Dearest Sweatpants & Coffee tribe,
This is a month of milestones. Sweatpants & Coffee is celebrating our 4-year anniversary. Can you BELIEVE it? We dreamed this place into being because we needed each other. So, I guess that makes this my State of the Blanket Fort address.
I’ll start with me. Sweatpants & Coffee was born of a deep and nerdy yearning. I was sending my Walt Whitman-like barbaric YAWP out into the Internetverse, hoping others of my kind might hear it and respond. And even if no one did, at least I had a place to put my thoughts. I began the adventure as one should always begin adventures, holding onto the hands of my most trusted beloveds. Together, we birthed this baby, and together, we’ve watched it grow over countless cups of coffee.
And here’s what I know about you, if you’re reading this: you have that same deep yearning. You love stories that connect you to your fellow humans. You enjoy learning, whether it’s a new recipe, a self-care technique, or why Shirley Chisholm was a badass. You are empathetic, kind, compassionate, and self-aware, or trying to be. You may or may not spend an inordinate amount of time in comfy clothes, drinking out of your favorite mug. You love art and music and books and television and all the amazing ways people create beauty. And most of all? You belong here. With us weirdos.
As for me, I’m not the same person I was when this site launched. I am physically and mentally different now. It’s not good or bad. It just is.
I’ve had my boobs swapped out for replacements. I’m light a bunch of lymph nodes, so hot tubs are off limits now. I’ve got a snazzy new “pixie cut” that my formerly long-haired self would never have had the guts to try, but this new style courtesy of Docetaxel gets a lot of compliments. I have trouble following long stories that involve lots of sequential details. I start to feel like I’m out to sea, dog paddling in the deep water. I forget everything. EVERYTHING. And I’m constantly worried about what I may have forgotten. I think about mortality a lot. I have a newfound appreciation for tiny moments of beauty, like making a cat friend during my evening walk or finding a half-eaten candy bar in my bag. I take more mental Polaroids now, and I am determined to scrabble through the crumpled-up receipts and lint-balls of life to find the bits of gratitude. Even on the bad days. Especially on the bad days. For example:
I am so much more aware of the power of story-sharing and how very much we need it these days. And I am convinced of the necessity of silly jokes and funny baby animal videos and escapist TV shows and painfully honest essays and hard conversations and reminders to breath.
Happy Anniversary, my loves. Here’s to many more.