I don’t think of this as something I owe to anyone other than me. But for those of you who have joined me for perhaps minutes or weeks or years of the journey; hello. This is for you too.
I’m sitting alone in my small flat in East London burning an indulgently high priced Rituals Candle and nursing a now-cold cup of tea. It’s just gone 4pm and I’ve spent the day in the type of solitude that aches with the anxiety of being human in a largely still unconscious world, born from the womb of a largely still unconscious culture just to hang out in some global pandemic ridden, bleak dystopia; breaking into the fresh skin of a woman I’ve never been before.
I feel like this is where a Gen Z would throw up a “peace” sign and cancel me.
It’s not a particularly assuming day- the 3rd of May 2021 and I prefer it that way. It fits. Nothing about this blog is particularly assuming, after all. As each year of my life has gone by, so has the decadence with which I’ve lived it. Exchanging Instagram for Goodreads and booze for mushroom coffee, workouts for long runs and wobbly sun-salutations, large gatherings of folk to intimate get-togethers and extroversion for a much quieter life, this very evolution has led me to cloak myself in yet another layer of anonymity.
Today I’m saying goodbye to g****spage.
Taking my name away from this labour of love is a product of liberation. I want this voice to be heard, this work to be channelled and these words to be read but as the inner revolution takes place so must its manifestation upon the internet.
When I first started g****spage, I was only 21 years old. I was in my third year of medical school embarking upon something I saw as a project that served to scratch a longstanding itch. As time went by the words became more abstract and less people-pleasing, messier and less neatly packaged with gifs and pictures and things that make the complexity of one’s human experience more palatable. I stopped posting the links on Facebook and some time later, I deleted Facebook altogether, deciding then that I don’t want to be fucking palatable. I want to be me. I need to be me.
Removing my name gives me freedom to write about everything. I am no longer my mother’s daughter or Mrs Jones’ doctor. This is key. You don’t get to search my name on google and find my unedited chronicles until I exercise my god-given autonomy to share. This transition is an important one for my career as well as for my personal engagement with the world. With grace, I accept it. I welcome it.
I didn’t spend too long agonising over a name. I settled on one that simply tells you why I’m here. Because I like writing. I love writing. I love it so much I cannot live without it and I would not have survived without it. It burns in me.
And so today: shepaintswithwords has been birthed. No epidural. No post-partum bleeding. She slipped right out and look, she’s already taken her first breath.
Keep inhaling and exhaling, child. We have a lot more to give.