Save my spot
The magic of stumbling across an old version of yourself, how to order a literal boatload of sushi, and learning to look forward.
A few months ago I got a new laptop, so I could write newsletters and conduct novel research on a device not owned by my company. (Sorry to my IT department for all those times I searched “insurance fraud” and “investment scam.” It was just fiction, I swear!)
The first time I opened the laptop’s search engine, I was prompted to sync my bookmarks. Sure, I thought. Might as well get a head-start. But when I began clicking around, I realized the last time I’d synced anything was 2015. I’d conjured links from a different time, bookmarked by a completely different person.
In 2015 I was fresh out of grad school and trying to make it as a full time freelance writer. I know this, because half the links I’d saved were resources to help me build my empire. Tips for pitching articles, how-tos on negotiating a higher price-per-word, guidelines for submitting work to various publications, many of which had long since folded. In 2015, I didn’t yet know my empire would only last about two years, crumbling shortly after I realized the hustle wasn’t for me.
The other half of my saved links were for the novel I was working on two books ago—my MFA thesis, which landed me an agent, went out on submission, and did not sell. Looking back, this was also one of the reasons I abandoned my budding freelance empire. I was barely making enough to pay my bills, but I was convinced my book would earn a six-figure advance and that would make up the difference. Freelancing was supposed to be a bridge, a band-aid, a boat that would carry me to the next stage. When that stage didn’t arrive, I had to steer the boat somewhere else. I decided to make a career out of marketing and got a new job, which issued me a much nicer laptop. I didn’t sync my bookmarks, because I no longer needed them.
When those long lost links reappeared last month, it was a surreal experience, sort of like looking into a fun house mirror. Eight years later, I’m happy with who and where I am, but seeing those bookmarks made me nostalgic for 2015, for the person I’d been and the plans I had. What a gift to glimpse a reflection of yourself from another time, to measure your growth in broken links.
Once the poignancy wore off, I deleted everything, set up new folders, and filled them with research for my new novel, with resources for my current life. Eight years from now, a new version of me might stumble across them, and I wonder what she’ll think about who I am, if these projects and ideas that matter so much now will mean anything to her. For now, I’ll bookmark this spot. When she finds it, I hope she’s proud. 💛
Last weekend was Nathan’s birthday. He is not quite as exuberant about his birthday as I am, so it was a low key celebration. Highlights included: morning mimosas around a backyard fire, an escape room that we did NOT escape, drinks at a bar where a friend picked up our tab (thanks, Adrian!) and dinner at a little sushi restaurant. When they brought out our order on a literal boat, I realized that ordering sushi while tipsy is a dangerous game. 🍣🍙
Reading: I just picked up Now is Not the Time to Panic from the library, and I can’t wait to dive in later today. The perfect Sunday afternoon activity.
Watching: S2 of The White Lotus, which is even better than S1, and not just because it gives me a chance to practice my Italian.
Planting: microgreens! We continue to document everything we’re growing on our Garden Gram, and now that spring is nearly upon us, things are heating up. The microgreens were super easy and super delicious, and I’m looking forward to eating them on everything.
Looking forward to: getting a new batch of chicks next week, embracing a new role at work, returning to Monday night run club, and rewriting the last third of my novel. March will be a busy month, and I’m ready for it.
Want to treat me to a ☕️ and support So Relatable? 💛 💃 🙌
Venmo: @Christine-Hennessey or PayPal Me.
Can’t afford a contribution? You can also click the ♡ below, forward this to a friend, or share the link on social media. Every little bit helps!
Oooh enjoy White Lotus Season 2! Such a fun ride!
I recently had a similar experience of happening upon old tabs / files from years ago. You write so wonderfully about the feeling of it. ✨