seashell (atlantic beach) by Nora Noland

I remember when I used to blog all the time.

I would sit at my computer at 5:30 am and just let myself write. I’d find a picture of what seemed to represent the thing I wanted to write about and I’d go for it.

I let the words flow out of me like smooth water. No stopping to correct myself or over edit. No thinking about how I needed to sound smarter or more relatable or better than I am in person or you know, the ninety nine hundred million other things that you think when you sit down to write and your not-outside-insides are gonna come up and out and people will see.

And oh no, what if it’s a mess? Like the time you dripped bright yellow mustard on your new white cotton shirt and then for the rest of the day there was evidence you weren’t careful, maybe forever? Or if it comes across as numbingly boring and everyone thinks you’re doing it shamefully wrong, rolling their eyes behind your back, and maybe you should stop talking three long weeks ago.

I remember what it was like to be in the cozy cradle of my morning idea.

The sleepy idea would tenderly shake me, drop my loose hand and say you can go. I would timidly half look back but then go ahead and start turning over with my morning words the thing I was wondering about. I miss that. I miss it, the writing of the ideas that made them more real. Putting things into words makes me look at my thoughts in a way nothing else does. And blogging is so nice because it’s mine and others don’t really have to agree or like it, I just want to give people something to read that makes them think too.

I started writing this blog almost eight years ago when I had just quit drinking. It was a way to hold myself accountable, because obviously writing a blog to strangers is a fantastic way to quit drinking. Ha, funnily enough it is, because of my curiosity and vanity I’m still sober almost eight years later.

Soberbia is a magic word I thought I made up myself in the first few days of my sobriety.

I was laying on my side staring at the louvered closet doors and thought “here I am, getting sober in suburbia. What if I write a blog and call it ‘Soberbia’ like a mash of those ideas and words together…” And fa la, Soberbia was born.

When I went to create Soberbia dot com I discovered that I hadn’t made up a new word at all! Soberbia is an actual already existing word that means “pride” and “arrogance” and “magnificence” in Spanish and I almost fell out of my desk chair because how could anything be more perfect? Pride. Arrogance…magnificence!?! Wow. WOW!

As I wrote more and more posts I got more and more proud- I was actually creating sobriety in suburbia, living Soberbia, and it was tough and amazing in the way that huge life changes are. It was like I had given myself the thing I’d always wanted, and also it made it impossible to avoid myself, which was also a thing I always wanted. I couldn’t drink and be sober. I couldn’t be sober and avoid myself. I had to choose, and I chose sober. Just that.

I’ve been listening to Natalie Golderg’s book Writing Down the Bones, which is writing instructions, but also life instructions. I’m also reading Jen Pastiloff’s book On Being Human and I follow her on Instagram and I really appreciate how she says “We don’t have to follow anyone ever!” and “I like my tempo very much thanks.” I have this one life and this one me that will ever be- in the history of all time- only this me like this. What if I keep quiet and not write, and don’t learn to play guitar because guitar is hard, or don’t run long ways because it’s far? I just really hate that.

I want to blog again because it’s like looking for seashells.

The wind whips your hair and your skin feels toasty under the kind late afternoon sun. You can smell the suntan lotion and it feels like the best moment in the world. You slowly bend and stand, pick up nineteen sorta good shells and then the one that knocks your socks off is just there, in your hand, and you remember everything.