When one opens a blog in the WordPress family, it is a custom to say, “Hello world, this is who I am and I’m here because I just want to share… my stuff (and to make tons of money! But the “sharing” part is what really matters; cross my heart)” And it kind of feels like a first day at school: we arrive late (because we’ve spent half a century searching for the nonexistent perfect template), everybody is already on their seats (with their well-structured categories and that top menu to die for) … and we sit on the back, wondering if we’ll make some friends by lunch time (comments, follows and likes! Love me!)
After a decade of blogging, I thought I had everything covered to open this blog on time and, above all, with a cool way to say “Hello world”; however, when the big day was around the corner…, well, let’s just say I should have seen it coming.
Here is how it goes: imagine you’re about to open the Pizza place of your dreams! You hired the greatest stuff, an awesome location and the most wonderful chef; and then, in the morning of the opening night, the guy who was bringing you all the cheese, Jimmy, got flat a tire; shit happens; ok. But! When he got off his truck to fix it, another truck was passing by with cows on it, and one of them jumped landing over Jimmy! … and he died… Jimmy died under the weight of a bovine looking forward to surviving the happy meal. And you ended up with-no-cheese.
Trying to achieve anything and/or everything in life, feels something like that… at least for me. Wanna have some drinks and I’ll tell you all about it?
Opening a New Blog
I began blogging (in Spanish) back in 2009, so I could say I have some experience in the blogging department; but it has been always a hobby. This time, for this blog, for my “farewell to the Law and Hello writing and blogging full-time,” I got ready for war: I read all about how to have a successful blog, I wrote countless articles, I made a schedule! I moved to a self-hosted site and I learned more about WordPress.org, MailChimp, Google AdSense; I did it all and more. I learned how to use MAMP, (don’t freak out, there is fun ahead), Sublime Text and FileZilla; I learned more about coding! I set up a local host environment to write a Child Theme for Twenty Seventeen (so I could have my own design), and I even wrote an e-book about it! I did it all and more, with a “shrunken brain” and two cats.
Since there is one heck of a plot behind the story I’m going to share here, and one of my dreams and goals is to do stand-up comedy, I prepared humor monologues to post them in a podcast (and yes, I learned how to make a podcast too). The first episode was going to be released as the opening of this blog, as the famous, “Hello World”; but… there was no cheese for me.
When I was a week from opening the blog and I was all set to record the first episode, my Mac Book crashed. First it lost its audio driver for some mysterious reason, and then it went caboom. Bottoms up!
Doing stand-up comedy “in NYC”, that’s the dream. In my podcast – coming asap; cross my fingers and call to all saints and Gods from every single religion – you’ll learn that I’ve been searching for a home, desperately, my whole life, and that I’ve finally found it in the city. And let me just clarify that it wasn’t about the lights, the malls and everything you hear about it: the city, its people, just got under my skin, printed in my soul, and one day it just hit me: “I belong here”.
Last year I had to leave because I’ve found myself with that “shrunken brain” situation and I needed to heal; it took me thirteen months to do so… Therefore, this past April I booked everything to go back! With two months in advanced (that’s how you do it, if you want to stay in Manhattan), I got the plane ticket, and a couple of places for the first weeks. But… again, there was no cheese for me.
Three days before my trip, “three”, I got an e-mail from booking.com saying something like, “Hi beloved customer! Sorry but, that place you booked for 21 days, two months ago, didn’t take your reservation. You’ll need to change your flight and your whole life for the next two months; but hey, here is a recommendation that might help: link to a shelter, with no roof”. Cheers!
A Shrunken Brain and That Thing Called Depression
Those were just two little examples of how life works for me; she’s like the best friend whom I love but keeps pulling pranks on me. During the first two decades of my life, shit rained over me but I’ve always managed to clean myself up and to keep going; during the last two decades, on the other hand, every rain felt like a container with horse shit (yes, McFly style); and the last storm… well, the last one hit me so hard that it made a hole in the ground pulling me to earth’s core.
… It would have been nice to hit China, and to pop up surrounded by a millennial culture telling me, “Breathe in; breathe out; there is nothing but rice here; we don’t shit”, but no; I got stuck in a dark, dark hole. You might have heard of this hole called “depression”; I’ve been there more than a couple of times, but this last one was deadly.
My neurologist diagnosed me with a “PTSD of a lifetime” (“lifetime”, I’m quoting here), and my brain scans showed that my front lobe has shrunk. Back in May of 2017, I could read and concentrate for no longer than fifteen minutes, per day, after which I would get a nasty headache and a mission, “This brain will self-destruct in ten seconds; just end it now.” Depression… what a bitch! She came with a knife this time! Can you believe her courage? Yeah… Just drink.
Like Franky said, “I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pawn, and a Queen; I’ve been up and down and over and out” … During the last storm, when I found myself flat on my face, I found a way to pick myself back … and now I’m getting back in the race; to do this, I took four journeys: I wrote, I blogged, I coded and I held on to my life in NYC like a tick on a dog.
I couldn’t record the podcast nor say all I wanted to say to open this blog, but I can’t wait any longer; the need to show that there is another way to talk about depression, the hunger of sharing what I’ve learned about blogging and coding to make it easier and fun for you, and my Big Apple cravings… It’s just overwhelming… But I think I covered why I’m here basically… because I just want to share … my stuff (and to make tons of money! but the “sharing” part is what really matters; cross my heart)”.
So, Welcome to The Highline Post! Here you can expect to find humor and reflections (about mental health, politics, religion, and how obnoxious cats can be at 4am); tips for blogging and coding at WordPress, for the brave beginners who show up saying, “I want to have a successful blog and a top menu in the footer!”; and all things NYC. Choose your ride, or pick them all; they are free of charge!
Shit. My glass is empty. See you in a bit?