Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Birth of a Blog

Outback Steakhouse in Nagoya
I was sitting in a hotel room in Nagoya, Japan, holed up with my exhausted 10-year-old son. We had spent the day walking around the city in 85-degree heat with plenty of humidity. We'd seen lots of unique wonders Japan has to offer... architecture, history, an amazing bullet train (known to the Japanese as a shinkansen), an incredibly interactive science museum... and Starbucks. Oh, and Outback Steakhouse. We've been living in Japan for almost four years, so you have to capture your Americana where you can!

The 10-year-old with his city Starbucks mug. Yes, I know he looks a little bit like Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, but he is growing out his hair to donate for wigs for kids with cancer. His Marine Corps father is less than thrilled, but with a cause like that, how do you say no without sounding like a jerk? 
The spouse and 14-year-old son were in Okinawa, playing softball in heat that rivaled ours. So it was quiet in the hotel room. I could hear strains of sound coming from my son's headphones as he watched yet another Minecraft YouTube video. The sound of the A/C came and went. Occasionally I heard someone shouting outside in Japanese. But, overall, it was eerily quiet. And I had nothing but my iPad to entertain me. Thank God for hotel WiFi.

I selected my Kindle app and started reading some of the inspirational non-fiction books that I'd bought when I heard about them, but hadn't touched yet. Life has been crazy for our family these past few months. My husband is retiring after 20 years in the Marine Corps and we are moving back to the States in three weeks. My goverment-owned, but rent-free apartment is in complete disarray and will only be getting worse. Movers come in 9 days to pack everything but our daily necessities... and we will be living with just those daily necessities for two months or more. I have closed my photography business for relocation, stopped my English lessons with local Japanese women, and have relinquished all of my volunteer responsibilities. But it is a holiday weekend and all of the official things I can do to continue to move us forward on "the big move" will need to be put on hold until Wednesday.

That is leaving me with a lot of free time I never asked for.

I love being busy. And not just busy, but productive. If I sit and watch more than one episode of Orange is the New Black without doing something while watching, I feel lazy. I don't sit still well. If I am forced to sit still (like when holed up in a hotel room) I start thinking. Even when I am reading, I am thinking.

So I am reading #girlboss by Sophia Amoruso because it's light and easy, but also intelligent. I had never heard of this woman before I watched the CreativeLive 30 Days of Genius series about movers and shakers in the creative industry. She owns Nasty Gal, which started as an eBay store featuring vintage clothing, and grew exponentially from there over the past eight years. I think I hadn't really heard of her before because I'm over a decade older than her core demographic and her clothes fit women sizes 0 to 12... and I'm not any of those sizes. Regardless, she's got some great ideas and some life philosophies that are parallel to my own.

While I was reading this book, I began to want to share some of it with my friends. And not just any friends, but a very specific group of women for whom the planets aligned at just the right time for me to encounter and grow to adore. We call ourselves the Awesome Wives, because, well, we're awesome married women. They were the first people I wanted to share the book with. But we are scattered across the globe. Like, seriously, not only all over America, but across three continents. Florida, Maryland, Texas, California, Japan, and, in a few weeks, Germany.

I would be in dire straits if Facebook and Facebook Messenger did not exist. Soon I will be ripped away from nearly all of my amazing friends, whether they were Awesome Wives or not (yes, I have other friends who I will desperately miss, and I adore them, too). I will be living in a small town in the Midwest... very different for this native Californian military wife. I have had to move every four years my entire adult life; I know I can handle this. It's not the end of the world. But it will take time and adjustments. And I won't have my friends there to have an impromptu Margarita Monday when I need one. It's going to be a little bit lonely.

And see what happens when I have too much free time on my hands?! I start depressing myself. So, in an effort to quit the swan dive into a pool of sadness and self pity mid-leap, I began brainstorming ways I could have fun with my friends. What could I do with my friends that would be fun, rewarding and a reason to get up in the morning and check Messenger? How could I virtually continue our Margarita Mondays where we contemplate the universe, play Never Have I Ever and share our quirky crap with other people who will find it amusing? How could I keep my Lady Clique together?

And that's when this blog was born.