The Adventures of Bug and Boo

Six Months Ago....

Rebecca O'LoughlinComment

Six months ago today, I hit 'publish' on my very first blog post for The Adventures of Bug and Boo...! As ever, that feels so long ago - and yet also as if it were yesterday. Thinking back to that moment, I was swimming in trepidation over clicking the button that would begin to take my innermost thoughts live... My husband had encouraged me to start the blog, I had written the post weeks earlier, but I just kept sitting on it, wondering if I could do this. And then late that night, six months ago, in a moment of extreme 'ohmigosh...!' - I just did it

Nobody was 'following' me, nobody was even aware of this little page. I hadn't met any other bloggers yet (nor did I have an inkling of what wonderful people I would connect with through this process!). I didn't know how I was meant to get this site out there for people to find; I didn't even have a Twitter or IG account (for shame!) - I only knew that my husband would diligently read my posts because he loves me, and that once I got over the initial anxiety about what people would think reading my words in black and white, I'd be very proud of myself for finally doing something with writing as I'd always wanted to. 

I decided to write my very first post as an introduction to who I am. I didn't think it felt right to just start talking as if anyone who found it knew me. Most of you will never have read this one, because you found this space much later - but here it is (photos not showing - if you click here you can see the original post with the photos): 

Hello! Welcome to my blog.

My name is Rebecca. Depending on when someone knew me, I have also been known as Becca, Bex, Beeka, Bec, Stick Girl (during a particularly scrawny phase in high school) and, to my wonderful-and-still-embarrassing parents, Boo. This apparently derived from Becca Boo Bear, a nickname I still don’t understand the origins of, but have stopped questioning. (It is what it is.)

I grew up in the suburbs of Rochester, New York in the 80s and 90s. I had a relatively normal childhood, discounting ever so slightly for a strict religious upbringing. I joke with my parents that we were deprived because we never believed in Santa, and even Cabbage Patch Kids were questionable objects to own...although I’m not sure of the reason for that one. Maybe because they grew out of veggie gardens rather than humans? Curious. 

Anywho, I remember telling my parents often that I was going to leave and go to New York City when I grew up – which they may or may not have dismissed, I honestly can’t remember. All I know is I graduated from uni and hoofed it to Manhattan without a single glance backward. New York City was like a breath of fresh air (I know. The irony...). I loved it!! It was scary and chaotic and filled with anxiety and the unknown, but the very first time I knew where I was going on the subway, it all clicked into place. I loved my five years there. I lived in the heart of the Village on Bleecker Street and although I was a complete workaholic, I played hard too, and I soaked up every aspect of city life. I was a changed woman. Never again would I live anywhere besides NYC. This was where my life was meant to be lived.

 {Photo: My old neighborhood in Manhattan}


That is, until I was told my by now ex / then partner that he had accepted a job in London and we were moving.  We’ll ignore all of the glaringly obvious problems about that situation that I didn’t pay attention to at the time and move swiftly onto the location change. LONDON. I had never set foot on English soil and was being moved – quite perfunctorily and with total disregard for my feelings about the situation – to Old Blighty. Luckily I managed to get a transfer with the company I had been working for, and I started to try and think of it as an adventure, but man was I nervous. I hated the idea of leaving all of my family behind and going to a place where I knew not a single person, nor had any idea of what to expect. I sobbed the entire flight across the Atlantic.

{Photo: I think that expression says it all...welcome to London.}

hated London for the first six months. That sounds intense but I could not find a single thing about it that I liked; I found the transit system complicated and absolutely horrifying in the summer heat (there is no a/c on the trains!), couldn’t understand everyone’s accents (of which there were SO MANY and I had naively thought everyone would sound like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins…). But then I made a friend at work, and she quickly became a good friend, and then I made more friends, and then I knew my way around and things weren’t so terrible. I still missed my family like mad, but once some blessed soul pointed me towards Skype things were much more manageable. I started to feel like I could do this. I could live in England for the next two years (because that is all I planned on doing, of course).

Fast forward six years later and I’m still here! I’ve left the insanely central and/or cool London neighborhoods that I lived in at first and for the past 18 months have been living in a suburban area just outside of London proper. I split from the partner who made my life choices for me and survived a breakup thousands of miles away from my family and my oldest friends. I met – and married! – the man of my dreams. We had a baby girl last year.  I left my job of nearly ten years and am figuring out what I want to do with the next phase of my life. SO MUCH has happened and changed since I came over here, it’s almost impossible to jot it all down. All I know is that this life right now would not be, if it weren’t for everything that came before, so I have to include it when I talk about life these days.  

{Photo: Silliness with my Bug!}

So there you go. That’s me in a nutshell, and a somewhat brief version of how I (and my daughter) got here. I’ll be sharing our journey, or at the very least our daily adventures, so please join us – I hope you enjoy your time with us! 

(And for those that are curious about the 2nd part to the story, that post can be read here - and my introduction of Bug can be read here!) 

Reading that back is pretty wild. It almost reads - to me - like a sort of creative writing exercise. (Do you remember those prompts you'd have on the blackboard at the beginning of class, either a sentence or an open-ended phrase, and you'd sit at your desk, take out your composition notebook, and just freely write? I loved those.) I wasn't sure how open I wanted to be, how much of 'me' I wanted to put out there. There were things in my past I wasn't sure I'd want to write about, or to be public to people who didn't live through them with me.  But the way I write, is to get things off my chest and heart, and I find it difficult to censor myself in that way. So I jumped right in and just wrote, hoping that it wouldn't change the way people thought about me.

It's also pretty wild how much things have changed - again - in these past six months! I started this blog shortly after I decided to be a stay at home mom. (I don't think I ever would have begun this process if I'd stayed where I was working; I tried to keep professional and personal life separate and that never would have worked with a blog.) We were still in London, not even a glimmer of a move to the US yet, and I wasn't expecting baby #2 yet. I'm so glad that I've had this outlet to work through all of those changes.  

One thing I had really hoped for this blog when I started, besides keeping friends and family connected with us all, was that this would be a writing journey for me. It has always been one of the biggest parts of 'me' - that need, deep down, to release everything inside me onto paper and let it go somehow. You should see my old journals and essays from when I was younger...I kept a few of them, and I still like to flip through them whenever I go through my files and purge the older items. It's a great way to learn about yourself, reading back your own thoughts from years past. The topics burning to get out of a 14-year-old teenage girl are of such stark contrast to those these days! (Maybe someday I'll share a snippet, just to ensure your day has a laugh!) 

So my wishes this week are that I continue to learn and grow through this experience: that I grow in myself, that I learn more about writing, that I constantly am moving towards self-discovery. That Bug and I continue forging this close-knit bond that we have and that I develop more parenting skills as I need them. That I continue to make the priceless connections with people through this blog that I never would have had otherwise. And that I use this space in a way that is helpful - or entertaining - to other people.

What are you wishing for today?  

Love the Here and Now

A Savory Feast