegated itself to the margins. I now know this happened because I needed to make space. I needed to clear the way. I needed some air and elbowroom so I could evolve and transform and fall in love. I needed to stop writing and start living. It's hard to do any of those things when you're chained to a laptop giving the Internet the best of what you've got.
I stopped wanting to pen essays lamenting love I'd lost because I was preoccupied with nurturing the love I'd found. I could no longer be that girl on the Internet who relayed tales of being jilted and left somewhere in the wilderness. I had to find another MO. Another approach. A new angle that would resonate and ring true. Because at some point I stopped being that lovelorn girl. And I became a woman who was in love with her feet on solid ground.
The early, angst-ridden years. They faded both quickly and at a glacial pace. I do not miss the time when it felt like there was never much to see in my life, whether I looked behind or looked ahead. And, yet, that limited vision, that inability to see much in each either direction, became the bedrock for this blog. That course without a reliable compass became my content. Day in. Day out. A twenty-something living in Texas, and later back on the East Coast, needed to scribble her way through. She also needed to be able to trace her steps back. So she wrote. And wrote. And wrote some more.
Even now, I still need to write. And write. And write some more.
But, there is a new home for me to build. New doors to open. New windows to crack. There is somewhere else where my words and the woman I am becoming will feel more right and make more sense.
That place will be Woman Unscripted.
I finally said goodbye to Twenties Unscripted around 9 p.m. on a Tuesday night. I poured a glass of red wine, lit a candle and stared at the screen waiting for the words to come until I felt the tears arrive first. First in my chest, a burning sensation. Then in my eyes. Finally on my face. Somewhere in my gut, I knew that I would never be able to write a final post until or unless I let my heart break just a little. Because this place has been home. It has given me purpose, a village and a way out. It has been a channel for my hunger and ambition and boundless list of ideas. It has given me waters to swim in and dry land to stand on. It has led me to women and men who have changed my life and rearranged my perspective. Twenties Unscripted is the reason I have a goddaughter, in addition to many of the other good things in my life. This blog has taken me to California and New York and Philadelphia and Atlanta and that one incredible stop in Illinois. This thing steered every turn of my twenties, and saying goodbye still shakes me a bit.
We've been together for six years. But I knew during the last two of them that I had grown up, and it was time to move on. I have been stalling and waiting for some perfect moment, knowing somewhere in the recesses of my mind that such a moment would never arrive. So, I had to unearth a snippet from the email Alida sent me two years ago when I first thought about bidding this blog farewell:
"You know when you hit the wall. We stand at the wall for a while, hoping it's not real, but we know when we're done. And although it's scary, you also have to think beyond---the idea of bringing more people in, more reward, more satisfying posts and experiences and writing and movement. I don't know where it'll go, but if I don't do it, then I'll be swimming in the shallow end until everything I have just fades away." -Alida Nugent
I always promised that I would not wait until the clock struck 12 on my 30th birthday to stop penning in a space reserved for a "sincere, sassy and sometimes smart-assy take on growing up." That's why I purchased a new domain a few years back. I would know when the time was right to pack up the boxes of my beloved Internet home.
Now is the right time. And Woman Unscripted is the right place.
Thank you for six incredible years. There is no use rehashing it all because I believe there is still so much more to come. But suffice it to say that I did not do any of this alone, and I am forever grateful for what we created here, together. I hope that whomever you are, wherever you are, you will stick around for the next leg of this journey.