Closing the Curtains

curtainsHello.  In my last entry, in addition to posting the pics of me as Miss Indy Pedant, the foul-mouthed fifties housewife, I teased that I had been mulling something over for the past month or two.  I said, “Hey, watch this space for a kinda big announcement.  It’s coming.  It’s gonna be (kinda) BIG.   Really, I mean it.”

Well, it’s time for me to make that announcement.  I have known for at least two weeks that this time was at hand–it’s just, I didn’t want to acknowledge it.  OK.  Deep breath.  Announcement first, and then explanation (as opposed to my usual M.O. of explanation first, and then announcement).


I am shutting down this blog.

Damn.  That was harder to type than I anticipated.  Now, the long-winded explanation.

I have wanted to blog for many years prior to when I actually started this blog.  As many people know, my initial reason was to politically blog because I couldn’t stand the fact that the only well-known Asian American female pundit was Michelle Malkin, a rightwing, unhinged scold who really just makes my blood boil.  Then, I realized that political blogging is hard work, and you have to have a really thick skin to do it, so I shelved that idea.  Instead, I would blog about my opinions on things–of which, I have many.  I would blog about my experiences because God, I would have loved to have something like this when I was a teenager/in my early twenties (not a blog, of course, as they did not exist back in the VHS era).   I would blog about my childhood and the issues I have in relationship to said childhood.  I would be bold, fearless, and above all, eloquent.

Except, I didn’t have the guts to do it at first.  What if my family read my blog and saw that I said mean things about them?  What if i ripped apart the fabric of my family and they hated me for it?  That fear, the fear of showing my true self to my family, held me back for years.

How did I get around it?  The way I usually do.  I deconstructed it and said, “I’ll take it one step at a time.”  First, I got my bro to set up the blog.  I spent a ridiculous amount of time finding the perfect theme (and I love my theme, I really do).  My brother and I altered the theme until it was exactly what I wanted.  Then, I learned how to use Word Press (dot org, not dot com.  Much more user-driven, but not as user-friendly), and I was set.

First thing I did was write my About Me page (which I later changed to my About Me/Contact Me page).  Fair warning:  There will be much self-referential linking in this blog entry.  As you can see (or not.  I am never sure what you can see on each entry), I published that bit of info on October 21, 2008–over two years ago.  Then, I posted my, “Hello, World! Here’s yet another blog” entry on December 16, 2008.  As you can see, there is nothing remotely controversial in that entry.  It really was just a brief introduction, and it said pretty much nothing.

My first ‘real’ entry, typically, was an entry about how I was going to approach my blog.  It was on January 5, 2009, and I made a goal of posting one entry per week.  That seemed reasonable to me.  My first truly real entry was one congratulating Senator Al Franken on January 7, 2009.  Little did I know that it would be many months before he would be allowed to take his seat.   In fact, it was over six months until I could officially call him Senator Al Franken, bitchez!

In reviewing the early days of my blog, it appears that I did more political blogging at first and that I was much more concise.  One of my favorite early entries, A Tale of Two Kitties, the heartwarming story of how I acquired Raven and Shadow–January 16, 2009.

Forgive me for the trip down memory lane, but I’m finding it hard to let go.  I did movie reviews (mostly of Alan Rickman movies), waxed rhapsodic about my love for Alan Rickman (his word cloud is still biggest BY FAR), griped about the stupidity of the politics of our country, but mostly, I talked about what was going on inside of me.

I am an intensely introspective person in general, and this blog gave me the perfect vehicle in which to explore the endless labyrinths running through my mind.  Blogging is a selfish act, and I was doing this mainly for me.  I had all these thoughts in my head, and I had to express them.  What better way than to blog about it as I have written essays and op-eds for years.  They were just sitting in various folders, collecting virtual dust, so I might as well let them see the light of day.

I expected that I would write, my friends would read, and that would pretty much be that.  And, for awhile, that was that.  And I was content with that.  I was writing an entry almost every day, and I was pleased with how my blog was shaping up.  My family didn’t read it (as far as I know), not even my brother who set it up (big thanks to him for hosting my blog, setting it up, and being the techie on it.  Extra big thanks for restoring my database when I erased my entire website.  Oops.  Good thing those were still early days so there wasn’t much to restore).  I was getting a few random responses mixed in with the comments of my friends, which surprised and gratified me.

Then, I started commenting on Balloon Juice, TNC, and TBogg’s place.   I had been lurking for awhile, then I dove in–first at TBogg’s, then at BJ, and finally at TNC’s (most intimidating).  Once I felt comfortable, I added my blog addy into my username (asiangrrlMN, for the most part) without commenting on it.  Soon, I started to have people who read BJ commenting at my blog.  Once in awhile, I would get a TBogger or a TNC reader, but the majority of non-friends, non-random stranger commenters found me through BJ.   I was thrilled, but I was also a bit freaked because my persona on BJ is very different than my blog persona.

I’m not explaining well.  On BJ, I am witty, bitingly sarcastic, bawdy, rude, and loud–much more so than I am on my blog or in real life.  I tend to be the one cheering up other people on BJ.   Paraphrasing ee from her blog, I’m the one who growls with her at people while also being combo den mother/social glue.  I’m versatile!  Hey, she said it–it must be true.

Anyway, my blog is where I’m moody and reflective and where I share my pain.  It’s highly-personal, and it’s not something I would bring into the world of the Juice of the Balloon where snark, sarcasm, and wit reign supreme.  So, to have people from there wander over to my blog and comment, well, that was pretty damn cool.

When I first started blogging, I had to blog.  I wrote an entry nearly every day because I felt compelled to do so.  All this shit in my mind, I needed to sort it out.  I do that best by writing and receiving feedback.  I have an excellent commentariat–astute, insightful, supportive, bracing, and hilarious.  I appreciated it all–especially the wit.  I am a sucker for a good laugh.

I had all this shit inside me, you see.  All these forbidden feelings and half-suppressed memories than needed to get out.  When I first started having the flashbacks, I didn’t know what to do with them other than talk about them in therapy and with my friends.  That helped a lot, but I felt the urge to write about them, too.  And, write about them, I did.   The prior link is probably the most raw post I did about my flashbacks.  And, notice how my commentariat supported me and urged me not to go to Taiwan.  I did not listen, of course (way too stubborn for my own good), and I went.  I felt I had to go.  I thought I could handle it.  As longtime readers know, I didn’t handle it very well at all.   And yet, through the whole damn trip, my commentariat kept me somewhat sane, and I managed to return mostly intact.

This year has been rife with emotional change.  This is the year I no longer could pretend to be…not me with my family.  My therapist said many months after the Taiwan trip that while it was difficult for me to get through, it really did trigger the change in the way I deal with my family.  I saw with horrible clarity that no paring of my personality would be enough.  The more I tried to hide and conform and STFU and be a good daughter, the more I wanted to die.  So.  I finally threw in the towel on trying to be a good daughter.  I started changing the way I interacted with my mother–not because I tried to do so, but because I couldn’t act the same way.  This conversation would never have happened before the trip to Taiwan.   We did a lot of work this summer–fucking hard work.

And then, my father.  An epic match-up that nearly killed me.  He was here for only four days, but I felt myself dying on the inside.  Still, I managed to change the way I interacted with him to some small degree.  Here is the account of his trip and the epic airport battle.   And another.  This one also has to do with forgiveness (or the lack thereof) and being a pacifist (or not).  I have not had much interaction with either parent since my father’s visit, which surprises and pleases me.

That brings us to now.  For the past few months, I have not had the constant urge to blog.  It started when my mother was here, and I admit that it was in part because I felt constrained with her around.  However, I also realized that whatever had compelled me to blog in the past just wasn’t as present any more.  And, in the last two months, it’s pretty much disappeared.  The urge, I mean, not the blog.  Then, I realized that the natural shelf-life of this blog is over.  That’s REALLY hard for me to write because I thought I’d be writing it forever.

Now, however, it’s time to move on to other things.  My next big project is to set up a fiction website in which I showcase my fiction.  At some point down the line, I may accept other people’s work, too, but for now, it’s going to be all about me (of course).  Once I have that in hand (hah!), I am toying with the idea of starting a political blog for real.  All this in addition to figuring out what I’m actually going to do that will get me paid.

I’m a bit wistful as I wind this down.  My blog is like my baby to me.  I created it; I nurtured it; I loved it.  I still do love it.  It’s given me so much, and I don’t think I would be where I am today without it.  And, another round of applause to the best damn commentariat on the webs.  You brought the truth, the humor, and the love on a daily basis.  I am leaving the site active so you can browse through the archives if you’d like.  I recommend you start with the semi-infamous Cocks, Chocolate, and Carnal Consumption.  It’s really damn good, if I do say so myself.  I will be checking in from time to time if only to pimp my fiction website and/or my political blog.

Thank you all for reading my blog.  I appreciate you more than you know.  With that, I’m turning off the lights and closing the curtains on The World According to MEH.

26 Responses to Closing the Curtains

  1. Wow! What an astonishing thing to learn while sitting in my mother in law’s house in Jerusalem! Though I haven’t commented here in months (because I finally had to admit that the day only has so many hours…), I’ve always read and I’m sorry to see the curtain drawn! It sounds like you’re making a good decision and an honest one, and if I have learned nothing else about you asiangrrlMN, I have learned just how important it is to you to find the most honest place you can stand and stand there. So, though I’m sorry to see The World According to MEH go — good for you! I’ll look forward to reading your fiction!

    And of course to growling w/ and being den-mothered by, you on BJ.


  2. Congratulations and condolences both. I look forward to following your future projects, especially reading your published novels.

  3. Bravo at the happy ending! You rocked the virtual theatre of dealing with the real deal! Thank you for so much sharing of yourself! (Applause, applause, standing ovation! clap, clap, clap, clap, foot stomp, whistle, woot, clap, clap, clap!)

  4. You are an amazing person and what your blog has done for you has also been therapeutic for me. I understand and feel so much of what you have written … what are you doing in my head? No, I want you there, it is not so lonely and I’ve seen your hard work and celebrate with you now. So looking forward to your new blogs, both of them. Minna, you are an inspiration and a wonderful friend.

  5. Oh happy ending indeed and I am so proud of you. This really means that you have finally, finally broken from the old you, the hidden and hurting you and can finally move onto to who you are now and what you can do. You needed this blog, it was therapy and it is working. I am thrilled that you will finally be offering your fiction and writing to us, for all to see. And getting a political blog out there WOOT WOOT! I feel the strength in you oozing out of this page and it has me in tears. We are here with you always….

  6. I’m sorry to read that you are closing this blog down, but I guess it is time for you to move on to other things. Anxious to read your fiction site!

  7. ee, greetings! Hope your trip home is going well. Don’t worry–I will be growling and den-mothering over at BJ for some time to come. Thanks for being so supportive–it’s definitely bittersweet for me to shut down my blog, but I am excited about my new projects.

    Gregory, thanks on both. Don’t worry, you’ll get an autographed copy of each novel I publish!

    Kat333, thanks, babe. You have always been my biggest and fiercest supporter, and I love you for that. Drinks soon, and, heh, yeah. MN politics definitely need some watchin’.

    Friend, thanks for reading and supporting my virtual theatre.

    Rubo, thanks. I’m glad I touched you with my words–it’s one reason I started my blog. Hopefully, I can continue to do the same, just through other venues.

    Dan, thanks! I will.

    Jamie, thank you for the boost and for supporting me through the dark days. You are right. It’s time for me to move on to something new. First, fiction website, and then, maybe political blog.

    Celayne, I’m a bit sorry, too, but it’s time. Thank you for being someone with whom I can cackle and commiserate over various things. I am so glad I met you (and got my boys, too!). Fiction site should be up…soon. How’s that for specific?

  8. I’m so excited that you’re ready to start publishing your fiction online! I can’t wait to read more.

    And congratulations, babe. You’ve done so much, you’ve come so far. While this may be the end of an era, it’s also the beginning of something new! Here’s to many more hours of giggling with you.

  9. Choolie, you and Taiji are a big reason I’ve made it this far. Thank you. I look forward to more nasty giggling!

  10. I’m sad that this blog has ended but understand how emotionally draining it must be to put yourself “out there”.
    Congrats darling, and am looking forward to reading you wherever you are.
    I’m very grateful that I found you.

  11. Carrie, cool. You cracked me up with the ‘I’m seventeen and just got my driver’s license’ comment (I hope I’m remembering this correctly).

  12. I’ve often read your blog though haven’t commented before. Filled with honesty and style. Sorry to see it go, you are, I think, an admirable person. But see ya at BJ!

  13. SIA, good to see you, girl! Thanks for commenting on my blog and for the compliment. Yeah, it was a hard decision, but it’s the right one. I may come back from time to time to check in. Anyway, see you in the mud at BJ.

  14. Congrats and good luck on the future endevors.

    I’m sorry for not commenting more (or ever?) – you’re a gold mine of thoughts, emotions and political banter which I’ve never tapped into and I feel sorry (for myself) that I never took the time to do that.

    But hey? We’ll always have bewbies to think of fondly.

  15. Well, that’ll teach me to get busy for a few weeks and forget to check in 🙁

    Sorry to see you shutting this down — but I’m glad at least we can look at the new fiction blog. (Or eventually the new political blog.)

    This has been a year of tremendous change and growth for you — I hope you take the time to enjoy and celebrate them before you move on…

  16. Alex, it’s a hiatus, if you will. I may be back. If I am, it will have a different focus (though not look. I love my blog). Thanks for being my cheerledear–you look great in a skirt!

  17. Arie, aw, thanks for saying that. I really appreciate it. You can always skim the archives if you want. And, like I’ve said, it may not be forever. I hope you’re doing well, and yes, I will think fondly of your bewbies.

  18. Hey – I dug the blog and I’m sorry it’s done (& wish I had commented more), but I’m glad you got good things out of it too. Looking forward to seeing the fiction site.

    (Also nice to see you commenting on TNC’s blog – I’ve been reading it more lately, both because it’s awesome and also because sometimes Balloon Juice just leaves a bad taste in my head.)

  19. Hi, Hob. Good to see another BJ’er checking in–even if it’s after I shut the place down. And, I hear you about TNC’s place. I used to not be a fan of moderating comments (except for me doing it here because I’m a control freak), but I have come to appreciate how TNC keeps the discussions thoughtful, engaged, and still humorous. Thanks for dropping me a note. I’ll look for you to support whatever else I may do in the future!