Well, you can take the blog away from a girl but you can’t keep a girl away from a blog. For years I blogged under a different name. I met amazing online friends who turned into real life friends, I read & reviewed books and other products. I shared (most) of my life with the internet and worldwide web (does anyone call it that anymore?). Somewhere along the way, though, I stopped really sharing.
I got caught up in being “somebody,” in the blog-world and thought I needed to have pretty graphics or flowery language in each blog post and that took all the fun out of it for me. I wasn’t being authentic. I wasn’t being me. I wasn’t really telling you what was going on.
So. I’m back. I’ll pretend that people won’t know who I am, but that will go out the window the moment I share this post on Instagram to let my friends – both online and in-person- know that I’ve returned in case they actually care or missed my posts. Maybe some did.
What I can promise you this time? More authenticity. Less sponsored posts. I can’t say I won’t ever review a book again because if you know me I love books but I don’t intend to apply to write about this product or that product anymore. Besides, the market and playing field is so saturated no one is going to pick a blog that is just getting started.
When I tossed around the idea of returning to posting and sharing the biggest hurdle I faced was “what do I call it?” My old blog name doesn’t resonate with me anymore partially because the title implied that I was walking you through my life. In some ways I was but not nearly as much as some of my friends who bare all.
Over the last several years I’ve started to use phrases that my fantastic mom said a lot when she was frustrated, happy, being silly and etc. One of those phrases is “good grief.” This one was reserved for when something went awry during the day or if she was exasperated. Her polite way of cursing, if you will. When I use these phrases my husband looks at me and laughs since he hasn’t heard most of them. Can’t hear most of them… my mom passed away from a brief and brave battle with one of the more rare forms of cancer. (more on that later, as I’m sure you can’t wait to hear all about cancer and hospitals and how I wanted to punch a few doctors in the face, how there was hope- always hope- and how I miss her daily, even now). My mom was, among other things, an avid writer. Freelance, journal, blog, books. It feels only right to honor the woman who not only got me started with blogging years ago- 2005, I think- but also who supplied me with journals as I grew up, encouraged me to write creatively and professionally. It also makes sense to use “good grief,” because I will be sharing more about my mom, her cancer, the loss & after effects of which there are many and my grief process. I know there are a lot of taboo topics in America but I don’t think grief should be one of them. It’s rarely discussed, people are made to feel like they aren’t handling their grief appropriately and I disagree with that. It needs to be talked about.
So, to recap: the first part of the name is in honor of my darling mother.
The second part, “good gravy,” is a nod to my heritage, or half my heritage as it were, as I’m half Italian, half-WASP (English). I look far more Italian than WASPy though and I’m darn proud of it. Don’t mistake me for clinging to just one part of my heritage though: I love the bread, butter and baked good aspect of the WASPy side (thanks, mom, for that!) while my skin looks olive I actually don’t get as tan as you would think, and if I’m ever nervous or have a glass of wine, I get these ridiculous hives and splotches on my upper chest (again, thanks mom!). I geeked out when we went to England in 2004 and can’t wait to return. I love the Queen and Princess Kate and the monarchy and history.
But the Italian side of me? It’s loud and gestures a lot. It can’t go a day without eating cheese. I love to spend Sunday mornings making oodles of homemade meatballs and gravy (or sauce! It’s an ongoing debate in the Italian community). My heart is happiest when I’m surrounded by friends and family, hosting more than our house can handle- a trait, I’m told I get from my dad’s mother. I curse like a sailor more often than not. Sopranos, Godfather , Goodfellas… they get me riled up and while I know there is far more to the Italian culture than the mob, I love the dark & conspiratorial side of our history. I wear my heart on my sleeve, if you cross me or my family you best watch out because the Sicilian Italian in me runs deep (I kid. Mostly).
My parents taught me great things: how to love, how to be kind, how to give unconditionally, how to care about the human spirit, the importance of family, the joys of reading, how to celebrate Christmas and so much more. Together, one WASPy mom and one Italian dad, they made me a unique blend of who I am today.
Good Grief, Good Gravy. That’s me!