To write about the E2 Decaversary, for me, starts with layers of loss.
I came to E2 to be closer to my sister. She has a busy life but she has cancer too, and it's recurrent. She was on E2 a lot. But now she isn't. I feel loss and failure. I am too late. I was in a divorce, I was struggling with the electronic medical record at work, I had small children. No excuse matters. I am late, too late, the white rabbit down the hole into another world.
Loss of a job. As I got in the habit of writing for an hour or two every morning, sometimes on the scratchpad and sometimes in the catbox, my job became more and more frustrating. I am too stubborn to quit and can hunker down, bunker down, as in a dysfunctional family. So they fired me. I was surprised, hurt, amused and freed. All of the above.
Loss of old habits. In trying to find how I got to a place where my marriage was untenable I studied my family. I tried to recognize patterns. I thought very carefully about what happened in the past and present. I asked questions. Yet even if you decide to change, it is easy to fall in to old patterns. And then with change, comes loss. You no longer tolerate the old patten: you are not tolerable and are shunned, cast out and have to leave. It is still a loss, even if I don't want to repeat the patterns. To go from familiar dysfunction to something new. To hope for better, but make mistakes and it could be worse. It is certainly dangerous to venture into the unknown.
Yet something is found.
Writing is found. A habit, a joy, noting what is well-received and what isn't, but writing for me. Trying different voices. A series. Playing in the catbox. Wearing a disguise. Arguing, fantasizing, hearing about the people who have left.
People are found. I really have only been a regular visitor since late Dec 2008, so I am a newbie. But there are many voices that I listen for and to, and friends have appeared. A community as imperfect as the one around my house. Romances, arguments, joy, grief. I have met three noders, other than the one I'm related to. I am surprised to have fun.
Structure is found. I don't envy the editors and gods and am deeply grateful that they choose to keep running this circus, changing the coding, updating and downvoting and nuking and changing. Change is the essence of our lives. We don't stay the same, our family doesn't stay the same, the world will not stand still. Our lives are built on the quicksand of our present knowledge and swiftly spinning electrons. What will happen next? Yet art often flourishes in a structure: a place that has a pattern and some rules. A canvas, an edge, an echo back from an audience, however imperfect. I wrote alone for a long time. My sister said I would need a thick skin to write on E2; a lizard seems appropriate.
Lost and found. I'm new to this. I watch the doctors in my ex-hospital arrive, try to change the system and burn out, a predictable trajectory that leaves us with the oldest primary care doctor at age 49 or 50, because everyone else has left. I don't know the trajectory on E2. And it must vary, because there are still some E1 writers here, still present.
Welcome lost one. I am glad that you found E2. I hope you will find a haven for a moment or a decade. Welcome to the lost and found.