[tap-tap-tap] Is this thing on?
Oh. Hi! You’re here. Hello.
Three or so years ago, when I last wrote on this blog, I never could’ve imagined the next time I posted would be in Crete, Greece, where dogs bark and a breeze blows under a warm sun. Life’s good in the Greek Islands.
But here I am and there you are. Much has happened in that time. Hence the whole “Crete, Greece” thing.
Why did I stop writing here? Mm. Lots of reasons, I guess. Getting stereotyped, feeling done. Being spent. Working too much. And the most cardinal sin of them all, I had nothing to say. I’d become exhausted from being angry, shouting in the wind, being a rat in a cage. There’s only so long you can be angry before you realize that maybe, just maybe, the problem is you.
So, I stopped writing at The Cunt. I kept writing. But, for money. For credibility. For a whole lot of reasons, but I no longer wrote for the hell of it.
Looking back, I wonder if I was trying to outrun myself, to leave this place in the distance. Maybe if I wasn’t this, my life wouldn’t be that. I’m not sure. But I do know I ain’t outran anything. Truth is, there’s never only one reason our life isn’t what we’d hoped it would be.
And the further I’ve gotten, the prouder I am of where I was. The big pictures is easier to see when we get space between it and us.
The Clarity of Then and Now
In the hazy light of getting older, it feels like this blog and I have been through hell and back. Hyperbole? Only a little. This place and I know where we’ve been. From getting 5,000 to 10,000 visitors a day and crashing down to 50, from being interviewed on national US radio without credit through to being stalked by would-be employers, and, later, fired from jobs. From making my dating life impossible to getting judged based on what was, at times, a persona I affected… well.
Yeah, The Cunt just stopped being fun. If it ain’t fun, man, don’t do it. And sure as shit don’t do it when it’s that hard and you’re not getting paid.
It’s fitting that, on my walk through Heraklion after writing this first draft, I passed graffiti that read “Love the life you live, live the life you love.” It’s like I called 1-800-Dial-a-Graffiti to get something special for me. The graffiti you need, when you need it.
Love the Thing You Do
I love being a writer, but for a while, I didn’t. I didn’t want to be your guru, your voice in the storm. I didn’t want to shout about injustices anymore.
In a way, I rediscovered some of who I was in writing a piece about Jian Ghomeshi that spread like wildfire in October 2014. By then, I’d already been not writing here for a couple years. It felt good to write that article and smack that jerk down. But because I picked up that mantle and ran with it, suddenly I became that girl. That’s what people wanted my writing. Advocacy, shouting into the storm, giving a voice for the voiceless.
Whoa. No. That’s a big load for an unpaid blogger. I advocate, but I’m not an advocate. Verb, not noun. I write about the world, not one subject, hence writing stays fresh and fun for me when it’s going well. I loathe a one-note writing life.
There were many reasons I needed a clean break from this place… to figure out who I was again, to tap into things I am and things I’d been before I became “this” – and I’d take that break again. In a heartbeat.
Lately, though, I’ve found myself wanting a place to let loose, where writing is fun. Fun for me. Maybe fun for you. But, honestly, my enjoyment is the priority. If it’s fun for me, though, I bet it’s fun for you, too. That’d be a double-win. Yay!
My Life-Long Journey: Self-Acceptance
Nearly 13 years later, deep down, I’m still that girl who giggled mischievously upon thinking of the name “Cunting Linguist.”
I’ll always have that spitfire that makes me an acquired taste and a button-pusher. Some people will just never, ever like me, and that’s okay. I’m sure it’s mutual. Fresh out of fucks to give for people who think my brand of authenticity is jarring. Do you. I got me covered. We both fit in this world.
So, beyond the taking a break thing, in case you’ve been out to lunch or totally missed it, I’m in the middle of travelling the world for five years. At the end of this month, I roll into my 20th country in 31 months. I write about that here. I’ve twice circumnavigated the globe, yada, yada. Ditched the house and the domestic dreams. The leather furniture’s gone, the years of collecting and amassing of stuff has given way to me living out of a duffle bag with raggedy clothes. Sometimes I write for people like Washington Post and Yahoo! and Canadian Traveller. My life has become a mix of crazy and amazing and so damn tiring.
One of the problems with travelling the world for five years is that I’m always making a first impression. I’m always a guest. I’m an ambassador, a diplomat, an outsider looking in.
Sooner or later, my being a tactful, diplomatic person had to reach a breaking point, and this is that.
Now I need a place to let loose, rant, fume, grumble, snipe, mock, provoke.
I need a button to push.
Then it occurred to me: I have one. I’m The Cunting Linguist, y’all.
Been A Long Time Coming
In the nearly 13 years since I first hit “publish” here, the world’s changed. They’ve finally added the word “cunting” to dictionary. Joy! The world’s changed in other ways. We’re angrier. More divided. We’re on the cusp of bad times, if we’re not there already.
The world needs people willing to wade through shit and hold reason up to the light, pointing at it, shouting, “LOOK! REASON!”
But have you heard? The blog is dead.
I stubbornly refuse to believe that. Blogging just got boring and omnipresent, but boring never lived on The Cunt when times were good.
So, what will my resurrecting this place mean? Mm, I’m not sure. But the great thing about The Cunt was that it was my catch-all. It was anything I needed it to be, because it reflected so many parts of who I am – including my antagonistic, confrontational bits that should never, ever emerge during these travels I’m on. Writing here was comfortable, easy. I usually wrote and published something in under ninety minutes because it just exploded out of me. I wrote solely when I wanted to, but then I stopped wanting to write.
I can’t find the quote now, but I remember some passing interview with a great Canadian writer like Robertson Davies or Mordecai Richler where they said, “a writer ought not write until the thought of not writing becomes unbearable.”
Tough way to get paid, Mr. Dead Writer Guy, but I see what you’re saying.
Well, I don’t know how often I’ll post here, but I know the thought of not doing it anymore has now become unbearable. I’m fit to burst. I can’t post much; I have too much work in my life, a world to visit, things to see, a book I’m writing, travels to plan, books to read.
But The Cunt is a part of me that I’ve been missing – a big part. It’s my inner-instigator, my agent provocateur. My flame-thrower and my magnifying glass. My inquisitor.
Writing for The Cunt wasn’t ever hard. I made the rules, I didn’t have to please anyone. I had no fucks to give and didn’t acquiesce no how. I plan to unleash that again, because it’s part of who I am, I guess, and denying it isn’t doing my soul much good. In the years since I started this joint, it’s become trendy to be confrontational, to throw around words like “fuck”. But I was doing it on the web long before it was commonplace.
To Get it Together, You Gotta Come Apart
Unfortunately for me, I had a very tumultuous, scary few years where employment was forever shaky, and life got hard, hard, hard. This blog became a liability to my lifestyle. In every way.
Somewhere along the way, between 2008 and now, I started caring what people thought. Before 2008, this was one damn fun blog. After that, in those troubled times, I lost my way, both personally and existentially, and I lost my way in writing too.
Caring what people think is no way to live. For a writer, it’s death.
In some ways, I’ve found myself again. I’ve connected with this bad-ass chick travelling the world alone, who doesn’t give a shit what conformity is supposed to be, who’s making her own way on her own time. But, somehow, that travelling bad-ass version of me doesn’t feel wholly authentic, because I’m also the ambassador first-impression-maker tip-toeing through cultures in which I’m a guest. I never feel at home in the world anymore, and that, too, is sometimes no way to live.
I love being that travelling ambassador, but I also want to be the bad-ass who says what she wants when she wants to say it. I am the queen of duality and can easily straddle being the erudite, thoughtful writer of travelogues over at FullNomad.com as well as being this, and I know now, that’s the mix I want. More importantly, it’s what I need.
The Cunt is… me. Who the hell have I been kidding?
I Had to Leave Home to Find Home
For a long time, I’ve been proud of the direction in which my writing is going. But, of late, I’m realizing I have much to be proud of where my writing’s been, too. Fuck the naysayers.
If I dig deep on this blog, I’ll realize I was a hell of a lot more brave and fearless than I give myself credit for being, and it’s time I accept that all of this – the hellion, the rebel, and the provocateur are parts of me that I don’t ever want to water down. The world needs some of us people who have no fucks to give, who speak truth to power, and who are proud to shine a light on how out of whack and weird we all are.
They say that the longer we travel, the more likely we are to come full circle, and maybe that’s what I’ve done. I may no longer have a home, but maybe this blog is my coming home in a different way.
Maybe this is all the home I’ve ever needed.
I got no promises for you, friends. There are no guarantees, no timelines, no assurances. I’m back, The Cunt is open for business, but you’ll get what you get when you get it.
But it’s something, and it’s a start. That’s the only promise I got: This is just the start.