where to find me // 11/4/21

I keep feeling this nagging to post a picture, post a story, put something out there. I can't tell if it's an unhealthy nag of millennial technology attachment, or if it's some type of subconscious brain insurance, imploring me to leave a trail of alexcrumbs for my babies to follow one day. 

Dad's wallpaper sample book might have something to do with this. The book, an enormous scrapbook obediently and neatly filled with his tidy elementary school assignments and progress reports, is a portal to a completely familiar yet wholly unknown person: Dad as a child. "John is chatty but obedient. Gifted reader." A C in tenth grade German. Cards from Mary Jane. Photos with Brian and Red and Jimmy.

The book was like a magnet drawing me to it anytime I set foot in the attic as a teenager. I never got sick of it. I still don't. As a kid I wanted to rip my favorite pieces from the book and put them up around my bedroom. Stick them to myself somehow. 

But then I worry. Dad didn't care about what he was putting in the wallpaper book, he simply did what his mother asked. There was no ego in it, no guile. It was a purely unselfish way of preserving pieces of himself. Is it even possible for me, a self-centered so-called artist, to duplicate such a masterpiece of personal history? Is there even a point to trying? 

Something within me has always called me to share, publish, create, talk about. My earliest memory of it is bringing my baby brother for show and tell in kindergarten. The most embarrassing example is when I monologued my entire life story – including major events of my parents' childhoods – to the nurse tending me as I came off of anesthesia post-wisdom teeth extraction at age 16. 

I'm no different today. As I write this, it occurs to me that I don't actually care if anyone ever follows the alexcrumb trail. I'll leave it anyway. 

Maybe I'm laying it to help me find my way back to my own self.

To my children, I hope you'll find me here. The version of your mom who wrote blog posts while you watched Daniel Tiger, collaged and curated after you were in bed, made photographs for my clients while Dad fed you dinner. The tired one, the one with bad body image and amazing friends. A person who wanted to teach you emotional intelligence, Christlike love, integrity. Who wished she made more money, had a bigger audience, kept the house more organized, knew how to get you three to stop being such picky eaters. 

I love you Eleanor Pie. I love you Lucy Cup. I love you Charlie Boy.

This is where I keep some of my favorite pieces of myself. And you, too. Look for us.