Blob, Business Travel, Featured, Going Solo, Travel Narrative

Blog Blobs: On Growing Up

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Back when I started this blog almost five years ago–when it was called Blog on the Run and ended with .wordpress.com–I did so for a very simple reason: to share the stories that often crowd my head.  Almost everything I do or see becomes a narrative.  I can’t stop it.  So I started a blog to set the stories free.  

In recent years, I’ve worked on making this site something that is useful.  As such, I’ve become more focused on providing information rather than story.  This is not a bad thing.  As a teacher, it is my goal to answer questions.  But the problem is, the stories never stopped.  I just stopped sharing them.

I stopped sharing my stories for many reasons.  Lack of time.  The fear of cultivating a focus-less travel blog.  The lack of the perfect header photo to accompany a post (seriously).  But I’m tired of suppressing the stories.  So, instead, I’m organizing them–into a series that may or may not take off, called Blog Blobs.  Blog Blobs are just what they sound like–blobs of story, floating alone in time and space, not informing, not directing.  Just telling of a moment, a thought, or an experience.  You know, in a blob-like way.  

Blog Blobs will look an awful lot like this:

Blog Blob the First: On Growing Up 

Happy hour--one of the few benefits of growing up.

Happy hour–one of the few benefits of growing up.

Today, after work, I went to the beach.  I’m working outside of Wilmington, North Carolina, and even though I have a million things I should be doing, I chose to take an hour to go to the beach, still in my work clothes.  And I walked in the waves, sandals in hand, red patent leather coach bag–grossly out of place–flung over my shoulder, dress soaked to my upper thighs.  I sat in the sand, tilting my face towards the sun.  I took photos of seagulls, sand castles, and my feet in the surf.  And then I found a bar with and outdoor patio and ordered a local beer while the wind blew the napkins around.

Driving back to the hotel, I looked in my rear view mirror.  Behind me was a car driven by a beautiful but very young girl.  She was maybe 18, but probably younger.  Her blonde hair was long and all wind-swept, and she was smiling and laughing with her friend in the passenger seat (also blonde and pretty and young—apparently they travel in packs).

She looked so free.

Of course I took a selfie.  Who doesn't document beach hair?

Of course I took a selfie. Who doesn’t document beach hair? (Also, please note: this was taken in the parking lot of a restaurant–no one was ever in danger of selfie-induced vehicular death.)

Suddenly I got a picture of her fifteen years from now.  I saw her wild hair tamed into a short pony tail, her smile more restrained.  I saw her go back in time from this vision of the future—a child, a white dress, a cap and gown—back and back to what she is today.  And for a moment I mourned the misery of growing up.

Then I looked at my own reflection in the mirror, beach hair an absolute mess, above my rumpled, semi-professional dress.  I curled my toes and felt the sand in my shoes—grey patent leather birkenstocks—and noted the gleam in my eyes and the sheen of salt and sweat on my cheeks and forehead.

And I knew that girl behind me might be ok.  I whispered a little wish that she never grow up in just the same way that I never did.

So tell me–do you like the Blog Blobs concept?  Or is it too old school, to diary-esque, too narcissistic?  Please let me know in the comments section below.  Thanks!  

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